NiBS holds historic 3rd Doctoral Graduation Ceremony

Nobel International Business School (NiBS) held its 3rd doctoral ceremony in Accra on the theme: “The Future of work and workforce”. NiBS, the leading private doctoral university in the sub-region, graduated a total of 44 doctoral candidates students in the fields of Strategy & Innovation, Finance, Management, Organizational Leadership, Marketing, and Organizational Leadership. The 44 graduates comprised of different cohorts: 1 Cohort one candidate, 3 Cohort two candidates, 15 Cohort three candidates, 18 Cohort four candidates, and 7 Cohort five candidates. In all, 91% of the candidates completed the doctoral program in 3 years while 9% completed the program in 4 years. The completion rates for the various cohorts are as follows: Cohort 1 – 58%, Cohort 2 – 65%, Cohort 3 – 55%, Cohort 4 – 72%, and Cohort 5 – 27%.

At the graduation ceremony held on December 7, 2019, the Founding President and Executive Dean of NiBS, Professor Kwaku Atuahene-Gima expressed his heartfelt gratitude to all graduating students and encouraged them to make the best of their lives. He said the challenge of a leader is to ensure that their executives develop 21st-century management skills while phasing out redundant or outdated skills.

He again made mention that in other jurisdictions, when the government wanted to implement a policy, it commissioned researchers to do independent research as to how feasible and pragmatic that policy was; likewise, when companies needed to develop new products, they engage in research. “Everyone in any managerial position has to make decisions and those decisions have tremendous implications on not only the individuals in the company but on national development.” He continued, “Good policies by the government and societal groups all depend on the evidence that what you are going to do will get the results that you require. The driver for doing something and achieving the desired results you need is research.”

Professor Atuahene-Gima said the crux of the problem in Ghana and Africa was those tough decisions that would have a long-term impact on society were made without research. “Look at the education system in Ghana and what has gone on. One government comes and changes the system; another government comes and changes it completely – for example, the duration of study for the senior high school. What is the evidence on which these decisions are based?” He quizzed. 

However, Professor Atuahene-Gima entreated African leaders to invest in various research methods because that’s the only way to make good decisions with concrete evidence.

NiBS in Ghana

NiBS is a private boutique graduate school in Ghana. It was founded to make a difference with a new kind of educational model designed to meet the needs of executives, employees, and employers in West Africa. NiBS was designed around executives to account for the peculiar needs, problems, and opportunities in business education in the African context.  

Professor Kwaku Atuahene-Gima said NiBS was set up to provide the needed skills to help their graduates make evidence-based decisions backed by profound research.

“We set up the institution to educate, train, develop and equip business leaders and professionals throughout their careers with a spectrum of programs: the Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) program, the Doctor of Business Leadership (DBL) program, the Ph.D. in Business Administration program, the Executive MBA and Executive education programs. “We give them the basic knowledge and skills to know that in making a decision, one has to go out there and get the evidence as to whether that option will work or not before they implement it”, he said. To help you achieve this, NiBS has collaborated with SBS Swiss Business School in Zurich to offer a different approach to executive education; one designed to make a difference and significant impact on executives and their companies by providing real cogent measuring results.

Prof. Atuahene-Gima said most major decisions were based on research evidence, adding that it was a matter of educating people to understand it and that is what NiBS existed to do.

Invest in research & education

The Director of Human Resources at the Volta River Authority (VRA), Dr. Stella Agyenim-Boateng – the keynote speaker and an Alumnus of NiBS, said that the title “Dr.” comes with a lot of responsibility and expectation as the holder becomes a go-to person, a role model, a repository of knowledge and ideas in the eyes of many. “This makes it imperative for us to come together as a body of practitioners and form a think tank to make a significant impact in society, charging business leaders to learn new things to stay ahead of the competition,” she said. 

According to the Assistant Academic Dean and Director for the DBA program, Dr. Hod Anyigba, NiBS have the right support system – tried and tested process – that can convert top executives into practitioner-scholars under 3 years. He reiterated that “Our thought affects our realities and the ability to choose how you “construct meaning from experience” will determine the lenses from which you see the world and how you react in return. With research, it is widely acknowledged that one can ‘see the same things people see, but think differently’ – through an Innovation lens”.

He stated that the NiBS part-time Doctor of Business Administration program combines course work and thesis writing in an innovative modular package. Here, executives attend classes 3 – 4 days every quarter while working with their promoters, otherwise known as supervisors – to put together a structured thesis through their efforts with the support of personalized Research Fellows (RFs). Dr. Hod made it clear that NiBS students also do well to present their findings at international academic conferences adding that the NiBS doctoral program which is cohort-based has the highest completion rate in the country. “An enviable 60-70 percent completion rate. He added that, in the resource-based theory parlance, the program can be termed as “valuable, inimitable, non-substitutable, rare and appropriable – indeed the best by far in Ghana and West Africa”. 

Lastly, Dr. Hod Anyigba urged the graduands to go on as practitioner-scholars to lead, discover and share their knowledge in their various fields of endeavor.