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Doctorate in Organisational Change

Course Description

Do you seek to make a unique contribution to our understanding of organisations and communities, and of the dynamics of stability and change? Are you an experienced and reflective practitioner interested in developing yourself and your practice, through the discipline of 'Action Inquiry'?

Are you interested in doing your research in close collaboration with the support of a community of like-minded practitioners?

If yes, then the Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change will be of interest to you.

Through a rigorous process of inquiry, this qualification will develop your practice to a deeper level. As organisations face the need to respond to ever more diverse and challenging issues, practitioners must develop new ways of working with complex and uncertain situations in pursuit of purposes and outcomes that matter to them.

Programme content

The programme takes a philosophical approach, rather than offering the standard toolkit. It challenges you to explore your implicit and explicit assumptions and the implications of those assumptions for your practice.

Programme content is immediately applicable back to your workplace and you are encouraged to share your personal experiences with fellow participants so that everyone learns from each other. You will develop the discipline and skill of reflective writing through practical assignments. The dissertation is an opportunity for an extended practical inquiry with the support of your tutor and peers (in the supervision group).

This programme will help you:

Practice in your chosen field with a level of mastery appreciated by peers and clients
Critically evaluate and enhance your professional knowledge
Understand and convey ways in which knowledge is constructed in the social phenomenon of organisations and in the practice of consulting and how such knowledge is used to influence learning and organisational transformation
Appreciate and demonstrate the ethical aspects of influencing in organisational settings as they apply to the individuals engaged, the organisation involved and the wider contextual socio-ecological systems.

The Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change:

Next starting in March 2017, the doctoral programme duration is up to five years. The programme includes the first modules of our acclaimed Masters in Organisational Change and then continues beyond this in the later stages to a doctoral level.

Meet some of the course faculty:


Funding Support:


Download a brochure:


The Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change is awarded by Middlesex University.

Visit the Doctorate in Organisational Change page on the Ashridge website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Jill Hughes

Why did you decide to do the Doctorate in Organisational Change programme?

I had already had a very positive learning experience with the Masters in Organisational Change programme, so was already familiar with the research paradigm and the some of the faculty. The opportunity of four more years of action research within an Ashridge learning community was irresistible.

Did you have any reservations before starting?

In truth I dived in and didn’t allow myself too much time to think about all of the reasons why this wouldn’t be a good idea. Realistically though the programme requires is a serious commitment of time, resources and being open to an intense development experience.

What did you learn from the programme?

It was a profound development journey for me personally. I started out with the intention of researching the phenomenon of trust/distrust within organisations that I work in and ended up giving equal attention to examining how I trust myself and how trust shows up in my professional relationships. I developed new insights into the nature of relational integrity that directly impacted on my practice.

How have you applied this to your work and organisation?

The nature of an action learning research paradigm is that I experienced ADOC as a continuous process of applying learning, experimenting with emerging hunches and reflecting on my practice. As part of this reflective process I was aware of how my practice as a consultant was changing and growing during the years I was part of ADOC. I have made significant shifts in the type of work I am doing and my impact on clients.

What would you say to someone considering joining this programme?

It is not for the faint hearted! Expect rigour in every aspect – intellectually, emotionally and interpersonally. The collegiate design of ADOC means you are part of a highly supportive learning community that will both encourage and challenge you. Prepare for a marathon, rather than a sprint and most of all – enjoy the process – it is likely to be very eventful.


Entry Requirements

- A first degree, Masters degree or equivalent academic award. If you are a mature student and you do not currently hold an academic qualification, then you will need to provide evidence of your ability to study at an advanced level- You will need to be motivated to participate in a peer learning community and have some awareness of your emotional and behavioural processes- A good understanding of reflective Action Research. In some circumstances, we may ask you to attend an Ashridge short course on action research prior to starting the Ashridge Doctorate in Organisational Change programme.

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