Doctor of Philosophy in Project Management

Akamai University

Dr. David Ackah & Dr. Gabriel Odeh Apotey

Institute of Project Management Professionals

Approved; 06 May 2017

Click to Download
Registration Form

Recent Post

Advanced study in project management provides an effective path to advancement for working executives, nonprofit managers, and project management professional, managers, and team members. Akamai University has committed to the development of business professionals and assembled the essentials of business knowledge within a tremendously vital series of program elements. In addition to basic principles, the program presents business specializations in a wide array of major concentrations, permitting participants to personalize their overall program of study. 


Project management professionals and leaders can no longer afford to continue doing business without the critical skills necessary for success. To address this challenge, the program teaches the fundamentals of business, emphasizing practical skills important to the “real world” of corporate and business administration in a manner that is applicable to the regional and business challenges of the participant. In an increasingly competitive global environment, organizations need to develop managers capable of dealing with complexity and change. This PhD Program delivers the dynamic frameworks that enable business and corporate leaders to quickly adapt to changing conditions and seize new opportunities as they emerge. Please join us in this international adventure in learning. I assure you, you will not be disappointed. 



The Doctor of Philosophy in Project Management is designed to serve the needs of career professionals in the fields of project management, procurement, supply chain management, logistics, construction, engineering,  international business, not-for-profit management, eCommerce and information technology, and small business operations. 



As prerequisites for acceptance to the Doctor of Philosophy in Project Management, participants should have completed the equivalent of a recognized master’s degree in an appropriate field of study and have several years of meaningful and increasingly responsible experience in the field of business and industry. The doctoral degree requirement is never waived. However, on occasion, well qualified applicants are accepted to the Doctor of Philosophy lacking elements of preparation. Under these conditions, participants are required to add the missing competencies to their program, at their own expense. Participants should be proficient in collegiate English language skills, have access to a computer, email, and the Internet, and journals and library resources to support study and research. 



Students in the Doctor of Philosophy in Project Management complete a minimum of 52 credits above the Master’s level including core studies and a major concentration in project management, Research preparation classes, a business practicum, and a business research project and comprehensive examinations, conducted by residential tutorials and mentored distance learning via Akamai University. Participants in the Doctor of Philosophy in Project Management must complete the following program elements. 


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree Requirements (Minimum: 52 credits)

Core Studies in Project Management (18 credits)

Major Concentrations in Project Management (12 credits)

Research Preparation (6 credits)

Comprehensive Examination (2 credits)

Project Proposal (4 credits)

Business Project (8 credits)

Oral Review of Project (2 credits) 


Core Studies in Project Management (Required: 18 credits)

Participants complete core and foundational studies, as outlined below:


PMP 802: Life-Cycle and Performance Management (3 credits)

PMP 804: Portfolio & Program Management (3 credits)

PMP 806: Special Topics in Project Management (3 credits)

PMP 808: Total Quality Management (3 credits)

PMP 810: Advanced Career Strategies in Project Management

PMP 812: Econometrics Analysis (3 credits)

PMP 814: Leadership Theory and Development (3 credits)


Major Concentration in Project Management (Required: 12 credits)

Requirements for this part of the program include completion of modules in a major concentration in business administration, including a business practicum and five modules exploring the business concentration. Participants are guided by world class mentors via residential seminars, distance learning and project oriented learning by Akamai University, USA.


PMP 803: Strategic Thinking and Organizational Alignment (2 credits)

PMP 805: Practice and Theory of Consulting and Intervention (2 credits)

PMP 807: Organization Innovation and Scenario Thinking (2 credits)

PMP 809: Business Practicum (2 credits)

PMP 811: Statistical Analysis (2 credits)

PMP 813: Management Theory (2 credits)


Research Preparation (Required: 6 credits)

PhD participants pursue studies providing advanced research knowledge necessary for success in their business projects. At least six credits of research preparation are required, although for particular students, more than one module will be recommended to assure effective readiness to undertake the favored business project proposed by the student.  


Preparation might focus upon Project management area research report, via quantitative-statistical methods, qualitative methods or participatory action research techniques. The focus of the research preparation covers subject selection, project design, and statistical analysis, as appropriate to each participant’s final project. Through this requirement, participants learn to effectively define applied problems or theoretical issues and articulate the rationale for the study, implementing quantitative, qualitative or participatory action methods for evaluating business issues.  


Required: A minimum of six credits selected from the following modules: 


RES 520: Business Research (3 credits) 

RES 504: Introductory Research Statistics (3 credits) 

RES 506: Advanced Research Statistics (3 credits) 

RES 508: Qualitative Research (3 credits) 

RES 510: Participatory Action Research (3 credits) 


Comprehensive Review (Required: 2 credits) 

Once the participants complete the subject modules, they are requested to schedule the Comprehensive Review. The Review Committee shall provide directions for the written component of the review. When the Committee has reviewed the participant’s written submission, an exchange of communications is conducted to assist the Committee in exploring the details of the written submission.


Required: Complete the following module:


EXM 980: Comprehensive Review (2 credits)  


Business Project Proposal (Required: 2 credits) 

Participants prepare a formal business project proposal related to the concept for the business project following the guidelines provided by the Review Committee and the University.  


Required: Complete the following module:


RES 985: Business Project Proposal (2 credits)  


Business Project (Required: 4 credits) 

Following approval of the PhD business project proposal, participants begin their projects. The business project may be conducted via an established mode of business research or by quantitative, qualitative, or participatory action research methods. The body of the manuscript is to be structured according to a set of approved manuscript guidelines and exceed 50 double spaced, typewritten pages. Participants complete a project that adheres to field their major concentration.  


Required: Complete the following module 


RES 990: Business Project (4 credits)  

Oral Review of Business Project (Required: 2 credits) 

Once the participants have prepared the business project manuscript, they schedule the formal review process. The Review Committee will conduct the formal physical review of the thesis manuscript and prepare for the oral review. The physical review of the manuscript usually takes the Review Committee four to six weeks. Each reviewer will prepare questions and commentary relative to the underlying review of the literature, the project methodology, the mechanics of the project, the body of the manuscript, and the presentation of the findings, conclusions and recommendations. The oral review of the project is carried out by approved electronic means and is designed to allow detailed investigation of the project report. The Review Committee will explore issues related to the project including methodology, review of literature, presentation, and interpretation of the findings. One outcome of the review process is Master of Science a set of final expectations directing the participant through the remaining tasks for completing the project manuscript. Once the final manuscript is approved, the participant will submit the formal document to an approved bindery and later ship one bound manuscript to University headquarters for permanent archival storage  


Required: Complete the following module 


EXM 995: Oral Review of Business Project (2 credits)  



Dr. David Ackah, PhD. Program Director, Project Management Engineering

Dr. Gabriel Odeh Apotey, PhD. Program Coordinator, Project Financial Engineering

Dr. Samuel Amoako, PhD. Applied Project Financial Engineering

Cosmos Ekyinaba MSc. Project Logistics Management

Makafui R. A. Ackah, MSc, MCIPS. Project Procurement Engineering

Dr. Samuel Afotey Annang, PhD. Program Registrar




Core Academic Studies 

PMP 802: Life-Cycle and Performance Management (3 credits)

Performance Management is a means of getting better results from the organization, teams and individuals by understanding and managing performance within an agreed framework of planned goals, standards and competence requirements. It involves establishing and building a culture within which teams and individuals can take responsibility for developing their own skills, performance and behavior. In this course candidate will learn to conduct an effective appraisal meeting. The program focuses on the key principles of delivering constructive and honest feePhDck whilst following a sound process. Candidate will also learn the consequences of a poorly run appraisal meeting. Participants in this workshop will work with an experienced facilitator and two actors to develop the skills and confidence to conduct successful appraisal meetings. Topics includes introduction to Performance Management, Your Role In Performance Management, Performance Management Cycle, (Performance Planning, Performance Monitoring, & Performance Review), Coaching for Performance Management, The G.R.O.W. Model, Performance Improvement Plan, Necessary Tools for Performance Management, Performance management information Systems, Sources of management information, Management reports, Performance analysis in private sector organizations,  Divisional performance and transfer pricing, Performance analysis in not-for-profit organizations and the public sector, External, considerations and behavioral aspects, The performance review development (PRD) cycle, Planning and preparation for the PRD discussion, The appraisal meeting process, Assessments and giving feePhDck, Dealing effectively with poor performance and sensitive issues, Common assessment deficiencies, Pitfalls to avoid, Development plans, Setting objectives, Components of performance management, Setting meaningful expectations, Evaluating and identifying performance / issues, Effective feePhDck techniques, Establishing possible causes of any performance issues, Appropriate resolution activities, Legal considerations and procedural fairness.


PMP 804: Portfolio & Program Management  (3 credits)

This course specifically addresses how organizations achieve strategic goals and objectives through Project Portfolio and Programs of multiple Projects and how participants can gain competence in managing these. Specifically, this unit will address how an organization strategically applies systematic problem solving techniques, and selects, initiates, prioritises, executes and controls initiatives through Portfolio Alignment, Monitoring and Control. The course will also consider how an organization can benefit from delivering multiple projects in a Program environment including governing, controlling and supporting the organization’s strategy through Program Management. The course objective is to build competence in managing portfolios and programs. The course will cover organizational context, problem definition, problem solving skills, the portfolio prioritization process, select an organization and a challenge, program context, program management processes, explain the 11 program management processes, and select an organization program


PMP 806: Special Topics in Project Management (3 credits)

This course provides strategies from industries responsible for management of multiple projects topics. Candidate will utilize multi-project management tools, techniques and methods need to successfully manage allocated resources across various projects. Students will be evaluated on response to discussion questions, subject matter related to the activity and evaluated based on written research papers. The topics includes Various software and paper methods for creating work breakdown structures (WBSs), Software to aid in network diagrams, Responsibility Assignment Matrix (RAMs), Work definition forms, Requirements tracing, PERT estimating techniques, Methods for monitoring the critical path, Methods for measuring actual cost of work performed compared to estimated cost of work performed, Procurement contracts and audit tools, Quality plans, Risk plans and risk assessment tools, Change control plans and forms, Communication plans and forms, Team development techniques, Scope verification and control tools, Performance reporting forms and techniques, Cost monitoring and control techniques such as Earned Value Analysis, Methods for calculating project crashing and fast-tracking alternatives, Lessons learned database, Project archiving systems, A vast project-specific and project management vocabulary



PMP 808: Total Quality Management (3 credits)

Total Quality Management (TQM) is a scientific approach for management and employees to be involved in the continuous improvement of processes underlying the production of goods and services. This approach is fundamental in business, industry, evidence-based medicine and many other disciplines. Candidates who complete this course will be able to critically appraise management techniques, choose appropriate statistical techniques for improving processes and write reports to management describing processes and recommending ways to improve them. People need to be aware of what they can and can’t do with data. Management is limited to what it knows and so too is the organization. Awareness of statistical techniques and their use is paramount to collecting information and making decisions. Quantitative skills are necessary in order to make decisions – else you are just another person with an opinion. The topics include Deming Quality philosophy (and that of other Quality theorists), understanding variability of processes through statistical thinking, the role of management and leadership in a TQM organization, the role of quality improvement teams and how to organize them, the “seven simple tools”; data collection through surveys and experimental design; basic statistical methods; more advanced statistical techniques such as control charts, statistical process control and experimental design; quality standards (ISO9000); complementary quality techniques such as benchmarking


PMP 810: Advanced Career Strategies in Project Management

Global Project Management examines project management in a variety of global business settings. Included are project management methodologies and processes as well as culture, team building, and behavior management in a global context. Project management is examined as a set of best practices aimed at managing the total enterprise. Through a project management approach, corporate and organizational strategies are translated into project-level, value-adding elements of a company’s project portfolio. This course will focus on the five global project management frameworks: Global Teams, Global Communication, Global Organizations, Collaborative Tools, and Collaborative Techniques. The topics includes Global Project Management, Global Methodologies and Processes, Global Organizations, Collaborative Tools, The Project Management Office, Theories and skills of leadership Co-teaching activities, Leadership and Self-Deception Co-teaching activities, Career counseling theories and approaches with diverse clients and special populations Co-teaching activities


PMP 812: Econometrics Analysis (3 credits)

This course will building and empirical research methods in project management. Emphasizes the use and interpretation of single equation regression techniques in formulating and testing microeconomic and macroeconomic hypotheses. There will be examples of the uses of econometrics in a variety of areas through statistical analysis, problem solving and econometric estimation using a statistical computer package. The topics include Introduction and Simple Regression Model, Multiple Regression Analysis: Estimation, Hypothesis Testing, OLS Asymptotics, Practical Issues, Using Dummy Variables, Heteroskedasticity, Time-series and Serial Correlation, Statistical Properties of Financial Returns, Matrix Algebra, Regression and Applications in Finance, Maximum Likelihood Estimation, Univariate Time Series and Applications to Finance, Modelling Volatility – Conditional Heteroscedastic Models, Modelling Volatility and Correlations – Multivariate GARCH Models, Vector Autoregressive Models, and Limited Dependent Variable Models


PMP 814: Leadership Theory and Development (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to leadership theory and practice. Students will develop an understanding of the behaviors and characteristics of leaders through examination of current leadership models. Common leadership issues and dilemmas will be examined through case studies of real world situations. The topics includes Introduction, Trait Approach Case, Leadership Trait Questionnaire, Skills Approach Case, Skills Inventory, Approach Case, Style Questionnaire, Situational Approach Case, Contingency Theory Case, Least Preferred Coworker Measure, Whole Class SELU Nursing Bld, Path-Goal Theory Path-Goal Leadership Questionnaire, Transformational Leadership Case, Team Leadership Case, Team Leader Questionnaire, Women and Leadership Case, Gender-Leader Implicit Association Test, Culture and Leadership Case, Dimensions of Culture Questionnaire, Leadership Ethics Perceived Leader Integrity Scale


Modules in the Major Concentration

PMP 803: Strategic Thinking and Organizational Alignment (2 credits)

Too often, company executives and professionals spend most of their time fixing day-to-day problems. They react to problems, rather than focusing on what they would like the company to be and then on making it happen. This seminar focuses on changing the way we think from reacting (responding to day-to-day problems, fixing and repairing) to developing plans for what we want to have happen and then implementing the plans. In attending this course, you will gain the skills necessary to change your management approach from letting things happen to making things happen the way we want. Topics: Strategic Thinking and Making Things Happen, Strategic Planning – The Detail of Powerful Business Analysis, Strategic Choice and Linkage to Marketing and Sales Planning, Linkage of Strategy to Financial and Operational Planning, Bringing It All Together, The relevance and contribution of strategy maps and balanced scorecards, Key Performance, Indicators and performance measurement at the strategic level, The significance of “Dynamic Alignment” in supply chain structures, Managing implementation – effective execution of strategy, “Death of distance” and the shift towards the business model, Final thoughts – the business model and the future of strategic management, Overview of the whole course


PMP 805: Practice and Theory of Consulting and Intervention (2 credits)

This is an overview of theory and models of social work intervention with families. Students will learn the theoretical constructs of traditional and emerging models of SW practice with families and develop assessment & intervention skills based on a systems perspective of the family as the center of focus and in its environmental context. Working with families has always been central to social work practice. There is an increasing body of knowledge about how family members influence, create and cultivate behaviors in each other that has been developed and shared in the mental health disciplines. Family interventions require a switch away from the individual to the individual and his/her family environment. This switch moves the focus of assessment and intervention to the interaction of family members. Topics: Basic Foundations: Organizational Consulting and Change Leadership, Organization & Change Theory, Organizational Assessment & Diagnosis, Designing Interventions: Intention, Impact & Result, Essential Facilitation Skills for Consultants and Leaders, Group Dynamics: Leading & Sustaining Change, Organizational Consulting Capstone


PMP 807: Organization Innovation and Scenario Thinking (2 credits)

The question of how to develop scientific criteria in order to help practitioners designing more effective, efficient, equitable and innovative organizations, in other words the issue of Organizational Design and Change, has been at the centre of Organization and Management Theory from its inception. In the last thirty years, however, the problem of Organization Design has lost its centrality in the academic field of organization and management. Consultants, managers, and trade union representatives have been left more or less alone in pursuing the redesign of organizations. Managers, and practitioners more generally, have to struggle with waves of new design fashions that promise the moon but have meagre and sometimes detrimental effects (e.g. business process reengineering, team based organization) Topics: Introduction of future studies and futures thinking, Imagination and creative thinking, Systems thinking and complexity of changes, Creative problem solving (CPS) model & its application in science/environmental issues, Scenario analyses for futures studies, Future case studies of existing organizations (commercial/industrial/public) in our community, Futures thinking in action, Conduct a group project on “Futures Thinking in Action” in the context of environmental sustainability or science-related issues, and submit a group written report


PMP 809: Business Practicum (2 credits)

Participants investigate core aspects of business and industry within the professional environment through close contact with practitioners and real world situations. Students may pursue practicum through a supervised practice, apprenticeship, professional practice, advanced field study or other external exploration under the direction of a qualified mentor and an approved field site sponsor. Students participate in the practicum for a minimum of 50 contact hours. The field placement is expected to afford students appropriate practical hands on experience and in-depth knowledge of a specific area of business. Students complete a daily journal and prepare a scholarly paper summarizing their findings for the practicum


PMP 811: Statistical Analysis (2 credits)

General introductory course on mathematical statistics. Summary statistics and statistical inference. Histograms and sample statistics. Probability and probability distributions. Detailed coverage of Gaussian (normal) distribution and the lognormal distribution. Sampling distributions and tests of significance. Analysis of variance. Multiple variables with emphasis on the bivariate case. Correlation and regression. Bayes’ theorem and introduction to Bayesian statistics. Gy’s sampling theory for the sampling of particulate materials. Topics: Variables and data summaries, Measures of location, Measures of dispersion, Histograms, Populations and probability, Binomial and Poisson distributions, Gaussian (normal) distribution, Normal distribution, Log-normal distribution, Three parameter log-normal distribution, Relationships between normal and log-normal distributions, Log-normal distribution, Estimation and confidence intervals, Hypothesis testing, Chi-square distribution, Chi-square distribution, Student’s t-distribution, t-distribution, F-distribution, F-distribution, One way ANOVA, Two way ANOVA, Interaction, Correlation and regression, Correlation, Regression, Multivariate distributions, Bivariate normal distribution, Regression in the bivariate normal distribution, T9 Regression, Maximum likelihood estimation, Bayesian analysis, Sampling errors for particulates and Gy’s formula, Gy’s formula


PMP 813: Management Theory (2 credits)

This course is designed to fulfil the following candidate learning objectives: Gain an in-depth understanding of some of the main theoretical and research prospectives that have contributed to knowledge of management; Investigate some of the important debates to which theorizing about these different issues has given rise; Explore the implications of these debates for both management research and management practice; Become familiar with academic publications in management; Develop an ability to critically analyze and evaluate such publications; Improve oral and written communications skills. Topics arise throughout the course from theoretical and research prospectives that have influenced (and continue to influence) scholarly thinking about issues of central importance to the practice of management. This is essentially a readings-based course in which students will critically review scholarly research articles each week in advance. Participation marks will be awarded for demonstration of effective reading and understanding the arguments presented.


Modules in Research Preparation


RES 520: Business Research (3 credits)

Participants will examine research tools, techniques, and resources used to development analytical ability and techniques to gather and present data in viable forms of business communication. 


RES 504: Introductory Research Statistics (3 credits)

This course covers the basic statistical concepts, theory and methods in statistical research. Topics include variables, graphs, frequency distributions, measures of central tendency, measures of dispersion, probability theory, binomial, normal and Poisson distributions, statistical sampling theory, and statistical decision theory. 


RES 506: Advanced Research Statistics (3 credits)

This course covers parametric and nonparametric hypo dissertation testing. Topics include sampling theory, Chi-square test, least squares regression, correlation theory, non-linear regression, analysis of variance, Student’s t-test, and various methods in nonparametric analyses.


RES 508: Qualitative Research (3 credits)

This course provides detailed study of qualitative research methods. Topics survey historical and theoretical foundations of qualitative research, explore major qualitative research strategies, and build an understanding of the art and science of collecting, analyzing, and interpreting qualitative information. The course provides background on applied qualitative research, the politics and ethics of qualitative inquiry, and the major paradigms that inform and influence qualitative research. 


RES 510: Participatory Action Research (3 credits)

This course provides the foundational principles of participatory action research. Topics survey theoretical foundations of action research, the methodology and applications of PAR in contemporary culture. Students assess the rigor and usefulness of participatory action research in addressing major world problems. 


Finishing Activities


EXM 980: Comprehensive Examination (2 credits)

Masters participants complete this comprehensive examination as a required element of their academic program, prior to undertaking the dissertation. The examination usually includes both written and oral components and is confined to the programs of studies completed by the participant. 


RES 985: Business Project Proposal (4 credits)

This course is required of all doctoral participants designed to guide them through the formal business project proposal process for their final projects, including the development of the research method, data gathering device and data analysis techniques. Participants also prepare annotated bibliographies of the major scholarly works underlying their project. 


RES 990: Business Project (8 credits)

This course governs the conduct of the dissertation project for the doctoral level participant. The doctoral project is the demonstration of the mastery of a body of knowledge in a given field and is presented in a manuscript usually 100 or more pages in length. The final project may take any of several forms, depending upon the field of study and the expectations of faculty. This may be quantitative or qualitative research, participatory action research, or a major project demonstrating excellence.


EXM 995: Oral Review of Business Project (2 credits)

This examination is an oral review of the business project conducted by the doctoral committee. 




Step #1: Assignment of Faculty Review Committee. 

After the participant’s admission and registration, as the first step in the program, the University will assign the participant’s Graduate Review Committee, including a Chair and two supportive faculty members. Once the Committee Chair has been assigned, the participant shall begin the preliminary activities of the degree program.  All Committee members must be Akamai University approved faculty members.


Step #2: Study Plan Process. 

The first activity of the program is the completion of the Study Plan document, which guides the participant and review committee through the degree process. The Study Plan clarifies the specialization that will be pursued, itemizes the subject modules, and clarifies the project activities to be completed as expectations for the degree, and includes a preliminary timeline of completion of each of activity.


Step #3: Completion of PhD Core Subject Modules. Participants enter the subject module phase of their program, completing six modules. 


Step #4: Completion of Major Concentration Subjects. Participants complete the subject module phase of their program, completing five modules in business administration plus the business practicum. 


Step #5: Research Preparation.

All participants shall complete a minimum of two research preparation modules related to the type of project they plan to undertake. Research preparation is carried out under Akamai University instruction and coordination. As the primary outcome of this activity, participants produce a brief paper that focuses upon the background and problem statement for the business project and clarify the methods by which they shall undertake their project. 


Step #6: Comprehensive Examination.

After completion of the research preparation module, participants complete the Comprehensive Review. The primary assignment for this activity is the preparation of an effective Summary of the findings from the modules with clear reflection upon the theme of the dissertation. The Review Committee shall present instructions for\ completion of the assignment in written format to the participant. Upon review of the participant’s written submission, the Review Committee shall conduct an exchange of email dialogue helping the participant perfect the summary. Participants MUST backup the paper to CD or another media, as this is a required submission. 


Step #7: Project Proposal.

Participants submit the business project proposal under the direction of the assigned member of the Akamai faculty. After making the required changes and additions, the proposal is approved. Students MUST back-up the proposal to CD or another media, as this is a required submission. 


Step #8: Business Project.

Participants shall complete the Business Project guided by the approved Business Project Proposal. Referencing of the business literature throughout the manuscript is a vital element of the manuscript, without which it shall not receive University approval. Participants MUST back-up the draft project report to CD or another media, as this is a required submission. 


Step #9: Oral Review of Project.

The Review Committee is provided a draft version of the dissertation manuscript for physical review. The Committee prepares a listing of concerns and questions to be explored with the participant during the oral review of dissertation. Participants are expected to be able to explore the dissertation in detail. The oral component of the review of dissertation should be recorded, video or audio. A written version of the Committee’s questions and concerns, as well as a brief set of notes from the oral review is provided to the universities for permanent archival record. This is a required submission. 


Step #10: Final Activities.

Following the review of business project, the Review Committee shall provide the participant with instructions for completing final corrections and modifications to the business report manuscript. Following approval of the final manuscript, the participant then arranges for binding the manuscript, and the document is submitted to both universities, with any remaining quality control materials. The student’s completion is then acknowledged by both universities.