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A Dean’s Story

Dr. Katrin Muff, Dean, DBA 2008

A Dean’s story


Muff had always dreamt of doing a DBA and had always aspired to the intellectual challenge of dedicating a specific period of time to this purpose. The time to embark on the DBA materialized when she agreed to make the transition to the position of Dean at BSL. To necessitate hertransition into academia, Muff was obliged to gain a DBA title so it was the time to fulfill her dream. Muff’s thesis topic emerged naturally as a result of her 3-year period as a golf coach and management consultant.

She researched how golf coaching can be a valid option for executive training, how the mental approach used in the game of golf can help business executives and used the information that she had gathered from her pupils to measure the long-term impact on their personal effectiveness in business. “ What was ironic was that Managers already had a bad reputation for spending too much time out of the office playing golf, and here I was encouraging them to do so!”

You produce a tangible product that becomes your legacy

How do I choose a DBA topic?

Topics materialize when you reflect on your life experiences and draw upon your passions. Muff advises to select a topic that can be both quantifiable and specific enough that it can be condensed into a terminable thesis. It must also be meaningful, not only to capture the attention of potential readers but also to you, otherwise you will lose sight of the end product.

How will I benefit from doing a DBA?

Muff describes doing the DBA as a satisfying process that gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment. You produce a tangible product that becomes your legacy. A DBA can open many professional doors, gives you or your business credibility. For Muff, it enabled her to accept the position of Dean at BSL and gave her the confidence to approach peers whom she previously considered as above her station, to join her in the creation of the WBSCSB World Business School Council of Sustainable Business.

BSL’s recently re-launched DBA program is headed by Muff and she has drawn from her personal experience of the often lonely research and thesis process. The restructuring addresses the program’s previous shortcomings and now the structure acts more of a “coach”, outlining short-term deadlines and generally helping the candidate to feel less overwhelmed by the whole process. Bi-annual research symposiums bring together all candidate to share their research and learn new research methodologies.


About Dr. Katrin Muff

Dr Katrin Muff started her career as an apprentice at Schindlers’ Lifts, even before she embarked on her University path. This position took her to Australia, where she perfected her English, then moved onto the Aluminum Company of America (Alcoa). Managing to fit in work around a Bachelor Degree and a MBA degree both obtained from BSL, Muff held several positions throughout the 90’s for ALCOA in Moscow, Russia as General Manager for Building Systems International, in the United States as an Industry Analyst for Global Mergers & Acquisitions and in Switzerland as a Business Analyst for Europe.

After taking a year’s creative writing sabbatical in 1998, Muff went to the Netherlands to work as Director of Strategic Planning for international pet food company, IAMS. With her solid academic record and proven professional experience, Muff then co-founded Yupango Management in 2000, a coaching consultancy dedicated to developing start-up companies and training management teams, of which she was Managing Director until 2004.

Muff’s progression into an academic career began with institutional consulting and lecturing positions at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Universities of Basel and Zurich. Muff then embarked on her DBA studies in 2007 culminating in the publication of her thesis, “Golf, a Valid Option to Improve Personal Effectiveness in Management.”

Since her appointment as Dean at BSL, Muff has established the World Business School Council of Sustainable Business (WBSCSB). The WBSCSB which gives a voice to the business school community about the growing concerns regarding sustainable development and well-being on a global scale. In line with BSL’s vision, the WBSCSB is an inter-disciplinary sustainability think-tank and platform for action to integrate society’s sustainability issues into the educational and research programs of business schools worldwide.


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