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DBA Thesis check ins – Spring 2021

Two DBA candidates review their research for the Geneva Business School Research community

To launch into 2021 with some hot topics, two Doctoral candidates, Victoriano Travieso (Spain) and Dragan Zeljic (Russia) presented their Doctor of Business Administration (DBA) theses progress at the midpoint of their program. In early February both presented their research to the Geneva Business School research community, led by Dr. Oliver Elliot, the Head of Research at Geneva Business School.
Victoriano’s thesis topic:

Challenges faced by Barcelona technological startups before and after GDPR implementation

Victoriano is a practicing English and Spanish solicitor qualified by the Law Society of England & Wales and the Barcelona Bar Association and dedicates his time to advising English speaking private clients, professionals, and companies with interests in any part of Spain. He is a faculty member in Barcelona, teaching a Bachelor of International Management and Master of Business Administration.


The study aims to explore whether General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) implementation has helped Barcelona technological startups solve the challenges they had before the regulation came into force.

A quantitative analysis will be employed to evaluate the views of 306 people who are responsible or partly responsible for data protection regulations in technological startups such as managers, directors, members of the board of directors, founder employees, data protection officers, chief protection officers, and IT department, among others. The data will be collected through the survey with a five-point Likert scale. Descriptive statistics, paired sample t-test, correlation, multivariate analysis, and error test will be used to analyze data.

It is expected to find the challenges that Barcelona technological startups have with GDPR implementation, identify the correlation between several variables, identify new challenges that previous studies have not reviewed and provide recommendations to solve them.

The lack of prior research on GDPR implementation in Barcelona technological startups creates a need for further development in this area of study. The sample limited to people responsible or partly responsible for data protection regulations in one region precludes generalising the findings beyond the study setting.

The study contributes to the ongoing debate and scarce literature on the GDPR implementation by technological startups and proposes an original framework for linking GDPR implementation, factors, and practice.

Victoriano reviewed literature from Portugal and Germany to compare European standards for GDPR implementation and identify limitations in the existing literature. His research questions were broken down to ask:

  • What are the key challenges of GDPR implementation on Barcelona tech startups?
  • What are the key challenges of GDPR implementation on Barcelona tech startups before coming into force?
  • What are the key challenges of GDPR implementation on Barcelona tech startups after coming into force?
  • What is the influence of GDPR implementation on Barcelona tech startups after coming into force?

Victoriano will complete his research in 2021.

Dragan is a DBA student from Moscow and a practicing attorney in Geneva. Dragan is also an alumnus with an MBA from Geneva Business School, his area of expertise is corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on cross-border transactions, debt enforcement, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), company foundations, liquidations, corporate restructurings, joint ventures, white-collar crime, asset tracing and recovery matters with particular focus on CIS and Southeast Europe. In addition to Swiss law litigation, he also represents clients in international arbitration proceedings.
His DBA research theme:

Legal and Compliance Issues as Impediments to Crypto and Ico Business

Dragan’s research findings have important implications for policymakers. He identified that national and international regulations play central roles in overall ICO activity. In addition to that, it is also important to understand the nature and purpose of ICOs in order to successfully approach the problem of their legal classification, which is a ubiquitous problem in the world.

Getting regulation right is crucial for the success of ICOs and the business they support. Countries that are faster and more successful in the implementation of ICO regulation will attract more investors. It is therefore necessary to clarify the legal situation of ICOs in order to provide security and certainty for all parties involved and, more importantly, better assess and manage the related costs from y business perspective.

Dragan will complete his DBA in 2022.

If you are interested in learning more about either of these research projects please reach out to the DBA candidates:

Contact Victoriano

Contact Dragan

The Doctor of Business Administration is a full-time online program designed to create a flexible yet supportive environment for our students to reach their full potential and research goals. Our doctorate degrees allow our students the freedom to study from anywhere in the world while completing their theses means that they can continue to advance their careers and have a full family life if they desire.