Page 27 - Faculty of Commerce

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FACULTY OF commerce
Graduate School of
Director: Professor Walter Baets
School Profile
The UCT Graduate School of Business’ goal is to be a
leading emerging market business school that is relevant
both internationally and to its local context. Its mission
is to build and strengthen three pillars of excellence to
ensure that we produce responsible leaders with a keen
grasp of complex organisational and social challenges
and opportunities:
Academic Excellence and Thought Leadership
: The GSB
is one of South Africa’s leading business schools in terms
of research. We strive to make good use of our position at
the tip of Africa, a continent in which the role of business
in contributing to sustainable development is especially
pertinent. GSB research is published in scholarly journals,
as well as the popular media, taking a stand on issues
of public concern. There is no uniform position within the
GSB on key questions within management disciplines
or surrounding the role of business in society; rather, we
seek to cultivate a culture of debate within the school and
beyond, which also enriches students’ experience.
Societal Relevance
: The GSB has unique opportunities to
contribute to the university’s strategic goal of addressing
key developmental challenges facing South Africa and
the continent. This includes the all-important teaching
and research activities at the GSB, but it also relates to
the manner in which we seek to create mutually beneficial
relationships with diverse stakeholders. Much of our
research has important pertinence for public policy or
business strategy, and we strive to enhance such links
through, for instance, workshops and conferences for
officials or managers. Teaching and training programmes
have been developed to proactively target disadvantaged
youngsters, as in the Raymond Ackerman Academy
of Entrepreneurial Development. Students in the MBA
and other programmes are commonly linked to real-life
development initiatives as part of their learning experience,
especially in their group work.
Pedagogical Excellence
: The GSB has sought to
augment traditional lecture style teaching and case study
discussions with alternative approaches that emphasise
experiential learning and personal development. A
dedicated methodology called SYSTAL (Systems Thinking
Action Learning) has been developed and implemented
particularly in the Executive MBA, linking systems thinking
to on-the-job action learning projects. Such approaches
are also implemented in the executive education and
customized academic programmes, as well as the
MBA. The emphasis on systems thinking allows for the
holistic integration of complex social, environmental and
organizational issues in the exercises, discussions and
projects in the classroom and beyond. A key underlying
premise is the need for personal reflection and the
development of mindfulness in becoming a responsible
With specific reference to research, 2011 was again
a busy year. In November, we hosted an international
conference on “The Business of Social and Environmental
Innovation”, which attracted close to 100 scholars and
practitioners from around the world. The conference was
supported by TrustAfrica, which provided for travel and
accommodation for a number of African delegates to
attend. It was also supported by the newly established
Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship,
which will organise such an event on an annual basis. A
selection of papers presented in last year’s conference
is currently being compiled in a book, with preliminary
agreement to publish from two publishers.
Continued efforts were put into developing GSB
researchers’ capabilities and networks. Four GSB
researchers participated in the inaugural Wharton Global
Faculty Development Programme seminar in Philadelphia,
USA, in August 2011. This seminar aimed to share some
of the codified and tacit knowledge involved in top-
tier publishing with scholars from peripheral regions.
Participants in the 2011 event were from four business
schools from South Africa and two schools from the
United Arab Emirates. Another “capacity-building” event
was the Writers’ Workshop held in October 2011 at
Mont Fleur. It was facilitated by Charles Masango from
the UCT Research Office and 15 delegates from the
GSB participated. They subsequently reported significant
progress in the development of their manuscripts. Other
research related events include the fortnightly GSB lunch-
time seminars.
We continue to encourage GSB researchers to apply
for NRF ratings and we gained two new ratings in 2011
(Walter Baets and Eric Wood each received a ‘C’ rating).
This brings the number of rated researchers in the school
to six (excluding two rated visiting staff), with represents
almost 20 per cent of the school. This is a significant
increase over two years (300%). We also encourage GSB
researchers to apply for the UCT block grants and the
number of applicants has been increasing (from 5 in 2010
to 8 in early 2012).
The GSB’s 2011 publication awards went to Anton Eberhard
(Best Paper -
IPPs in Sub-Saharan Africa: Determinants
of success,
published in
Energy Policy
), Mlenga Jere
(Best Emerging Researcher’s Paper -
An application
of uses and gratifications theory to compare consumer
motivations for magazine and Internet usage among