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Case study competition on corporate governance in Africa relieves dearth in local cases

Project Case Study Winner

USB's Daniel Malan (right) hands prize money to Ralph Hammann, a member of the winning case-writing team.

The dearth of African case studies on corporate governance was filled with the international listing of a winning case in a locally sponsored case study competition.

The Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa, based at the University of Stellenbosch Business School (USB), held a case study competition during 2009 with the aim of inviting much needed case studies on corporate governance from the African continent.

The competition, sponsored by the London-based Hermes Equity Ownership Services (EOS), attracted about 100 proposals from various African countries. Eleven proposals were shortlisted and ten full cases were developed. These cases were submitted to an international panel of judges consisting of Stephen Davies from Yale, Prof Ollie Williams from Notre Dame University in America, and Prof Jean-Louis Schaan from the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada.

The winning case, which focused on Anglo Platinum, was submitted by Ralph Hammann, Leanne Farrell and Eric Mackres from the University of Cape Town, who received R40 000 in prize money. Each of the other nine winners received R10 000.

The title of the winning case study was A clash of cultures (and lawyers): A case study of Anglo Platinum and its Mogalakwena mine in Limpopo, South Africa. This case study along with the other case studies can be downloaded free of charge on the Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa's website, on www.governance.usb.ac.za/projects_casestudy.

What sets this competition apart from other international case study competitions is the fact that, in this instance, companies do not pay for the cases to be written. The case study is sponsored by the competition, thus increasing the objectivity of the researchers. "If we did not receive the initial research grant, it would not have been possible for our researchers to travel to do on-site research," said Hammann. His case is now permanently listed on the website of the Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, a global NGO which tracks the environmental and social impacts of companies worldwide.

According to Daniel Malan, director of the Centre, the aim of the competition was to attract African case studies as told by Africans for use in the teaching of corporate governance. Owing to the current state of the economy, the competition will not be repeated this year.

However, the sponsorship by Hermes allowed for the further transfer of much needed case writing development skills through a three-day seminar presented by Prof Jean-Luis Schaan, from the Richard Ivey School of Business in Canada.

All cases are available for free download.

For more information, contact daniel.malan@usb.ac.za

Daniel Malan: Director of the Centre


Important note: All cases can be downloaded free of charge, on condition that they are used for educational purposes and that the copyright of the Centre for Corporate Governance in Africa is acknowledged.


Download case studies here