The Steinhoff Saga Management review - University of Stellenbosch Business School

July – December 2019

Letter from the editor: Mias de Klerk

Explore ways in which the world can change

Welcome to this edition of USB Management Review. As always, the publication provides the opportunity to showcase our research by making the research that is normally published in scientific journals or presented at scientific conferences available in practical format to a much bigger audience of practitioners.

The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic is currently dominating what is happening in the world. Among other impacts, international travel (and even local travel in place) has almost been brought to a standstill. Most countries are subject to different kinds of lockdown, and the sports, restaurant and entertainment industries have been shattered. Many people are working from home permanently while others have lost their jobs and their single source of income. As result, the poverty gap is increasing …

In this uniquely strange and unprecedented times, there is a strong expectation that the influence of Covid-19 is likely to change the world forever. As such, many scholars and leaders are talking about ‘a new normal’. It is for this reason that the theme of this edition of USB MR is the new normal.

In the Reports section, there are various contributions on the impact of Covid-19 on business. In line with the trend to work from home, Conradie and De Klerk show that working from home tends to lead not only to longer working hours, but also to being more engaged and performing better. Butler makes an important contribution by exploring future skills that will be required in the increasingly important digital era, which were boosted into reality with the advent of Covid-19. Carstens, Ungerer and Human focus on the human side of digital platforms, exploring the role of trust, familiarity and risk.

But the new normal is not only about Covid-19 directly; various other aspects also require attention and skills. The rise of populism and xenophobia was augmented by Covid-19, which also had devastating economic effects. For this reason, it is fitting that Habberton discusses responsible investment in a world where selfish capitalism is getting outdated, and Ganson investigates the role of the private sector in peaceful development in Africa.

Other articles explore a whole range of interesting topics. These include the coaching of millennials, the suggestion that it is time for stokvels to go online, the use of apps to counter procrastination, and the role of China in artificial intelligence.

Lastly, a heartfelt thank you to all the authors for their respective contributions, as well as to the editorial team of USB Management Review for their assistance to translate hard-core ‘academic research speak’ into more accessible language for much wider consumption.

I trust that you will find the articles in this edition insightful and useful. Please communicate with us by sending your feedback to managementreview@usb.ac.za.

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