The Steinhoff Saga Management review - University of Stellenbosch Business School

July – December 2019

Letter from the editor: Mias de Klerk

Looking at inclusivity from different angles

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

 

Who would have thought that a second year of Covid-19 was waiting us, plagued with lockdowns and its associated problems, in our personal and business worlds? I want to repeat what I said in the previous edition of USB MR: “Almost nothing that was planned happened as planned, whereas almost everything that happened during the year was not planned, at least not in the way that it happened.” These unplanned happenings have put much pressure on businesses and those in power around the world, as well as on our employees as vulnerable and fragile human beings. The available research on the impact of exclusively working from home over extensive periods of time indicates that although this way of working has its advantages, it also comes with many drawbacks. One of the biggest disadvantages is the lack of interaction and collaboration. The chats in the passage, the conversations in the tearoom, and the quick pop in at a colleague’s office do not exist in the work-from-home environment. People are often reduced to names on a Zoom screen. Yes, we have all experienced how our colleagues switch off their cameras …

 

The bottom line is this: We get lonely. Add to this loneliness the lack of inclusivity that certain groups have already experienced in our organisations, partly due to the problematic past of South Africa, then we are facing a devastating problem. It is for these reasons that the theme of this edition of USB MR is inclusivity. In the Features section, various contributions provide insight on the promotion of inclusivity. Booysen and Gill focus on how leaders can cultivate inclusivity in their organisations to ensure higher engagement and unlock the optimal potential of every person. Bosch explores how gender inequality robs many women of the opportunity to get ahead professionally and deprives organisations of a rich source of talent. Bam and Ronnie investigate the lack of inclusivity of those with disabilities – a group of people that we so often overlook in our obsession with racial inclusivity. Ganson, He and Henisz focus on the inclusivity of all stakeholders in building constructive relationships in conflict-affected areas. In the Insights section, several articles provide insight on important business and leadership matters for the times in which we live.

 

I trust that you will find the articles in this edition useful. If you have feedback, please drop us a line at [email protected]. And please keep visiting USB’s website for more insight, food for thought and useful praxes.

 

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 hardcore ‘academic research speak’ into more accessible language for much wider consumption.

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