The Steinhoff Saga Management review - University of Stellenbosch Business School

July – December 2019

Letter from the editor: Mias de Klerk

The business of business schools – being relevant and making a difference

Welcome to the second edition of USB Management Review for 2020. As always, this publication provides the opportunity to showcase our research by making research normally published in scientific journals or presented at conferences available in practical format to a much wider audience.

It has become a cliché to talk about the crazy, if not disturbing year that 2020 was – the year that never was. 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 it had happened. These unplanned happenings have put much pressure on businesses and business leaders around the world. Leadership and business management is de facto the business of business schools. As such, all the Covid-19 related pressures felt by businesses and business leaders have an impact on business schools and even challenged the reason for the existence of business schools. Many people have asked questions about the relevance of traditional business schools in this rapidly changing environment and their ability to prepare leaders adequately. Business schools are supposed to be on the forefront to prepare business leaders for what is to come and to lead their organisations successfully during turbulent times. Business schools have an obligation to remain relevant to what is happening in society, now and in future, and to prepare business leaders effectively for whatever might be faced.

It is for these reasons that the theme of this edition of USB MR is ‘The business of business schools – being relevant and making a difference’. In the Features section, there are various contributions on the business of business schools and being relevant. Harry-Nana and Bosch highlight how adopting a more a systematic reflective learning approach in leadership development programmes would help to infuse the business sector with astute leaders. Mwagiru calls for a stronger focus on policy support, mentorship, peer networking and flexible work environments to help attain much-needed gender parity in business leadership. Robertson, Le Sueur and Terblanche demonstrate how reflective learning practices can strengthen management in today’s complex business environment, which calls for smart thinkers and problem solvers. In the Insights section, Malan explores how to proactively prevent fraud by reflecting on the Steinhoff scandal.  Ganson and M’cleod investigate important aspects of private sector development in fragile states and economies. Gouws and Motala delve into service quality in the highly competitive alcoholic beverage industry, and Bosch and Barit explicate how the gender pay gap is still a stumbling block in achieving gender equality. Butler and Buys provide insight into the potential impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution on job security.

I trust that you will find the articles in this edition insightful and useful. We would also appreciate your feedback – our e-address is [email protected]. And please visit the USB website again in six months’ time for the next edition of USB Management Review to obtain more insight, food for thought and useful praxes.

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

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