Our Mission, Vision and Values
With its roots in Africa, the GSB’s mission is to be a leading emerging market business school that is relevant, excellent and grounded in values.
School’s strength rests on four pillars of excellence:
1. Academic Excellence
While most business schools develop academic strength via a few strong disciplinary faculty groups (finance, marketing, strategy etc.), the GSB is developing its academic excellence in the trans-disciplinary theme of Emerging Market Business. Faculty and students conduct research in the following three thematic clusters: Social innovation and sustainability; Values-based leadership; and Emerging markets finance, investment and trade.
2. Societal Relevance
A business school cannot exist outside its economic and social environment and has to own its societal responsibility. The GSB is committed to transformation and equality in all its aspects and supports UCT’s strategic goal to address key development challenges facing South Africa. At the GSB this is achieved specifically through:
- The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which aims to support transformation and economic development by advancing social innovation, with a focus on social entrepreneurship.
- The Allan Gray Centre for Values-based Leadership, which seeks to explore new ways of doing business based on purpose and sustainability;
- Policy and advocacy through the work around electricity regulation carried out via the Management Programme in Infrastructure, Reform and Regulation (MIR);
- Strategic partnerships such as the Raymond Ackerman Academy of Entrepreneurial Development that seeks to develop entrepreneurial mind-sets among disadvantaged South African youth;
- Student and staff outreach activities that range from fundraising to building homes for Habitat for Humanity.
Innovations in the areas of transformative learning and personal development are integrated into the curricula of many of our programmes and courses. These learning processes and holistic management approaches are globally recognised as being at the vanguard of management education.
4. Thought Leadership
The GSB provides thought leadership, not only in South Africa, but also on the wider African continent through its research and by fostering a robust culture of debate through regular speaker programmes.
The UCT GSB is pioneering a new model of a business school based on the paradigm of the emerging market. We define emerging as regions or economies that experience high uncertainty, high complexity and often, excessive inequality. As much as this is true for what are classically called the emerging economies (such as Brazil, India, Turkey, Indonesia or Vietnam to name just a few), uncertainty, complexity and inequality are equally issues for the company in turbulent economic times. Emerging market thinking is therefore not solely a geographical construct. The whole world is operating within times of great uncertainty and complexity and all business leaders and managers need to be able to adapt and learn to operate successfully within such challenging times and volatile environments.
The UCT GSB is one of the few business schools around the world that has a clear set of values, which were developed in consultation with the GSB community and encapsulate the School’s aspirations and commitments to its stakeholders.
The following six values signify what the School stands for:
1. We are passionate about learning.
Our core purpose is to create opportunities for our students, course delegates and employees to develop and grow through, all while acknowledging the need to address the inheritance of inequality in our society.
2. We encourage a spirit of innovation and inquiry.
We provide opportunities to create and innovate, committing to the belief that different ideas foster positive change and progress.
3. We strive to enable personal growth & development.
We share ideas, learn from one another, work to build team and personal relationships, resolve conflict, and encourage the expression of opinion in the workplace.
4. We take pride in our work.
Our employees are encouraged to express and exercise their individual talents, thereby taking partial responsibility for helping the GSB achieve its vision and goals.
5. We believe in a supportive community.
We recognise the participation and contribution of our stakeholders in sharing the GSB vision and reaching our goals.
6. We accept responsibility to act ethically with professional integrity.
We live by equality and firmly believe in treating each person fairly, and with respect.