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Faculty

Professor Ralph Hamann

Professor at the GSB

Title & Qualifications

Professor and ACDI Research Chair

PhD (University of East Anglia, UK); MSc (UCT, South Africa); BSc (Hons) (UCT, South Africa); BSc (UCT, South Africa) 

Areas of expertise

Business sustainability, social innovation, and cross-sector collaboration.

Contact

Email: ralph.hamann@gsb.uct.ac.za
Tel: (021) 406 1503


    Ralph is Professor at the GSB, and he holds a Research Chair with the UCT African Climate and Development Initiative. He teaches on business sustainability, cross-sector collaboration, and research design. From 2010 to mid-2014 Ralph was the GSB Research Director and helped design the school’s PhD programme and establish its annual conference on the Business of Social and Environmental Innovation.

    He has been an extraordinary Associate Professor at the Sustainability Institute, Stellenbosch University, a visiting researcher at the Freie Universitaet Berlin and Wits University, and an advisor to the Gordon Institute for Business Science. He has taught for, among others, the Rotterdam School of Management, Stanford, Yale, and corporate academies of Rio Tinto and Mazars.

    His research group focuses on organisational innovation and intermediation in response to complex social and environmental problems. Sectors receiving particular attention include mining, agri-food, insurance, and local government. (See publications for a better overview.) Ralph’s been blessed with great students, two of whom received UCT Postgraduate Fellowship awards, and he has received generous funding from UCT, the National Research Foundation (where he is a rated researcher), and others.

    Ralph contributes to a range of initiatives beyond the university. He is co-founder and Chair of the Southern Africa Food Lab, a multi-stakeholder initiative in support of food security and winner of the UCT Distinguished Social Responsiveness Award in 2012. He is co-founder and Academic Director of the Network for Business Sustainability (South Africa), an organisation bridging research and practice in pursuit of better-informed and more ambitious business leadership. He is also a Director at the Cape Town Partnership, known for its contributions to urban development, and of FutureMeasure, a company that provides a web-based sustainability performance management system initially developed for Woolworths.

    Ralph has advised or consulted for a range of organisations, including listed and unlisted companies, governments in South Africa and the Netherlands, and international agencies such as the World Bank and GIZ. These assignments have taken him to various countries in Africa, Asia and Europe. 

    Much of Ralph’s tertiary training was in environmental science at UCT, and he has a PhD on corporate responsibility in the South African mining sector from the University of East Anglia. He enjoys the ostensibly contemplative, measured pace of academic life but is still waiting for that to happen. Nevertheless he gets to spend good times with his family and surfboards.


    Accredited / peer-reviewed publications

    Forthcoming

    Bland, C. and Hamann, R.: ‘Obstacles to firms’ adoption of socially embedded approaches to BOP markets’, in Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., and Nwosu, E. (eds.): The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: Frontiers in Research and Practice in Africa. Berlin: Springer and Cape Town: UCT Press (in press).

    Bitzer, V. and Hamann, R.: ‘Introduction’, in Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., and Nwosu, E. (eds.): The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: Frontiers in Research and Practice in Africa. Berlin: Springer and Cape Town: UCT Press (in press).

    Hamann, R., Bonnici, F., Nwosu, E., and Holt, D.: ‘Sustainability Entrepreneurship,’ in Urban B. (ed), Entrepreneurship and Society. Pearson Education South Africa (Pty) Ltd: Cape Town.

    Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., and Nwosu, E. (eds.): The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: Frontiers in Research and Practice in Africa. Berlin: Springer and Cape Town: UCT Press (in press).

    Methner, N., Hamann, R., and Nilsson, W.: ‘The evolution of a sustainability leader: The development of strategic and boundary spanning organizational innovation capabilities in Woolworths’, in Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., and Nwosu, E. (eds.): The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: Frontiers in Research and Practice in Africa. Berlin: Springer and Cape Town: UCT Press (in press).

    Hamann, R., Smith, J., Tashman, P., and Marshall, R.S.: Why do SMEs go green? An analysis of wine firms in South Africa. Business & Society, forthcoming.

    McLachlan, M., Hamann, R., Sayers, V., Kelly, C., and Drimie, S.: ‘Fostering Innovation for Sustainable Food Security: The Southern Africa Food Lab’, in Bitzer, V., Hamann, R., Hall, M., and Nwosu, E. (eds.): The Business of Social and Environmental Innovation: Frontiers in Research and Practice in Africa. Berlin: Springer and Cape Town: UCT Press (in press).

    2014

    Hamann, R.: Patient dialogue between mining companies and communities is tougher and scarcer than imagined: A response to Hodge. Journal of Cleaner Production, ttp://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jclepro.2014.08.101.

    Hamann, R.: ‘Partnerships Are Not Forever: The limits to collaborative governance in diamond mining in Namaqualand, South Africa,’ in M. Sowman and R. Wynberg (eds.) Governance for Justice and Environmental Sustainability – Lessons across Natural Resources Sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa. Oxford: Earthscan.

    Ziervogel, G., New, M., Archer van Garderen, E., Midgley, G., Taylor, A., Hamann, R., Stuart-Hill, S., Myers, J. and Warburton, M.: Climate change impacts and adaptation in South Africa. WIREs Climate Change, forthcoming, doi: 10.1002/wcc.295.

    2013

    Boerzel, T.A. and Hamann, R. (eds.): Business Contributions to Climate Change Governance: South Africa in comparative perspective. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Boerzel, T.A. and Hamann, R.: ‘Conclusions,’ in Boerzel, T.A. and Hamann, R. (eds.): Business Contributions to Climate Change Governance: South Africa in comparative perspective. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Hamann, R.: ‘Cross-sector partnerships in areas of limited statehood,’ pp. 60-78, in M.M. Seitanidi and A. Crane (eds.), Social Partnerships and Responsible Business: A Research Handbook. London: Routledge.

    Hamann, R. and Boerzel, T.A.: ‘Business Contributions to Climate Change Governance: Introduction,’ in Boerzel, T.A. and Hamann, R. (eds.): Business Contributions to Climate Change Governance: South Africa in comparative perspective. Houndsmill: Palgrave Macmillan.

    Hamann, R. and April, K.: On the role and capabilities of collaborative intermediary organisations in urban sustainability transition. Journal of Cleaner Production, 50: 12-21.

    Moldvay, J., Hamann, R., and Fay, J.: Assessing opportunities and constraints related to different models for supplying wind turbines. Development Southern Africa, 30(3): 315-331.

    2012

    Farrell, L., Hamann, R. and Mackres, E.: A clash of cultures (and lawyers): Anglo Platinum and mine-affected communities in Limpopo Province, South Africa. Resources Policy, 37(2): 194-204.

    Hamann, R.: The Business of Development: Revisiting strategies for a sustainable future. Environment: Linking Science and Policy for Sustainable Development, 54(2), 18-29.

    2011

    Hamann, R., Giamporcaro, S., Johnston, D. and Yachkaschi, S.: The role of business and cross-sector collaboration in addressing the ‘wicked problem’ of food insecurity. Development Southern Africa, 28(4), 579-594.

    Hamann, R., Kapelus, P. and O'Keefe, E.: ‘Mining Companies and Governance in Africa’, pp. 260-276, in J. Sagebien and N. M. Lindsay (eds.), Governance Ecosystems: CSR in the Latin American Mining Sector. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

    McLachlan, M. and Hamann, R. (eds.): Food security in Southern Africa: Responses to the problem of hunger. Special edition of Development Southern Africa (28(4)).

    2010

    Hamann, R.: ‘Opening spaces for the sociology of corporate responsibility’, in L. Heinecken and H. Prozesky (eds.), Society in Focus: Change, Challenge and Resistance. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars.

    Hamann, R., Kapelus, P. and Ndlovu, N.: ‘Sustainable organisation’ in L. Louw and P. Venter (eds.) Strategic Management: Winning in the Southern African Workplace. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

    Marshall, R.S, Akoorie, M.E.M., Hamann, R. and Sinha, P.: Environmental Practices in the Wine Industry: An Empirical Application of the Theory of Reasoned Action and Stakeholder Theory in the United States and New Zealand. Journal of World Business, 45(4): 405-414.

    2009

    Hamann, R.: ‘An academic’s perspective on the role of academics in corporate responsibility’ in Idowu, S.O. and Filho, W.L. (eds.) Professionals’ Perspectives on Corporate Responsibility. Berlin: Springer.

    Hamann, R: ‘CSR in South Africa: On the role of history, the government, and local context,’ in Idowu, S.O. and Filho, W.L. (eds.) Global Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility. Berlin: Springer.

    Hamann, R.: ‘Who takes responsibility for the informal settlements? Mining companies in South Africa and the challenge of local collaboration,’ in E. Raufflet and A.J. Mills (eds.) The Dark Side: Critical Cases on the Downside of Business. Sheffield: Greenleaf.

    Hamann, R., Sinha, P., Kapfudzaruwa, F. and Schild, C.: Business and Human Rights in South Africa: An analysis of antecedents of human rights due diligence. Journal of Business Ethics, 87(s2): 453-473.

    Kapelus, P., Hamann, R. and O’Keefe, E.: Doing business with integrity in weak governance zones: Learning from the experience of AngloGold Ashanti in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. International Social Science Journal, 57(s1): 119-130.

    2008

    Eccles, N., Hamann, R. and de Jongh, D.: ‘Corporate Accountability in South Africa,’ in P. Utting (ed.) Taming Corporate Capitalism: New Perspectives on Business Regulation for Sustainable Development. New Delhi: Oxford University Press.

    Hamann, R.: ‘An overview of corporate citizenship,’ in R. Hamann et al (eds), The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa: Human Rights, Partnerships, and Alternative Business Models. Pretoria: Unisa Press / Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

    Hamann, R.: ‘Who is responsible for the squatter camps? Mining companies in South Africa and the challenge of local collaboration,’ in R. Hamann et al (eds), The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa: Human Rights, Partnerships, and Alternative Business Models. Pretoria: Unisa Press / Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

    Hamann, R. and Boulogne, F.: ‘Partnerships and collaboration,’ in R. Hamann et al (eds), The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa: Human Rights, Partnerships, and Alternative Business Models. Pretoria: Unisa Press / Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

    Hamann, R., Kambalame, D., de Cleene, S., and Ndlovu, N.: Towards collective business action and cross-sector collaboration in responsible competitiveness clusters in southern Africa. Development Southern Africa, 25(1): 95-113

    Hamann, R., Khagram, S., and Rohan, S.: South Africa’s charter approach to socio-economic transformation: Collaborative governance or hardball bargaining? Journal of Southern African Studies, 34(1): 21-37.

    Hamann, R., Woolman, S. and Sprague, C. (eds): The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa: Human Rights, Partnerships, and Alternative Business Models. Pretoria: Unisa Press / Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

    Kapelus, P., Hamann, R. and O’Keefe, E.: ‘Learning from the experience of AngloGold Ashanti in the Democratic Republic of the Congo,’ in R. Hamann et al (eds), The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa: Human Rights, Partnerships, and Alternative Business Models. Pretoria: Unisa Press / Tokyo: United Nations University Press.

    2007

    Bezuidenhout, A., Fig, D., Hamann, R. and Omar, R.: ‘A political economy of corporate social and environmental responsibility in South Africa’ in D. Fig (ed.), Staking their Claim: Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility in South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

    Hamann, R.: Is Corporate Citizenship Making a Difference? Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 28: 15-29.

    Hamann, R. and Bezuidenhout, A.: ‘Corporate social responsibility in the South African mining sector’ in D. Fig (ed.), Staking their Claim: Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility in South Africa. Pietermaritzburg: University of KwaZulu-Natal Press.

    Hamann, R., Khagram, S., and Opondo, M. (eds.): Is corporate citizenship making a difference? Special edition of the Journal of Corporate Citizenship (28).

    Rieth, L., Zimmer, M., Hamann, R., and Hanks, J.: The UN Global Compact in Sub-Sahara Africa: Decentralisation and Effectiveness. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 28: 99-112.

    2006

    Appels, C., Van Duin, L., and Hamann, R.: Institutionalising corporate citizenship: The case of Barloworld and its ‘Employee Value Creation’ process. Development Southern Africa, 23(2): 241-250.

    Hamann, R.: Corporate citizenship in Africa. Special edition of Development Southern Africa (23(2)).

    Hamann, R.: Can business make decisive contributions to development?  Towards a research agenda on corporate citizenship and beyond. Development Southern Africa, 23(2): 175-195.

    Hamann, R., van Duin, L., Appels, C., Taylor, E., Akor, E.: Corporate citizenship in South African business education. South African Journal of Business Management, 37(2): 1-9.

    Sonnenberg, D. and Hamann, R.: The JSE Socially Responsible Investment Index and the state of sustainability reporting in South Africa. Development Southern Africa, 23(2): 305-320.

    Tustin, D and Hamann, R.: South African Metropolitan Consumers’ Perceptions of Corporate Citizenship and Ethical Purchasing Behaviour. Pretoria: Bureau for Market Research.

    2005

    Hamann, R. and De Cleene, S.: Promoting South African companies’ corporate responsibility in the rest of Africa. South African Journal of International Affairs, 12(2): 127-142.

    Hamann, R., Azagbue, T., Kapelus, P., Hein, A.: Universalising corporate social responsibility?  South African challenges to the International Organization for Standardization's new social responsibility standard. Business and Society Review, 110(1): 1-19.

    Hamann, R., Sonnenberg, D., Mackenzie, A., Kapelus, P., and Hollesen, P.: Local governance as complex system: Lessons from mining in South Africa, Mali, and Zambia. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 18: 61-73.

    2004

    Acutt, N., Hamann, R., Carter, A., and Kapelus, P.: ‘Towards Evidence of the Costs and Benefits of Partnerships’ in M. Warner and R. Sullivan (eds.), Putting Partnerships to Work: Strategic Alliances for Development Between Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society. Sheffield: Greenleaf.

    Hamann, R.: Corporate social responsibility, partnerships, and institutional change: The case of mining companies in South Africa. Natural Resources Forum, 28(4): 278-290.

    Hamann, R.: ‘Mining companies’ role in sustainable development: the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of corporate social responsibility from a business perspective’ in T. Clarke (ed), Corporate Governance: Critical Perspectives on Business and Management. London: Routledge.

    Hamann, R.: ‘Kelian Equatorial Mining, Indonesia: Mine Closure’ in M. Warner and R. Sullivan (eds.), Putting Partnerships to Work: Strategic Alliances for Development Between Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society, Sheffield: Greenleaf.

    Hamann, R., Acutt, N., and Carter, A.: ‘Partnerships and Local Corporate Foundations’ in M. Warner and R. Sullivan (eds.), Putting Partnerships to Work: Strategic Alliances for Development Between Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society, Sheffield: Greenleaf.

    Hamann, R. and Kapelus, P:  Corporate social responsibility in mining in southern Africa: Fair accountability or just greenwash? Development, 47(3), 85-93.

    Tull, J., Garcia Larralde, E., Mansutti, A., Porto, S., Acutt, N., Hamann, R., and Warner M.: Placer Dome and Corporación Venezolana de Guayana (Minera Las Cristinas CA, Venezuela): Healthcare Partnership’ in M. Warner and R. Sullivan (eds.), Putting Partnerships to Work: Strategic Alliances for Development Between Government, the Private Sector and Civil Society, Sheffield: Greenleaf.

    2003

    Hamann, R.: Mining companies’ role in sustainable development: the ‘why’ and ‘how’ of corporate social responsibility from a business perspective. Development Southern Africa, 20(2), 237-254.

    Hamann, R.: South African challenges to the theory and practice of public participation in environmental assessment. South African Journal of Environmental Law and Policy, 10(1), 21-37.

    Hamann, R. and Acutt, N:  How should civil society (and the government) respond to ‘corporate social responsibility’? A critique of business motivations and the potential for partnerships. Development Southern Africa, 20(2), 255-270.

    Hamann, R., Acutt, N., and Kapelus, P.  Responsibility vs. Accountability? Interpreting the World Summit on Sustainable Development for a Synthesis Model of Corporate Citizenship. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, 9, 20-36.

    2002 and before

    Hamann, R., Patel, Z., and Pressend, M., 2002. Competing Visions and Conflicting Strategies: A Southern African Perspective on the World Summit. Environment, 44(6), 8-21.

    Hamann, R., Booth, L., and O’Riordan, T., 2000. South African environmental policy on the move. South African Geographical Journal, 82(2), 11-22.

    Hamann, R., Booth, L., Smith, N., O’Riordan, T., 2000. Resource management in South Africa. South African Geographical Journal, 82(2), 23-34.

    O’Riordan, T., Preston-Whyte, R., Hamann, R., and Manqele, M., 2000. The transition to sustainability: A South African perspective. South African Geographical Journal, 82(2), 1-10.

    Hamann, R. and Butcher, S., 1997. Towards a marine Geographic Information System for coastal research and management in Saldanha Bay. South African Journal of Geo-Information, 17(4), 105-111.