Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership
Bottom row: Dr Tim London, Prof Walter Baets, Mrs Glenda Weber
Back row: Dr Nceku Nyathi, Prof Kurt April, Assoc. Prof Kosheek Sewchurran
The Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership was established in 2011 at the UCT Graduate School of Business with a personal endowment funding made available by the Allan & Gill Gray Foundation. The first of its kind in South Africa, the centre is dedicated to exploring new ways of doing business based on purpose, sustainability, and responsible practices that create dignity and belonging.
Most managers, politicians and members of the public today agree that the prevalence of unethical behaviour, fraud and poor service delivery in business is unacceptable.
The corporation, seen in past decades as the cornerstone of our economic system – stable, trustworthy, providing growth and employment for the advancement of society – has a tarnished reputation.
Although corporate and business development has contributed to an increase of wealth in certain parts of society, it has had a negative effect in other parts of the world. Until a decade ago, most were unaware of the scandals and brutalities that have become all too familiar to us in recent years (Enron, Libor etc.).
But despite a plethora of analyses and books examining these scandals, and corrective measures applied in certain instances, very little has changed.
The Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership sets out to ask difficult questions about the assumptions supporting our current, mostly mechanistic, business management models. Specifically, it is exploring whether profit and shareholder value should continue to be the exclusive drivers of business, or if values, purpose and meaning might be a more effective driver for the 21st Century.
Companies and societies are in great need of leaders who are able to refocus their organisations on the task of creating wealth while also adding value to society through meaningful, purposeful and inclusive business.
This means, among other things, finding ways to contribute to the development of the economy and society in which they are operating, whether rich or poor, mature or emerging. This is when business will show its real power for good.
Through a combination of research and practice, the Centre will promote a more holistic understanding of management and business, promote and sustain business model innovation that is values-based and inclusive, and develop tools to apply this in practice.