Engaged inquiry in a complex world
Research is central to the GSB’s mission and values, for its own sake and as an important influence on teaching, learning and community service. Its importance also derives from the strong UCT research culture, in which the GSB is immersed, and the School’s geographic location in an important emerging economy.
GSB research broadly focuses on emerging market business. Our context places the GSB in one of the most interesting learning laboratories in the world, in a society and economy characterised by significant change and complexity. This presents GSB researchers with a special opportunity to conduct research that is of interest to leading scholarly journals while simultaneously addressing the various social, economic and environmental challenges facing emerging market societies. The GSB’s overarching research mission is thus “engaged inquiry in a complex world.”
With our focus on “engaged inquiry” we build on the work of Andrew van de Ven, Tima Bansal and others, who have been arguing for the need to design and implement research so that it impacts on both theory and practice. We feel that this orientation is particularly fitting to our context, given the many pressing organisational and social challenges facing our southern African societies, as well as the important opportunities arising from this context for contributing to global conversations on organisational theory.
Within this broad orientation, GSB research focuses on three thematic clusters: Social innovation and sustainability; Values-based leadership; and Emerging markets finance, investment and trade. These are inter-connected as illustrated below, and they are described in more detail in the Research Themes section.