The Allan Gray Centre for Values-Based Leadership has an active research programme and its academics  supervise international and local PhD theses, MBA dissertations, EMBA dissertations and Master’s degree dissertations.

Specialised areas of interest of key faculty include:

Kurt April

  • Personal/individual leadership: self-mastery; self-awareness; self-efficacy; authenticity; personal character; values; purpose; dimensions of personal choice-making and decisions; judgement/discernment; emotional maturity; forgiveness (self and/or others); kairos/timing; imperfection; personal courage; personal resilience.

  • Diversity & inclusion (which includes gender issues): business case for D&I; cross-culture; cultural intelligence; all the ways we differ; inclusive environments; psychological effects of exclusion; power; sexism/racism/homophobia/ageism; guilt and shame; selfish leadership; issues related to women in leadership; mid-life crises.

  • Well-being: self-care; forgiveness (self- and others); self-compassion; personal boundaries; burnout; suppression – thought suppression/emotional suppression/cognitive suppression; personal spirituality; self-talk (critical self-talk vs. sympathetic self-talk); ageing and issues related to retirement/old-age/ageing; reflective practices (including mindfulness, silence, daydreaming, wandering).

  • Identity & narrative: dialogue; mental models; self-confidence; self-esteem; defining moments; biculturality and mixed identity; paradigms/ideologies; psychosocial transitions; personal meaning orientations.

Babar Dharani

  • Personal/individual leadership: adaption; agreeableness; career development (incl. person-job fit, promotions, training, learning, skills acquisition); conscientiousness; creativity; emotional stability; extraversion; locus of control; narcissism; neuroticism; openness; personas (e.g., work-family interface); self-efficacy; self-esteem, work stress management, transference.

  • Emotions and well-being at work: absorption; activation; affect; anxiety; arousal; attitude, boredom; burnout; behaviour; conflict; contentment; dedication; engagement; eudaimonic well-being (i.e., purpose & values); flow; hedonic well-being; satisfaction; vigor, work motivation.

  • Organisational psychology: person-organisation fit (incl. personnel selection); organisational culture; organisational change; organisational resilience; social well-being at work (incl. mental models, rank, diversity & inclusion); stimulating behavioural change; team development process and effectiveness; team dynamics.

  • Future of jobs, organisations, institutions, industries and economies: 4th industrial revolution (artificial intelligence); disruptions (incl. cryptocurrencies); Millennials and Gen Z human resource management; organisational life cycle; policy response to future outlook.


  • Values-based leadership for organisations, particularly in emerging markets.

  • Leadership, organisations and the fourth industrial revolution: assessing and understanding the implications of the fourth industrial revolution for organisations of the future, with a particular emphasis on emerging markets.

  • Complexity, organisation and leadership in the 21st century: understanding and acting upon complexity – organisational and external – with a particular emphasis on emerging markets.

  • Leadership, organisational resilience and behavioural change: understanding and acting to boost organisational resilience and stimulate behavioural change in organisations.

  • Leadership, organisational crises and resilience: leading organisations through times of crisis, or through organisational crises on the basis of values, especially in emerging markets.

  • Transdisciplinarity, sustainability and organisations in the 21st century: developing and/or applying transdisciplinary frameworks and approaches towards achieving organisational sustainability.


  • Values-based leadership for organisations: All types of research relating to values-based leadership for organisations, particularly in emerging markets.

  • Women empowerment: Especially from an intra-psychological perspective, career development and leadership development challenges.
  • Organisational behaviour and human capital management: performance management; talent management and optimisation; motivation; engagement; organisational citizenship behaviour; team composition and optimisation (also virtual teams); change management; responsible recruitment and selection; self-development areas such as energy management and intentional change; diversity management; intercultural intelligence.

  • Psychology and psychometry: psychological aspects and measurement of individual behaviour, leadership and performance.

  • Emotions: Emotion management at individual, interpersonal and organisational level.


  • Governance: Design and implementation of good corporate governance protocols including policies and procedures; risk management and processes to weed out corruption and other unethical behaviour.

  • Corporate responsibility: Theoretical and practical models for the elements and requirements of corporate responsibility. Developing arguments for the scope of corporations’ responsibility and the conditions under which these are discretionary or obligatory.

  • Ethics: Models for ethical decision-making that guide right action and good outcomes informed by a range of ethical theories and considering multiple stakeholders.

  • Success: The use of poetry and metaphor in developing approaches to personal and professional success, and resilience.

  • Strategy: Approaches to value creation and strategic management with consideration for corporate responsibility and ethics.