Kosheek Sewchurran- CV


Education and Professional Development

2006 - 2008. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Information Systems, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa 

Thesis: "Towards a regional ontology of information systems project management" 

The doctoral research project proposed a regional ontology for Information Systems project management practice. The ontology was constructed from concepts from existentialism, phenomenology, sociology and biology. This was achieved by fusing the theories of Heidegger's Dasein, Bourdieus "Theory of practice" and Maturana and Varela's "Theory of living systems". The regional ontology is a consolidation of the various concepts defined by these researchers. The ontology intended to give the essence of project as-lived experience of project managers and project practitioners.

2001 - 2003: Masters in Science (Msc), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Dissertation: "The application of the unified modeling language and soft systems methodology for modeling the production process in an aluminium plant" 

The master's degree was achieved through a research project. 

The research project explored the combined use of soft systems methodology and UML-based business process modelling techniques. These two techniques were integrated from different philosophical backgrounds to provide a framework for the analysis and definition of suitable business process models. The research project claims that such integration better supports conception, design and implementation of new ideas.

1999 - 2000 - Bachelor of Science Honours (BSc Hons), University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Majoring in Computer Science 

1993 - 1998 - Bachelor of Science (BSc), University of South Africa/Universiteit van Suid-Afrika, South Africa

Majors: Software Engineering and Operations Research

1989: Matriculation Exemption, Heather Secondary School, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa 


Honours & Awards

November 2010 - National Research Foundation

"Y" rated researcher in IS complex project management and systems thinking

Category Y refers to young researchers who have held a doctorate or equivalent qualification for less than five years at the time of application, and who are recognized as having the potential to establish themselves as researchers within a five-year period after evaluation, based on their performance and productivity as researchers during their doctoral studies and/or early post-doctoral careers.

Submitted application for re-grading in February 2016

Experience and Practice
Academic experience

Jan 2013 to date: Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Program Director of Executive MBA (EMBA)

Responsible for modularizing and redesigning the Executive MBA curriculum to change the ontological assumptions from closed and natural systems, to open and human systems. 

Responsible for curating, designing and leading program conversations, interventions and outcomes to create executives relevant for the societal context we experience. 

I lead conversations on systems being, authentic leadership and being-in-everydayness, performance and artistry.  

Interaction with faculty members, their research, contemporary media and on-going student experiences to maximize the collective outcomes of learning, innovation, management competence, entrepreneurial will-to-venture and thought leadership capacity.

July 2012 to date: Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Associate Professor - Innovation Management and Information Systems 

Responsible for teaching organizing practices, systems thinking, integrative thinking, business model innovation and design thinking (as opposed to 'designerly thinking')

Focus is on organizing practices and research that acknowledge the realities of a complexity paradigm, and seek a new paradigm of responsible business, a caring effective state and developing benevolent leaders and organizing practices to institute such a world 

In my teaching and research I draw on the ideas and contributions of Martin Heidegger, Humberto Maturana, Francisco Varela, Peter Checkland, Peter Senge, Kathia Laszlo, Stafford Beer, Geoffrey Vickers, Fritjof Capra, Ken Wilber, Ludwig von Bertalanfly, Walter Baets, Charles Saunders Pierce, Alfred North Whitehead, Tim Ingold, Merlou-Ponty, Fernando Flores, Bruno Latour, Howard Richards, Roger Martin, Charles Spinoza, Dewald Roode, Ojelanki Ngwenyama, Ngugi Wa Thiongo, Catherine Odara Hoppers, and Evelin Lindner 

July 2015 to date: Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Advisory Board Member - MTN Solution Space

Review the strategy and program of actions bi-annually.  Review progress on programs of action; budget and evaluate impact.  Assist in integrating the activities of the center and business school strategy.

May 2016 to date: Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Advisory Board Member - Bertha Center for Social Innovation

Review the strategy and program of actions bi-annually.  Review progress on programs of action; budget and evaluate impact.  Assist in integrating the activities of the center and business school strategy.

April 2012 - December 2014: Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Program Director: MPhil in Inclusive Innovation

Co-convened of a new MPhil program in Inclusive Innovation with Dr Francois Bonnici. 

Contributed to the first iteration of the development of the MPhil in Inclusive Innovation. The programme was designed as a collaborative student-led effort combined with nurture from other students on the programme and academics involved, in order to achieve (a) A practical outcome or artifact: prototype, framework, business model etc; (b) A research thesis that lights up the effort of arriving at artifact and the subsequent implications to knowledge; and (c) An embodied experience of business model innovation (entrepreneuring).

May 2011 - July 2011 - Politechnico Di Milano Business School (MIP), Milan, Italy

Visiting Professor in Project Management

Delivered seminars focused on helping students see the dynamic complexity of project management and how to engage with the "being" and "becoming" nature of projects

Undertook research with masters students enrolled for a multi-degree program - Masters in Strategic Project Management offered by the universities of Umea, Hariott Watt and Polytechnico di Milano. 

May 2011 - June 2012: University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Head of Department - Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce

Managed team of Academics, administrators and research scholars. 

Formulated budgets. 

Crafted Strategy Goals and Objectives.

Developed a new Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Analysis and Systems Analysis

October 2010 - August 2012: University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Associate Professor, Information Systems, Faculty of Commerce

Course-coordinator for the Post-graduate programs in Business and Systems Analysis and IS Management and Project Management. 

Supervised post-graduate research at Honours, Masters and PhD levels.

Lectured in Project Management, Business Analysis and Contemporary IS Management with an emphasis on reflexivity, sense-making, systems thinking and intellectual honesty. 

January 2007 - December 2012: Center for IT and National Development in Africa (CITANDA), University of Cape Town

Research Associate

Responsible for the educational research track within the research unit. 

Led an initiative to set-up a tele-center in the community of Vrygrond to pursue human development projects. 

Led an initiative to set-up a Software Productivity Research Centre within CITANDA.

August 2005 - October 2010: University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Senior Lecturer

Lectured IS Management, Project Management, Systems analysis and Design, Strategic IS/IT Management and Systems Thinking.

Non-Academic experience (Experience in Industry and Business) 

November 2012 to date - Managing in Complexity, Cape Town, South Africa


Management and applied research consultant, enabling complex projects and transformational programs in public and private enterprises.

1994 - 2005 - Hulett Aluminium, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Systems Engineer and Program Manager

Worked up to role of systems engineer in various technical, management and leadership roles on large industrial expansion and automation projects. 

Responsible for Information Systems project implementations and setting up systems to estimate, plan and optimise plant capacity. 

Spent almost ten years working as a member of a multi-disciplined team collaborating toward the expansion and installation of manufacturing facilities.  Roles included - software engineer, enterprise architect, business analyst, project manager, programme manager and planning specialist. 

At the time of leaving in 2005, my prime responsibility was program manager responsible for designing, building, implementing and commissioning a home-grown enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with a team of approximately 75 professionals. At that point of leaving the project was in the final stages of commissioning and had been running for approximately 3 years.

1990 - 1993 - Hulett Aluminium, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa

Production Control Clerk - Production Planner 

I joined Hulett Aluminium directly from school, starting on the shop floor, and worked my way up from production control clerk to production planner 

Academic contribution and service 
Programmes and initiatives with industry, government and non-profit sector

I have focused on making a contribution to designing, organizing and leading multi-stakeholder projects with a context-sensitive, systems approach. 

October 2012 - December 2014. Department of Trade & Industry (dti) and Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering

Project Leader (Western Cape)  

Project: "Organising Practices for "high" innovation contexts"

This project was constituted as a contrarian approach to a government (dti) funded project on Software Process Improvement Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). 

Aim was to re-invent the style of organizing practices in IT for-the-sake-of creating more customer value, fostering more enjoyable and stimulating work practices, fostering interactive processes that lead to more innovative, reliable, resilient and sustainable systems.

Supervised a team of 7 Masters students who collectively wrote several reports to provide input to government policy-making process. The end outcome was that the government abandoned its ill-conceived CMMI programme. 

October 2010 - November 2013, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

'Servant leader', co-developer and teacher of new Post-Graduate Diploma in Business Analysis and Systems Analysis, innovated and designed in partnership with Western Cape Government, Civil Society (CITi - CapaCITi programme) and Industry 

Responsible for curriculum design, education and research related to educating the "Innovation Professional". 

The programme was underpinned by a coherent practice of pedagogy proposed by Elsje Scott, one of my PhD students. 

We developed the programme to go beyond imparting best practice to graduates; instead the focus is on sense-making, systems-thinking, intellectual honesty and being context driven, in order to counteract the Methodism and Instrumentality that certification programmes and best-practice regimes tend to emphasize. 

The program is targeted at upskilling unemployed graduates and has been successfully offering a PG Dip together with an industry internship since 2011. 

Involvement in Academic Networks 

2013 to date - Innovation for Sustainability Network - Sponsored by the Academy of Business 

Senior Researcher contributing to the network

Attend quarterly meetings for different network events around the world 

Ongoing supervision of early-stage researchers 


Involvement on Publication Advisory Boards

January 2015 to date, International Journal of Complexity in Leadership and Management (IJCLM) 

Editorial board member

IJCLM subscribes to a broad understanding of complexity in leadership, governance, management and organisational dynamics. Its explores how various concepts such as complexity, nonlinearity, consciousness, intrinsic intelligence, collective intelligence, connectivity, autopoiesis, adaptation, diversity, self-organisation, emergence, dissipation, edge of chaos, butterfly effect and sustainability may help generate new effective leadership. 

July 2013 to date, Human Dignity and Humiliation Studies (Journal) 

Global Advisory Board Member


We are a global transdisciplinary network and fellowship of concerned academics and practitioners. We wish to stimulate systemic change, globally and locally, to open space for dignity and mutual respect and esteem to take root and grow, thus ending humiliating practices and breaking cycles of humiliation throughout the world.

February 2013 to date, "TAPROOT Series", a publication series of the DST/NRF SARCHI Chair in Development Education

Editorial Board Member

The Series is a vehicle through which transformative ideas and methods from leading thinkers across the disciplinary spectrum, incubated within the Chair, are published. The metaphor of the "Taproot" suggests a unity that draws nourishment from diversity, a living connection between the algebraic geometry of modernity and the non-modern rhizomes that are the conditions of its possibilities. 

January 2010 to date - International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

Member of the international editorial advisory board

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business is a forum for debate and reflection that aims to provide the  broader community of managers of projects with cutting-edge research and practice in the management of projects across as wide a basis as possible

The Journal provides a web-bsed discussion point as an anchor point for the many postgraduate programs where project management, which allows students to actively engage with other practitioners and academics linked to the journal 

December 2009 to date, International Journal of Information Technologies and Systems Approach (IJITSA)

Member of the international editorial review board

IJITSA is a refereed, international journal on applied and theoretical research, aimed at providing coverage of the foundations, challenges, opportunities, problems, trends, and solutions encountered by both scholars and practitioners in the field of information systems when applying systems approach. It emphasizes the systemic worldview of managerial, organizational and engineering interaction facets provided by modern complex information systems and information technologies. 


Conference chairs 

January 2014 - December 2014, Business of Social and Environmental Innovation 2014 Conference

Conference Chair

Held at Graduate School of Business, University of Cape Town, from 23-24 October 2014 

Conference Theme: "Design Thinking to balance stability and change in organizational innovation" 

April 2011 - October 2011, SAICSIT Annual Research Conference 2011

Co-Program Chairperson with Prof Hussein Suleman and Prof Irwin Brown 

Conference Theme: "Knowledge, Innovation and Leadership in a Diverse, Multidisciplinary Environment"

January 2010 - October 2010, International Development Informatics Association

Program Chairperson for the 3rd annual conference held at the University of Cape Town

August 2009 - April 2010, International Conference on Information Management and Evaluation

Conference Chairperson


Conference Addresses

October 2011: Opening Address at the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) annual conference, Cape Town 

My proposition at this address was that we need a desirable level of tension between best-practices, professions and research. This assertion was based on observations and interactions in my own department and university, in trying to resolve unemployment and competitiveness issues in the IS/IT industry in the Western Cape and as a "Y" rated researcher studying complex project management and the application of systems thinking. 

August 2012: Address at the African SAP User Group (AFSUG): Education SIG 

Topic: "The subtlety that needs engaging: Business Analyst or Innovation Professional?" 

EDP Business Leadership Platform

Is the EDP an effective way to organize socio-economic development?


Discussion moderation and talks

18 May 2015, Association of African Business Schools - Connect Annual Conference 2015

Held at Gordon Institute of Business Science, Johannesburg, South Africa

Speaker on Business Innovation panel 

Topic: "Preparing students for "Being" & "Doing" Management and Leadership to realise 'Africa, the success story of the 21st century'" 

October 2013: Knowledge Economy Network (2013) 

Discussion Moderator - Inclusive Innovation

Theme: Promoting Innovation through Education and Research.

The discussion started with the following agenda points:

- How to organize for, and stimulate the pursuit of Inclusive Innovation?

- How do we educate for the performance required in Inclusive Innovation?

March 2013, African Innovation Foundation - Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA)

Validator on the Judging Panel 

IPA is a joint initiative of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and the African Innovation Foundation (AIF) that honours and encourages innovative achievements that contribute toward developing new products, increasing efficiency or saving cost in Africa. 


Doctoral Supervision 

Doctoral theses completed

Doctoral theses completed under my supervision:           Five (5) 

1. PhD 2016, Mr Tibu Ngonzi, "Theorizing ICT Based Social Innovation on Social Development in the Context of Developing Countries in Africa" (University of Cape Town) 

2. PhD 2015, Mr Nimrod Noruwana, "Factors relating to and impacting eGovernment readiness in South Africa: A case of the Western Cape Government (University of Cape Town) 

3. PhD 2014, Mr Singh, Alveen, "Program management practices in context of Scrum: A case study of two South African software development SMMEs" (Durban University of Technology)

4. PhD 2013, Ms Maureen Tanner, "Study of break-downs in Scrum process in Global Software Development" (University of Cape Town) 

5. PhD 2012, Ms Elsje Scott, "Towards coherent practice in capstone courses for IS majors" (University of Cape Town) 


Ongoing Doctoral Theses

Doctoral Theses currently under my supervision:            Ten (10) 

1. Ms Puleng Makhoalibe (PhD, GSB UCT) 

2. Ms Nonhlanhla Mkhize (PhD, GSB UCT)

3. Ms Erna Oldenboom (PhD, GSB UCT)

4. Ms Sarah Babb (PhD, GSB UCT)    

5. Mr Felix Phillipp (PhD, GSB UCT)

6. Mr Derek Sprackett (PhD, GSB UCT)/

7. Mr Daniel Schorger (PhD, GSB UCT) 

8. Mr Francois Steyn (PhD, GSB UCT) 

9. Mr Pearson Sibanda (PhD, GSB UCT) 

10. Mr Cory Botha (PhD, GSB UCT) 


Masters Supervision 

Masters dissertations completed

Masters dissertations completed under my supervision:              Nine (9) 

1. MPhil (Management Practice) 2015, Mr Ayanda Ntombela, "The as-lived experience of project managing - A Heideggerian Phenomenological Approach" (GSB, University of Cape Town) 

2. MPhil (Management Practice) 2015, Mr Keegan Steyn, "The Emergence of Organisational Ventriloquism within the Project Management Domain: An abductive journey to discovering the effects of ritualized mime" (GSB, University of Cape Town) 

3. MPhil (Management Practice) 2015, Mr Mehul Sangham, "Exploring The Lived-Experience of Business Model Innovation" (GSB, University of Cape Town) 

4. MPhil (Management Practice) 2015, Mr Sharief Edwards, "Analysis and Design as Bricolage"

5. MPhil (Management Practice) 2014, Ms Jennifer McDonogh, "Designing purposeful action among divergent stakeholders: A 'being-doing' Approach" (GSB, University of Cape Town, co-supervised with A/Prof Elsje Scott) 

6. MPhil (Management Practice) 2014, Mr Sipamandhla Masuku, "Towards an inclusive reconceptualization of IT governance: espoused theory and theories-in-use" 

7.  Masters (Information Systems) 2013, Mr Gwamaka Mwalemba, "A systemic landscaping of the software industry in an emerging economy : A case study in the Western Cape of South Africa"

8. Masters (Information Systems) 2009, Ms Flora Mpazanje, "Towards understanding as-lived experiences in information systems projects: An actor-network theory perspective" (University of Cape Town) 

9. Masters (Information Systems) 2008, Ms Maureen Tanner, "Culture and communication in global software development" (University of Cape Town)




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