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The GIBS Knowledge and Information Services is central to the needs of the GIBS and its clients and therefore strives to provide both physical and virtual access to information and to uphold a high standard of service delivery. An integral part to the KIS service is the Information Centre which provides a comfortable and relaxed environment where staff and students alike can browse through our collection of up-to-date business books, access our electronic resources, view business DVDs or study. It is the objective of the Information Centre to function as a virtual facility, allowing staff and students to access the electronic resources available, 24 hours a day, from any remote site.

Another one of our best theses for 2016 was investment strategies for OECD and B RICS currencies

By: Blomeyer, Gregg

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/59882

Abstract:

In this paper a graphical time-series approach was used to analyse style-based investment strategies for currencies. The styles investigated included momentum, volatility and value, and particular focus was given to understanding whether differences exist in the results between the currencies of developed versus emerging countries. The results showed that differences between emerging and developed currencies were statistically significant for each of the styles studied and that the classification of countries’ currencies, as either developed or emerging, was therefore necessary in analyses. Momentum was confirmed to exist in currencies, with a reversion to the mean in the long-term; optimal returns were achieved with the least momentum (quintile five) currencies, using a 10-month look-back period (formation period), three-month look-to period and a two-month holding period. Volatility as a style started out as a particularly good trading strategy, but the results show that the style has been traded-out from around the time of the global financial crisis in 2007 to 2008. Returns from the value style have persisted, with the greatest returns achieved with those currencies most under-valued according to the Big Mac index. The relative strength of the base currency used in the analysis, in this case the U.S. dollar, was found to have a significant impact on the success of the various style-based investment strategies.

One of our 2016 best theses was on understanding the motivators of frontline employee innovation by Mohamed Bhorat

By: Bhorat, Mohamed Firoze

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/59871

Abstract:

Innovation is widely seen as one of the cornerstones of organisational success and sustainability in an environment characterised by intense competition. The frontline employee is increasingly being seen as a critical component in an organisation’s innovation effort, due to their close proximity to and frequent engagement with the customer. Yet there is a lack of insight into what motivates frontline employees to be innovative. The purpose of this research is to gain insight into the specific motivators that influence the propensity of frontline employees to innovate. This research took the form of a descriptive study using a quantitative methodology, collecting data from 264 respondents through an online survey tool and an existing measurement instrument found in literature. A non probability sampling technique was used at a particular South African bank to obtain the sample. Research questions were formulated around, intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and employee engagement factors and extended into determining which specific type of extrinsic and intrinsic motivators were effective in driving frontline employee innovation. A regression analysis revealed that intrinsic motivation was the only construct that was deemed to be statistically significant in predicting frontline employee innovation. However the “financial rewards” attribute, which corresponds to the extrinsic motivation construct, was found to be a statistically significant predictor of frontline employee innovation, albeit an inverse relationship. The findings suggest that frontline employees place more emphasis on their psychological needs being met in order for them to be innovative and that money is not necessarily a good motivator. In fact money as a motivator is seen as controlling and coercive and diminishes an employee’s sense of self determination and therefore may be detrimental to the motivation of frontline employee innovation. Academically, this study contributes to the insights on motivating frontline employees, with an emphasis on driving innovation. These insights may be used in business to inform motivational tactics that leads to a continued propensity to innovate amongst frontline employees, thus ensuring the overall success and sustainability of the organisation.

One of our best 2016 theses was on corporate innovation, risk management and internal governance by Bhima, Premal

Exploring the interplay between corporate innovation, risk management and internal governance

By: Bhima, Premal

Source: http://repository.up.ac.za/handle/2263/59860

Abstract:

Business leaders no longer question whether it is necessary to innovate but rather, which activities to pursue. While innovation is an imperative for organisations, it is inextricably linked to risk-taking and is compounded by high levels of innovation failure rates. Therefore, there is a clear requirement to understand the interplay that risk management and governance have in shaping the design of the innovation process. The aim of this research is to explore the relationship between corporate innovation management, internal governance and risk management, and to understand the dynamics between these constructs. The intention is that this contributes to the effectiveness of organisations when undertaking innovation activities by using adequate risk management and governance controls. An exploratory research method was adopted based on an inductive reasoning approach to gain insight into this interplay. Thirteen semi-structured, in-depth interviews were conducted with senior experts across six industries. The respondents had high levels of seniority, ranging from C-suite executives, managing directors and other executives, to senior managers. Thematic analysis was used to analyse the data. A conceptual integrated innovation management model was carefully formulated based on the findings to embed risk management and governance within the iterative innovation process, which is influenced by the contextual attributes. The results found that risk management and governance remain key tools to manage innovation and become more significant as the innovation evolves. This research will assist organisations in managing innovation uncertainty using adequate risk management and governance controls for improved sustainability.

This thesis on Natural capital accounting done by Avir Bhaidas was one of our best theses in 2016

Natural capital and externality accounting within large South African organisations

By: Bhaidas, Avir

Abstract:

In a world with finite natural resources, the prevalence of economic models which exclude environmental impacts signals a non-sustainable business context. A paradigm shift is required to ensure that sustainable economic growth is achieved without further environmental degradation. The research investigated the organisations’ thinking surrounding aspects of natural capital, which include their interpretation, reporting and the range of valuation methods being utilised. In addition perspectives on deemed barriers and enablers to achieve natural capital accounting in South Africa have been explored with the intent to reduce potential market failures or opportunity costs incurred by society. Through semi-structured interviews with 15 experts, nine Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) listed organisations across four industries, namely mining, banking, food retail and brewing, the study qualitatively explored the level of sophistication of natural capital accounting in South Africa and presents an enablement model for natural capital accounting. The results indicate that the influence of conventional economic paradigms, coupled with lack of knowledge flows and institutional voids has marginalised natural capital, creating an unquantified social cost. While institutional voids exist, there remains an opportunity for business and stakeholders to align and manage natural capital more pragmatically and create truly sustainable businesses.

Seven tips to clinch that promotion at work

By: Avery Blank June 09, 2017

Source: https://www.weforum.org

Are you up for a promotion, and it’s a crowded field? In situations where there are many people vying for that one opportunity, the human instinct is to see it as a competition, the survival of the fittest. It’s not. It is not about competition. Don’t try to act like bosses you have encountered who rule with an iron fist and knock others out of the way for the role. Stop focusing on getting the title, and start thinking about making an impact. Focus on being a leader who makes an impact. Here are seven ways to make a leadership impact and get your promotion:

  1. Be physically present at work. Flexible and remote work is great, but it is difficult to find a substitute as equally impactful as face time in the office. You do not have to be in the office all the time. When you are able, be in the office a few days a week or at least a few hours each day. Use video conferencing when you can. Know the familiar saying, “Out of sight, out of mind?” Don’t let that be you. Use your presence to make an impact.
  1. Listen. Ask questions, and listen. Ask your colleagues how things are going and where they need help. Gather feedback. When you establish yourself as a listener, you will become known for making inclusive, educated decisions. When your colleagues see that you listen to them, they will recognize they are a valuable piece of the equation. When you make people feel valued, they will want you to be in a position to lead.
  1. Have lunch with your colleagues. Don’t underestimate downtime. With downtime, there is more freedom and opportunity to connect with people. Don’t eat at your desk. Don’t eat by yourself in the cafeteria. Ask teammates to go to lunch with you, or pull up a chair at a table once you have gotten your lunch. This is not the time to put a wedge between you and others. Social opportunities are times to bridge the divide, connect with people on a human level and make an impact.
  1. Teach teammates. Leaders empower others with the tools to accomplish goals. Share your knowledge, whether that is in a workshop setting or teaching a colleague one-on-one at their desk. Be a giver. The knowledge you impart helps the organization succeed and everyone there to succeed.
  1. Inspire people. It is a great feeling when someone tells you, “Thanks. I’m going to try that.” Or “I’m going to look into that after speaking with you.” Great leaders have the ability to inspire. If your teammate is discouraged about the mistake he made, help him to look at the bigger picture. Encourage your colleagues to try something new. Some people feel that providing emotional support in competitive environments is risky business. Too often, people try to be a “boss” by exerting dominance and using scare tactics. Emotional support in the workplace is critical to the cohesiveness and success of the organization. Leaders have the ability to provide the support necessary to run a successful organization. Leaders light a fire in you, not under you.
  1. Give credit to others. Life and work is not a zero sum game. A successful teammate does not make you look unsuccessful, so don’t be afraid to highlight other’s achievements. Tell your manager that your partner helped the team meet the grant application deadline. Let your manager know that the intern did great background research that helped you to woo a new client. Shining the light on others is part of being a leader. Leaders want others to look good. When others look good, it makes you look good. Everyone wins.
  1. Take a smart risk. Playing it safe is not always the answer. Great companies want their employees to think innovatively. When you are up when they see an opportunity that will benefit the organization. “Bosses” are temporary. Leaders are forever. With a focus on impact, leaders transcend titles and positions. When you focus on a greater goal, others will recognize you are ready to advance.