Theme: Management in Southern Africa: Change, Challenge and Opportunity
Message from the Conference Chair
Associate Professor Gert Human
School of Management Studies
University of Cape Town
Welcome to SAIMS2015. The School of Management Studies in the Faculty of Commerce at the University of Cape Town is indeed honoured to host the 27th annual conference of the Southern African Institute of Management Scientists (SAIMS).
Change is a constant feature of business life. The upshot is that change is also inseparable from challenge and opportunity. In responding to these changes, businesses are increasingly challenged to consider the interaction between the social and competitive contexts in which they operate. This notion is complex, variance prone, mostly non-linear, vague, yet profound and decidedly not easily comprehended. Therefore, the SAIMS 2015 conference theme, Management in Southern Africa: Change, Challenge and Opportunity, represents a renewed effort to understand the phenomenon we call “Management”. Practitioners cannot be expected to surmount this challenge alone. Rather, scholars from all disciplines, but management scholars in particular, should assist in unravelling its deepest secrets.
As scientists and educators, it is our responsibility to strive for a better understanding. Key to this knowledge generation process is sharing. This is exactly what we do at conferences and SAIMS has a proud history of providing South African Management Scientists with a platform to share research and teaching insights. Established in 1988, SAIMS seeks to promote the interests of Management Scientists in Southern Africa and provides a forum to discuss management education and research. The conference provides academics, students and practitioners the opportunity to engage with issues pertinent to business management. Conference topics are diverse and originate from various academic disciplines.
SAIMS is dependent on the generous contributions of the business community. Without external support this conference would not be possible. South African businesses across various industries, irrespective of their size, remain key stakeholders in SAIMS. Our sponsors view their contribution to SAIMS as an investment in the promotion of management research and education; to yield benefits for future generations. Therefore our sponsors are acutely aware of the vital importance of management research and education. Sponsoring SAIMS impacts far beyond just the conference and our members we are deeply appreciative of these contributions. SAIMS is proud to be associated with these firms, and we thank them for their commitment to our cause and the future of our country.
The 2015 conference will continue the SAIMS tradition to seek continuous improvement and every year the bar is set a little higher. It is therefore fitting that one of the mother city’s oldest institutions, UCT, are given the opportunity to contribute to the SAIMS heritage. The 2015 SAIMS conference is packed with many fantastic events. Among these are two keynote addresses and a research workshop on theory development - a strategic imperative for our continent. We also deviate a little from the past by offering a cocktail event on the first evening (30 August) while we register. Then on the evening of 31August we have a gala dinner in true Cape Town style – this promise to be “entertaining”. But, in essence SAIMS is about the collegiality, the sharing, the debate, the reflection, the probing and the never ending search for a better understanding.
If you are not a member of SAIMS yet, I strongly advise that you consider it. I am confident that you will find a community of academics willing to share expertise and collaborate in ways that unlocks the full potential of all such partnerships. Moreover, you will find a family of fun and interesting people. Enjoy the conference, our university and our city, and do not hesitate to call on me or any of my team for assistance.
Have a great SAIMS2015!