College of Economic & Management Sciences

Top innovator bags another top award

Prof Marcia Mkansi (Operations Management, CEMS) is one of Unisa’s top innovators.

Prof Marcia Mkansi, from the Department of Operations Management in Unisa’s College of Economic and Management Sciences (CEMS), was awarded joint second place in the European Conference on Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies (ECRM) with her Research Methods Index (RMI) innovation.

She shares the slot with Kenny Meesters from Tilburg University in The Netherlands. The first place went to Gyuzel Gadelshina of Northumbria University in the United Kingdom. According to the judges, the submissions were of a high standard and represented a wide range of initiatives.

Participants had to submit a 300-word abstract describing their initiatives. Once the proposal was deemed suitable, participants had to submit a case history of 3 000 words that was considered as an entry to the competition. A panel of international adjudicators evaluated the case histories.

Instead of doing their presentations in the beautiful city of Aveiro in Portugal, they had to do it virtually because of the Covid-19 travel restrictions. This was a new experience, Mkansi says.

The RMI establishes relationships and dependencies between student attributes, philosophies and paradigms to assist them in selecting a best-fit research framework. It uses a digital web and mobile application to minimise the dilemma that postgraduate students face when considering a philosophical stance with links to either research methods, subject and field of study, or personal beliefs.

2020 has been a good year for Mkansi as she was named joint winner of the Most Prolific Innovator over the Past Five Years award with six disclosures over five years at Unisa’s 2020 Research & Innovation Awards. She also won two other awards at the event, namely Most Prolific Innovator for 2019: Copyright Protected Innovations Category and a Half Million Rand Club Award for the DST-NRF Conference Fund in 2019.

In 2016 she received a R2,6 million emerging researcher grant for her knowledge production project. The grant made it possible for her to work from home from 2017 to 2019, which "is why I was able to make so much progress with my innovations," she says.

* By Ilze Crous, Communication and Marketing Specialist, College of Economic and Management Sciences

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Publish date: 2020/07/14