Programmes

DBL research focus areas

 Doctoral of Business Leadership admission and focus areas

1.     Introduction

Following Senate’s decisions of 13 March 2013 on selection criteria for Master’s and Doctoral Degrees, this document provides the selection criteria applicable to the Doctoral in Business Leadership (DBL) qualification offered by Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL). These selection criteria consist of:

  • the entrance requirements for students in the Graduate School of Business Leadership (in order to ensure that the quality of incoming students is as such that they have an optimal chance of completing their qualifications)
  • the capacity of the School to provide postgraduate supervision in specific areas of research specialisation.

2. The philosophy underlying the selection criteria

The SBL recognises that the opportunity to increase the rate of student through-put in DBL studies begins with the selection and admission process. Recruiting talented candidates from diverse background with the potential to succeed requires a process that will attract those that are likely to thrive within the business school culture. A ‘fit’ or ‘match’ between the potential candidate’s research interest and supervisors’ expertise is also a key requirement. The selection criteria for DBL candidates are thus founded on the following two pillars:

  1. A transparent, fair, realistic and academically well-founded admission procedure
  2. Creating a good fit between DBL candidate’s research interest and the supervisor’s expertise

In line with UNISA practice, the SBL is convinced that the number of Doctoral registrations should be informed by the availability of suitable supervisors to ensure that available supervisory capacity is not exceeded. This will maintain supervisor/student ratios that would be conducive to high-quality results. Currently, SBL implements various interventions to improve internal capacity for supervision in order to plan for growth. In addition, SBL has embarked on a process to identify what the school has to offer in terms of high level research expertise and supervision capacity. The focus in SBL is to increase the number of DBL registrations in key research areas in line with current research flagship projects as well as supervisors’ areas of specialisation.

This process:

  • assists the matching between prospective DBL candidates and its own capacity, prior to admitting a candidate
  • suggests future prospects, if applicable, for candidates who are not accommodated or are not admitted

3.     Proposed selection criteria for Doctoral studies in SBL

The DBL programme has been structured to guide and support selected students to make a significant contribution to business and leadership studies. The DBL takes 2‐6 years to complete. In the first year, the DBL candidates have to attend the compulsory Research Proposal Workshops. The outcome of the research module is an approved research proposal. After the research module has been approved, candidates are officially registered for the thesis.

The admission criteria for the Doctoral programme at the SBL are informed by section 37 of the Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 (as amended), which states the following:

37. Admission to public higher education institutions

(1)    Subject to this Act, the council of a public higher education institution, after consulting the senate of the public higher education institution, determines the admission policy of the public higher education institution.

(2)    The council must publish the admission policy and make it available on request.

(3)    The admission policy of a public higher education institution must provide appropriate measures for the redress of past inequalities and may not unfairly discriminate in any way.

 (4)   Subject to this Act, the council may, with the approval of the senate—

(a)    determine entrance requirements in respect of particular higher education programmes;

(b)    determine the number of students who may be admitted for a particular higher education programme and the manner of their selection;

(c)    determine the minimum requirements for re-admission to study at the public higher education institution concerned; and

(d)    refuse re-admission to a student who fails to satisfy such minimum requirements for re-admission.

The SBL acknowledges the importance of the italicised phrase in subsection (3) above and will consequently adopt a very flexible approach regarding admission to doctoral studies. Responsible, feasible, flexible and transparent selection criteria will promote proper and effective management of postgraduate students in the Graduate School of Business Leadership and for this reason, the selection criteria identified by the SBL aim to foster inclusivity instead of being too prescriptive and exclusionary.

Admission criteria for the DBL degree:

A student:

Must hold a three-year Bachelor's degree with 360 SAQA credits and an MBL or MBA, or equivalent degree from an approved tertiary institution. Relevant working experience will be an added advantage;

  • Could be requested by the Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) to pass one or more departmental examinations or to complete additional MBL or MBA modules if deemed necessary;
  • Must submit a 2,500 word research outline (in line with the requirements listed below), original certified copies of academic records as well as a Curriculum Vitae;
  • Has to apply for admission using the Unisa online application system.

Prospective DBL candidates will be considered for admission to the respective research focus areas in the in the School. The selection of candidates for Doctoral studies will be done through the assessment of the research outline (maximum of 2500 words) describing the following:

  1. Topic
  2. Short literature review
  3. Potential contribution of the study
  4. Potential unit of analysis
  5. Access to the research context
  6. Personal motivation to pursue studies on this topic
  7. List of references (using the Harvard referencing method)

The following criteria will be applied equally to assess the expression of interest essay:

a)   Academic merit: Quality in terms of originality, significance and rigour and impacts in terms of their reach and significance.

b)   Evidence of higher order thinking: The candidate’s skills and abilities in analysing, synthesising, applying, and evaluating information.

c)   Writing skills: The extent to which the essay conveys coherent and well-developed arguments that are supported with relevant, detailed and convincing evidence; the logical sequence of paragraphs with content-based transitions; the use of appropriate diction and tone, constructively varied sentence structures, and the use of correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and syntax.

d)   Academic and professional experience: Strengths and relevance relative to the candidate’s opportunities (impact).

Short-listed candidates will be required to meet with potential supervisors and present their outline in person at a workshop early February or via an electronic medium such as SKYPE.

Successful candidates will be informed in writing that they may register for the DBL proposal module. The names of unsuccessful candidates and the reasons for their rejection will be submitted to the SBL Quality Assurance and Planning Committee for validation. Applicants have the right to appeal to the College Executive Management if admission is refused. Reasons for such refusal must be furnished to the applicant.

The following possible alternative opportunities exist for applicants who do not meet the generic admission requirements for SBL:

Applicants with degrees that have different structures from normal South African MBL/MBA degrees, applicants whose degrees do not clearly correspond to generic SBL admission requirements (e.g. no mark awarded for previous dissertations, no clear evidence of having completed a research-related module as part of the previous qualification, etc.), or applicants who do not meet generic admission requirements but who have applicable experience in research that may qualify them for admissions to a DBL degree will be required to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL). Prior academic and research activity by the applicant will be evaluated in accordance with formal Unisa RPL procedures and the outcome of the RPL process will be submitted to and approved by the SBL Executive Committee. If the approved outcome of the RPL process is positive, the applicant will be allowed to proceed with an application for admission, subject to all terms and conditions governing the admissions process.

a)     Students who have been refused admission because of limited capacity within the academic department where the application was made may reapply in subsequent years.

b)     In instances where a student has a weak academic record a submission may be made to the department to allow such a student admission. Students must provide a written motivation of no more than three pages requesting admission to the department. The department will consider the application, taking into account:

  • the relevant experience, work or otherwise of the student
  • alternative options for access into the programme
  • any other factor deemed necessary by the department

Students are encouraged to pursue their research in the listed focus areas below. However, all applications will be considered but are subjected to the availability of suitable supervisors.

Graduate School of Business Leadership: Research Focus Areas for Doctoral Studies

The number of DBL registrations should be informed by the availability of suitable supervisors to ensure that available supervisory capacity is not exceeded. This will maintain supervisor/student ratios that would be conducive to high-quality results.

Area

Focus Area

Lead Researcher

Capacity

Finance and Economics

Environmental Management Accounting

 

Prof HM van der Poll

E-mail: vdpolhm@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 2

Agribusiness, Microeconomic analysis

Environmental and Natural Resource Economics

 

Dr B Muchara

E-mail: muchab@unisa.ac.za

Prof CN Mbatha (on sabbatical in 2019)

E-mail: mbathcn@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 2 each

Financial management

 

Prof M Tshehla

Email: tshehlmf@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 2

International trade

 

Prof M Tshehla

Email: tshehlmf@unisa.ac.za

Prof CN Mbatha (on sabbatical in 2019)

E-mail: mbathcn@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 2 each

ORGANISATIONAL BEHAVIOUR & LEADERSHIP

Management, Leadership & Law

 

Prof AA Okharedia

E-mail: Okharaa@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 6

Leadership and Organisational Behaviour

 

Prof Renier Steyn

E-mail: steynr@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Leadership and Organisational Behaviour

 

Prof S Henning

E-mail: hennis@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 3

Leadership, organisational behaviour (including Ethics in the workplace) and human resource management

 

Prof A Grobler

Email: grobla@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Leadership, human resources management, employment relations, organisational change and public service education

 

Prof N Ngwenya

Email: ngwennt@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Organisational Behaviour and Leadership

 

Prof Angelo Nicolaides

Email: nicola@unisa.ac.za

Prof Anton Grobler

Email: grobla@unisa.ac.za

Prof Renier Steyn

Email: steynr@unisa.ac.za

Prof Peliwe Mnguni

Email: mngunpp@unisa.ac.za

Prof Sanchen Henning

Email: hennis@unisa.ac.za

Dr Allan Feldman

Email: feldmja@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: 13

Contemporary leadership research

 

Prof Anton Grobler

Email: grobla@unisa.ac.za

Prof Renier Steyn

Email: steynr@unisa.ac.za

Prof A Nicolaides

Email: nicola@unisa.ac.za

Prof Peliwe Mnguni

Email: mngunpp@unisa.ac.za

Dr Allan Feldman

Email: feldmja@unisa.ac.za

Dr Sanchen Henning

Email: hennis@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 14

Leadership

 

Dr A Feldman

E-mail: feldmja@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Strategy, Governance and Marketing

Business Ethics, Stakeholder Management

 

Prof A Nicolaides

E-mail: nicola@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 3

Sustainability and Management

 

Prof Neha Purushottam

Email: purusn@unisa.ac.za

Prof PMD Rwelamila

Email: Rwelapmd@unisa.ac.za

Mr. Ozias Ncube

Email: Ncubeo@unisa.ac.za

Prof Sasha Monyamane

Email: monyas@unisa.ac.za

Prof Peliwe Mnguni

Email: Mngunpp@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: 2 each

Management education in emerging markets

 

Prof Neha Purushottam

Email: purusn@unisa.ac.za

Prof PMD Rwelamila

Email: Rwelapmd@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: 2 each

Practices and Processes in Strategy and Marketing

 

Prof Peet Venter

Email: ventep@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: 1

Marketing and strategy related issues and applications of project management

 

Prof Neha Purushottam

Email: purusn@unisa.ac.za

Prof PMD Rwelamila

Email: Rwelapmd@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: 2 each

Strategy metrics in strategic planning, communicating and reporting strategy, and, preparing for strategy implementation

 

Prof F du Toit

E-mail: dutoitf@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Management Systems

FMs for Business ICTs

 

Prof JA van der Poll

E-mail: vdpolja@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Business ICTs

 

Prof JA van der Poll

E-mail: vdpolja@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

Sustainable development through projects, procurement systems and industry development – Moving beyond business orthodox

 

Prof PD Rwelamila

Email: rwelapmd@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 2

Quality and Operations Management

 

Prof R Ramphal

E-mail: ramphrr@unisa.ac.za

Doctoral students: up to 5

 

Last modified: 2018/09/12