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Postdoctoral Opportunity: Stellenbosch University, School of Business

Thursday, October 3, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Postdoctoral Research Fellowship


Project Title: Profiling non-profit organisations and their leadership development needs.

Scope of Research: The societal relevance and impact of education has become and important consideration in tertiary education around the world. The same has happened in business and management education and nowadays the leading business school accreditation standards (AMBA, AACSB and EQUIS) emphasise the integration of ethics, responsibility and sustainability (ERS) in the academic work and institutional life of business schools. Whereas business schools traditionally serve the management education and leadership development needs of business organisations, there is an increasing demand for doing the same with respect to non-profit organisations (NPOs) as well. These organisations will increasingly play a critically important role in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and building their leadership capacity and organisational effectiveness has become a strategic imperative for social and ecological sustainability across the globe.

Stellenbosch Business School premises its education on the development of responsible leaders and societal stewards. Although this ideal underpins all programme and subjects, it is academically anchored in the subject Business in Society where students develop the competence to identify and engage in dialogue about ERS dilemmas in the economy, society and environment, combined with learning how to integrate such considerations in organisational strategy, decision making and governance. Students are also required to identify and engage with a non-profit organisation (NPO) in which they can see one or more SDGs at work, where they can observe the stakeholder context within a NPO executes its mandate and from which they can learn about the practice of responsible leadership and societal stewardship. In fulfilment of all the requirements of this assignment, each student is expected to write an essay which gets formally assessed.

From an impact perspective, USB is interested in what students learn from this Social Engagement Project (SEP). In the previous postdoc research cycle our primary interest was in how this engagement enhances the vision of graduates in their becoming responsible leaders and stewards of society. In this second cycle, the interest will shift to the participating NPOs themselves. It is to this end that a post-doctoral fellowship is hereby made available in order to do the following:

·          To analyse the about 400 student SEP essays to date in order to draw a profile of the participating organisations in terms of their SDG related impact, their capacity to deliver on their mission, social mandates and their development needs.

·          To use the insights derived from this analysis to guide continued student engagement with participating NPOs as well as to inform the ongoing curriculum development of USB’s PGDip in Leadership Development focal area NPOs.

·          To make recommendations on research themes for the growing body of social sector focused MBA and PhD research outputs at USB.

·          To deliver one or more academic papers, based on outcomes of this postdoc fellowship project.

Host: Prof Arnold Smit, associate professor of Business in Society at the University of Stellenbosch Business School

Requirement: PhD (must have graduated within the last five years)

·         Experience in qualitative research methodology (interviews, focus groups, case studies) and data analysis. Quantitaive research skills will be an advantage.

·         Familiarity with non-profit organisations, their societal role and challenges.

·         A working knowledge of themes such as responsible leadership, corporate governance, stakeholder theory and social impact.

·         Some knowledge on course design and assurance of learning.

·         Computing literacy with emphasis on Microsoft Office and Atlas.ti (or similar).


Please note that postdoctoral fellows are not appointed as employees and their fellowships are awarded tax free. They are therefore not eligible for employee benefits. 


Commencement of duties: 1 January 2020


Closing date: 30 September 2019


Enquiries: Send a letter of application, accompanied by a comprehensive curriculum vitae, including list of publications and the names and contact details of at least two referees to Dr Lara Skelly at e-mail address .


Applicants should request their referees to forward confidential reports by the closing date directly to the same address.

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