Howard Thomas (Lee Kong Chian School of Business Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Michelle Lee (Lee Kong Chian School of Business Singapore Management University, Singapore)
Lynne Thomas (Author and Counsellor Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K.)
Alexander Wilson (Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K.)


ISBN: 978-1-78743-096-9, eISBN: 978-1-78743-095-2

Publication date: 18 May 2017


Thomas, H., Lee, M., Thomas, L. and Wilson, A. (2017), "Prelims", Africa, Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. i-xiv.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited

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The Future of Management Education Volume 2


To the Thomas, Lee and Wilson families who are the foundation of our lives

Title Page


The Future of Management Education Volume 2



Lee Kong Chian School of Business Singapore Management University, Singapore


Lee Kong Chian School of Business Singapore Management University, Singapore


Author and Counsellor Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K.


Loughborough University, Loughborough, U.K.

United Kingdom – North America – Japan – India – Malaysia – China

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First edition 2017

Copyright © 2017 Emerald Publishing Limited

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ISBN: 978-1-78743-096-9 (Print)

ISBN: 978-1-78743-095-2 (Online)

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Foreword: The Journey Continued

It became clear from the first volume of this book, Africa: The Management Education Challenge (2016), that to achieve a deep understanding of Africa as a continent, it was essential to explore and understand the different histories, contexts and cultures of the 54 nation states within it.

Additional visits made more recently to Africa have reinforced this belief, supported by the testimony of many educators, business leaders, government officials and students. Their stories, concerns and viewpoints have been interpreted, as closely as possible, from an African rather than a Western perspective.

Our initial findings were presented at various book launches, including those at Singapore Management University and the EFMD Annual Conference in Rome 2016. They were also presented elsewhere, including at EFMD, AABS and GBSN conferences in Accra, Barcelona, Dar-Es-Salaam, Johannesburg and Lagos. In each case, there was very positive feedback on how the work reflected important African views and perspectives on management education.

We have continued to appreciate the genuine warmth and kindness of all the people – and particularly the younger generation – that we have met. Their obvious energy and enthusiasm derives from a strongly held desire not only to improve their own personal circumstances, but also to grow their own country’s economy and prosperity.

Their hopes for a better future can be seen in a number of recent events, including the widespread demonstrations in 2016 about fairness, access and equality in higher education, as part of the ‘Fees Must Fall’ movement in South Africa. And, more recently in early 2017, the strong popular support in the Gambia (and neighboring African countries) for upholding the results of democratic elections, despite the reluctance of a power-grabbing and apparently corrupt, defeated incumbent President to cede power, demonstrates the popular desire for democratic solutions to be enforced and enacted as African countries evolve politically.

As a consequence, enlightened political leaders across the continent are increasingly aware of the relentless pressure for change from a growing younger generation and an urban middle class. Political, economic and social change is inevitable. In these VUCA – volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous — environments, it is crucial to recognise that the past is, therefore, not the future of each country and economic growth is paramount. As economies and countries evolve, the pressure for strong business development and leadership is clear. Therefore the future challenge for management development is also evident. Will management educators build carefully on the exciting future? Will future pathways be innovative and ‘values-led’? Will future strategic options be designed and implemented to improve the quality and value of management education? Will it produce exciting, charismatic and ethical leaders who will lead their companies and countries towards strong economic growth and increasing prosperity across African countries?

These are the issues and questions that are the focus of this volume, which examines future scenarios for change and assesses how, and by what means, important future developments may be facilitated. These insights and ideas can provide the fuel for continued debate about, and improvements in, management education in Africa.

Howard Thomas / Lynne Thomas

March 2017


As with our first volume, Africa: The Management Education Challenge, this book would not have come about without the funding support provided by The European Foundation for Management Development, EFMD, and GMAC, The Graduate Management Admissions Council. In particular, Eric Cornuel, Director General and CEO of EFMD and Sangeet Chowfla, President and CEO of GMAC have remained the catalysts for this project which examines the future of management education in Africa. They have continued to endorse the vision and enthusiasm of the lead authors for Africa and their evolving aims for the research study. They have not only provided the base funding for the research but have also offered insightful advice and thoughtful criticism. The project’s progress has also been enhanced through constructive feedback and encouragement from Matthew Wood, Director, Operations at EFMD and Ron Sibert, Director for Africa at GMAC.

The book would not have been completed without the further collaboration, help and support of a number of key people and sources. First, Howard Thomas’ research unit at Singapore Management University (SMU) – The Academic Strategy and Management Education Unit – has provided some basic project research assistance, data analysis and administrative support. Second, Howard’s role as MasterCard Chair and Director of the MasterCard program on Social and Financial Inclusion at SMU has enriched our understanding of challenges at the “bottom of the pyramid” in emerging economies. Third, President Arnoud De Meyer (SMU), with his quiet, effective friendship and leadership, has continued to emphasise the importance of examining the frontiers of management education in emerging economies. Fourth, Executive Dean Daneel Van Lill and Associate Dean Gert Roodt of Johannesburg Business School in the University of Johannesburg (UJ) organised a Distinguished Professorship for Howard at UJ in 2015 which enabled important access to many young faculty and enthusiastic undergraduate students. Fifth, gratitude is owed to Nicola Kleyn, Dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS) at The University of Pretoria for Howard’s appointment as a member of the GIBS Advisory Board and his resulting linkage with GIBS programs such as AMI, The Enterprise Academy and the Center for Dynamic Markets.

Certain individuals were extremely helpful in framing the design of the research study and in providing access to a number of very important stakeholders and areas of interest. They include the following:

  • Africa Arino

  • Alejandro Lago

  • Arnaud Langlois-Meurinne

  • Christian Delporte

  • Corne Carolan

  • Edward Mungai

  • Edwin Odhono

  • Enase Okonedo

  • Erasmus Kaijage

  • Frank Horwitz

  • Franklyn Manu

  • George Njenga

  • Guy Pfefferman

  • Idrassie Mbengue

  • Jon Foster-Pedley

  • Leila Triki

  • Lyal White

  • Manu Chandaria

  • Marius Oosthuizen

  • Michel Patry

  • Nick Binedell

  • Piet Naude

  • Stella Nkomo

  • Steve Bluen

  • Thami Gorfi

  • Vincent Ogutu

  • Walter Baets

  • Yogavelli Nambiar

Further, we also wish to thank all the individuals (around 140 and climbing) interviewed who were highly supportive, open, warm and frank in sharing their opinions and insights about Management Education in Africa.

We also owe a debt of thanks to many colleagues at Singapore Management University (SMU) who offered helpful, and supportive comments. In particular, our sincere appreciation goes to Jes Ong (Howard Thomas’s PA at SMU) for organising all the milestones required to bring this project to successful completion. Her professionalism in executing the typing and revision of various book drafts and in motivating all of us – authors, research assistants – to meet deadlines was very important.

Finally, the quality and readability of the book’s argument is largely due to the outstanding professionalism of our consulting editor at EFMD, George Bickerstaffe. However, we recognise that we alone are solely responsible for the book. We sincerely hope you enjoy it!

Howard Thomas Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU, Singapore
Michelle Lee Lee Kong Chian School of Business, SMU, Singapore
Lynne Thomas Stratford-upon-Avon, U.K
Alexander Wilson Loughborough University, Business School, UK


Thomas, Lee, Thomas, & Wilson (2016) Thomas, H. , Lee, M. , Thomas, L., & Wilson, A. (2016) Africa: The management education challenge. Bingley, U.K.: Emerald Group Publishing.