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Article
Publication date: 29 September 2021

Andani Thakhathi, Derick De Jongh and Phumzile Langeni

A recent contribution entitled Global Responsibility and the King Reports was made to the literature that represents a significant advancement in the understanding of how…

Abstract

Purpose

A recent contribution entitled Global Responsibility and the King Reports was made to the literature that represents a significant advancement in the understanding of how standards of good governance are practised. The corpus revealed key insights about macro-institutional governance regimes, yet, extraordinarily little about meso-organisational and even less so, micro-individual corporate governance practice. This study aims to shed light on the micro-individual level of corporate governance practice which has remained obscured by drawing pragmatic insights from the landmark South African King Code experience that may be applied to other governance jurisdictions for global organisational responsibility.

Design/methodology/approach

To unearth micro-individual corporate governance code practices, a phenomenological exploration of corporate governance practitioners’ (CGPs) perceptions was conducted. Qualitative semi-structured interviews with senior board members of securities-exchange listed companies were conducted with 10 directors of leading multinational South African corporations listed on Africa’s largest formal financial market; the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. Recursive analysis of the qualitative data revealed key attributes that render a corporate governance code “fulfilling” as a consequence of being perceived as subjectively valuable by practitioners who are the ultimate end-users of the King Codes for advancing good corporate governance practice in each of their respective companies.

Findings

Two categories of fulfilling micro-perceived value attributes (MPVAs) of corporate governance codes emerged, namely, internal and external MPVAs. The three internal MPVAs are, namely, (I1) Meaningful innovation, (I2) Ethical pragmatism and (I3) Cultural transformation. The three external MPVAs are, namely, (E1) Governance legitimacy, (E2) Societal licencing and (E3) Risk mitigation. From these six attributes, two testable corporate governance code development propositions are advanced, namely, (P1) a corporate governance code with a higher constitution of MPVAs will fulfil CGPs more than one with less. (P2) A more fulfilling corporate governance code will enjoy higher adoption, application and/or compliance rates.

Originality/value

Illumining the subjective experiential perceptions that constitute the fulfilment of a corporate governance code deepens the pragmatic understanding of the “demand-side” or consumption of such codes in practice. Knowing these fulfilling MPVAs may also result in the development of codes that enjoy wider adoption and compliance rates thereby enhancing global corporate responsibility pragmatism through enhanced good governance. This study sheds light on the nexus where normative corporate governance principles and the enactment thereof meet at the coalface of organisational activity with an emphasis on those attributes that render them valuable to practitioners.

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Gideon L. Storm, Sebastien Desvaux De Marigny and Andani Thakhathi

The world needs to pave a path towards sustainable development to solve global poverty and inequality, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind. The transformative…

Abstract

The world needs to pave a path towards sustainable development to solve global poverty and inequality, thereby ensuring that no one is left behind. The transformative changes brought about by the fourth industrial revolution (4IR), encompassed by the new world of work (NWOW), pose a significant threat to the displacement of jobs, especially in developing contexts, where many jobs are susceptible to automation. This results in a tension between the stakeholder and shareholder perspectives, which results in the phenomenon referred to in this study as the People Versus Profit Paradox. The purpose of this study is to determine business leaders’ perceptions of this paradox by generating an in-depth understanding of its nature and potential consequences. This study generated insights through a generic qualitative research design based on 10 semi-structured interviews with business leaders from multiple industries in developing countries. This study’s major contribution is the development of an up-to-date understanding of business leaders’ perceptions of sustainable development with respect to the 4IR and the People Versus Profit Paradox in developing countries. The two main findings of the study reveal that organisational purpose has changed towards a more inclusive stakeholder perspective, and that business leaders’ perceptions reveal a relative state of bias regarding the current impact of the 4IR in developing contexts. This study aims to inspire business leaders in developing contexts to embrace sustainable development and the disruptive changes brought about by the 4IR, to usher in a sustainable future where no one is left behind.

Details

Transcendent Development: The Ethics of Universal Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-260-7

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Abstract

Details

Transcendent Development: The Ethics of Universal Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-260-7

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Andani Thakhathi

This opening chapter of this special volume of Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations (REIO) opens the anthology by setting the foundation for an authentic African…

Abstract

This opening chapter of this special volume of Research in Ethical Issues in Organizations (REIO) opens the anthology by setting the foundation for an authentic African philosophy. This establishment of an ‘African Philosophical Bedrock’ serves as a fundamental point of departure and primer for Bantu Wisdom as Transcendent Development drawing on the works of transcendent Bantu philosophers concerned with realising the golden mean capable of reconciling the extreme contradictions inherent in the social ills afflicting Africa. These intellectual trailblazers include Stephen Bantu Biko, Frantz Fanon, and Anton Muziwakhe Lembede. The philosophical bedrock herein established consists of four philosophical delineations systematically arranged in the following orderly fashion: (1) Logic, (2) Metaphysics, (3) Axiology, and (4) Epistemology. After presenting and justifying the development of the bedrock, Bantu Wisdom and its associated key terms are conceptualised and defined in order to create a conceptual framework through which the problem of ‘Compound-Indignity’ may be understood and addressed. This chapter then comes to a close by introducing the idea of Transcendent Development and its harmonising essence – the golden mean – that reconciles antagonistic dualisms underpinning the ‘compound-indignity’ problem. As such, this chapter serves as a Transcendent Development paradigmatic primer and philosophical point of departure for the further development of authentic African ethics.

Details

Transcendent Development: The Ethics of Universal Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-260-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Brandon Sej Kesieman and Andani Thakhathi

The success rate of business rescue in South Africa is concerningly low as it currently ranges between 10% and 12%. This study intends to make a positive contribution…

Abstract

The success rate of business rescue in South Africa is concerningly low as it currently ranges between 10% and 12%. This study intends to make a positive contribution towards addressing this problem by obtaining insight from professional business rescue practitioners regarding the feasibility of making use of the practice of business rescue to assist South African state-owned enterprises to avoid them going into insolvency and indefinitely stopping operations. This study, which is a generic qualitative study, will rely solely on the experience and insights of the business rescue practitioners in order to obtain a better understanding of the problem at hand. Nine participants were interviewed during September and October 2020. The study found that business rescue practitioners are confident that the business rescue proceedings are a solution to preserving state-owned enterprises. However, the level of political interference by the unions, government officials, and also the continued bailouts from the government to support these state-owned entities are some concerns raised by the participants as they hinder the effectiveness of the proceedings with regard to state-owned enterprises. Academically, the study expands to the literature on business rescue in the context of state-owned enterprises and what challenges are hindering the process. For managers, the study identifies the key constraints which are most likely to be encountered when conducting business rescue proceedings in a state-owned enterprise which, if not observed, will negatively impact the success rate.

Details

Transcendent Development: The Ethics of Universal Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-260-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 10 August 2018

Andani Thakhathi

Contemporary organizations are facing an operating environment characterized by volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous, and “permanent whitewater.” To sustain high…

Abstract

Contemporary organizations are facing an operating environment characterized by volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous, and “permanent whitewater.” To sustain high performance in this context, organizations must be able to change and develop as efficiently and effectively as possible. Within organizations, there are actors who catalyze and advance change in this manner; these actors are known as “champions.” Yet the scholar who wishes to conduct research concerning champions of change and organizational development is likely to be met by a highly fragmented literature. Varying notions of champions are scattered throughout extant research, where authors of articles cite different sources when conceptualizing champions; often superficially. Furthermore, many types of highly specific and nuanced non-generalizable champions have proliferated, making it difficult for practitioners and researchers to discover useful findings on how to go about making meaningful changes in their context. The purpose of this study was to address these problems for practitioners and researchers by engendering thoroughness, clarity, and coherence within champion scholarship. This was done by conducting the first comprehensive, critical yet insightful review of the champion literature within the organizational sciences using content analysis to re-conceptualize champions and develop a meaningful typology from which the field can be advanced. The chapter first suggests a return to Schön (1963) as the basis from which to conceptualize champions and, second, offers a typology consisting of 10 meta-champions of organizational change and development – Collaboration, Human Rights, Innovation, Product, Project, Service, Strategic, Sustainability, Technology, and Venture Champions – from which change practice and future research can benefit.

Details

Research in Organizational Change and Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-351-3

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

David M. Boje and Grace Ann Rosile

South African scholars, like most scholars in the developing world, have sold the idea that social constructivism is the gold standard of qualitative management research…

Abstract

South African scholars, like most scholars in the developing world, have sold the idea that social constructivism is the gold standard of qualitative management research. In this chapter, we caution against this subordination to unquestioned conventions and offer a process relational ontology as an alternative to social constructivism that is often punted by most qualitative research programmes and textbooks. We also debunk the idea that ‘grounded theory’ exists by delving into epistemology and showing how science is ‘self-correcting’ rather than ‘tabula rasa’. Instead of boxing business ethics knowledge, as has been done by the case study gurus, we encourage business and organisational ethicists to own their indigenous heritage through storytelling science based on the self-correcting method underpinned by Popperian and Peircian epistemological thought. This chapter encourages business management researchers to move towards more profound ethical knowledge by refuting and falsifying false assumptions in each phase of the study, in a sequence of self-correcting storytelling phases. This is what Karl Popper called trial and error, and what C.S. Peirce called self-correcting by the triadic of Abduction–Induction–Deduction. We offer a novel method for accomplishing this aim that we call ‘Conversational Interviews’ that are based on antenarrative storytelling sciences. Our chapter aims to evoking the transformative power of indigenous ontological antenarratives in authentic conversation in order to solve immediate local problems ad fill the many institutional voids that plague the South(ern)-/African context.

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 6 October 2017

Abstract

Details

Ethics in the Global South
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-205-5

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Sherman Indhul

The shift to the fourth industrial revolution presents new sustainable development challenges. The externalities of the second and third industrial revolutions were…

Abstract

The shift to the fourth industrial revolution presents new sustainable development challenges. The externalities of the second and third industrial revolutions were related to the degradation of the biosphere. It is suggested that the externalities of the fourth industrial revolution, underpinned by artificial intelligence, are extending the repertoire of externalities to include the degradation and manipulation of cognition and by extension the fabric of society. The implications for South Africa’s transformation within the fourth industrial revolution are highlighted. It is shown that digital nudging and choice architecture are tools that are capable of maximising profit while externalising social value through the algorithmic manipulation of our decision-making processes. The case for an alternative explanatory framework is presented because the limitations of the prevailing conception of physical reality appear unable to adequately resolve these super-wicked problems. Constructor theory is introduced as an alternative explanatory framework, and the constructor-theoretic conception is suggested as an ontological framework that will provide better explanations. Some principles of the theory are introduced.

Details

Transcendent Development: The Ethics of Universal Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-260-7

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 28 January 2022

Alex Antonites and Jameo Calvert

This chapter contains a critical interview with Prof. Alex Antonites, the Head of the Department (HoD) of Business Management at the University of Pretoria (UP). Prof…

Abstract

This chapter contains a critical interview with Prof. Alex Antonites, the Head of the Department (HoD) of Business Management at the University of Pretoria (UP). Prof. Antonites has been instrumental in introducing values-based ethical pedagogy to higher business education at UP’s Department of Business Management. Under Prof. Antonites’s leadership, the department has introduced business ethics content in first-year management modules and the department has pioneered one of the first fully fledged second- and third-year Responsible Leadership and Business Ethics-oriented curriculum for undergraduate students on the African continent. The department’s Albert Luthuli Leadership Institute (ALLI) has also been instrumental in advancing ethical organisational development on the African continent through their postgraduate Responsible Leadership offering at the master’s and doctoral level. In this iconic interview, Prof. Alex Antonites discusses what it will take to blaze a trail to Mzansi’s (South Africa’s nickname) prosperity with Jameo Calvert, a student of both business and education at UP. In this engaging conversation with Jameo, Prof. Antonites articulates how South African enterprises and higher education institutions can make a positive difference in the post-Covid-19 era in realising the country’s developmental aspirations by walking their business ethics talk.

Details

Transcendent Development: The Ethics of Universal Dignity
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80262-260-7

Keywords

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