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UCT GSB teaching case study wins top international award
UCT GSB teaching case study wins top international award

GIBS Executive MBA ranked in top 60 of QS ranking
GIBS Executive MBA ranked in top 60 of QS ranking

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What USB is doing to ensure teaching and learning continues

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Values-based leadership in the age of COVID-19

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Maurice Radebe appointed as head of Wits Business School
Maurice Radebe appointed as head of Wits Business School

If there was ever a time for reflection it is now
If there was ever a time for reflection it is now

Just a little kindness
Just a little kindness

UCT GSB Executive MBA ranked in global top 50 ranking
UCT GSB Executive MBA ranked in global top 50 ranking

IMF loan goes wider than just helping to balance the budget
IMF loan goes wider than just helping to balance the budget

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What companies should do to manage employee well-being

How great ideas are born
How great ideas are born

Will COVID-19 change the classroom?
Will COVID-19 change the classroom?

SA needs leaders with a desire to help others
SA needs leaders with a desire to help others

SA higher education doesn’t work
SA higher education doesn’t work

GIBS appoints Andile Sangqu as executive in residence
GIBS appoints Andile Sangqu as executive in residence

When the ground shifts, it pays to be agile
When the ground shifts, it pays to be agile

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Should entrepreneurs wait out the pandemic or forge ahead?

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Right-sizing: the dilemma for business under pressure

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What do we learn from pressure?

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How to spot when an employee is secretly struggling

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Wake up to the new workplace revolution

Moleli’s taking it to the next level
Moleli’s taking it to the next level

How startups can drive growth in a disrupted world
How startups can drive growth in a disrupted world

How do we change norms as we rebuild post Covid-19?
How do we change norms as we rebuild post Covid-19?

Leadership’s toughest test
Leadership’s toughest test

SA is paying dearly for yesterday’s mistakes
SA is paying dearly for yesterday’s mistakes

MBA applications break all records for Henley
MBA applications break all records for Henley

The regulatory environment can stop innovation in Africa
The regulatory environment can stop innovation in Africa

Embracing the unknown can make you a better leader
Embracing the unknown can make you a better leader

Planning for the post-COVID-19 workforce: Four scenarios
Planning for the post-COVID-19 workforce: Four scenarios

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3 ways to be happier... even in the middle of a pandemic

GIBS/TWIMS MBA Manufacturing Ambassador Scholarship
GIBS/TWIMS MBA Manufacturing Ambassador Scholarship

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New MBA timetable starts in 2016

EVENTS
THE International MBA - InfoBytes
THE International MBA - InfoBytes
27 August 2020,
ALL CITIES IN SOUTH AFRICA



05 JUNE 2019
Story of Zambian solar energy co. wins global case contest
The Case Writing Centre of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business, (UCT GSB) has, for the second consecutive year, been named among the winners in the annual Case Writing Competition of the European Foundation for Management Development (EFMD), taking top honours in the 2018 African Business Cases category.

The Centre won the award for a teaching case study on Vitalite, a Zambian company that operates “at the intersection” of solar energy technology and mobile money in that country. The winning case was authored by Vimendree Perumal and Peter Munthali, both MBA graduates from the GSB; Professor Ralph Hamann, research director at the GSB; Vitalite co-founder Dr John Fay; as well as Sarah Boyd of the GSB Case Writing Centre.

Fay co-founded Vitalite soon after he completed his PhD at the GSB under Hamann’s supervision. The first products released by the company – whose stated mission is “to make quality products and services accessible and affordable to all Zambian households” – were standalone solar lights and energy efficient stoves. Vitalite has since introduced Zambia’s first Pay-As-You-Go (PAYGO) Solar Home System, making electricity affordable at much lower income levels.

It was Hamann who first proposed that Vitalite be developed as a teaching case study for MBA students, with first Perumal and, later, Munthali working on it as their main research projects during their MBA. Their two studies were combined in the teaching case study written up with Boyd.

Today, Hamann uses it on the course he teaches on the MBA: Business, Government, and Society, specifically in a session on innovation. “Vitalite has been a fabulous company to study and discuss in our classes,” he says. “The case shows why and how founders may continuously question and recreate their business model to achieve their economic and social aspirations in challenging contexts.”

Moreover, it provides a number of important additional themes for classroom discussion, he explains. These include the hurdles faced by businesses operating in areas of limited statehood; and the challenges of running a hybrid enterprise, i.e. one that has both social and financial objectives.

Putting together a teaching case of a multi-layered award-winning pedigree is demanding, Hamann adds. The challenges include collecting sufficient data that are rich and reliable, making sense of that data, writing up the case study, and then revisiting and re-editing it numerous times until it fits the bill. In this case, it meant that both Perumal and Munthali had to travel to Zambia to embed themselves in the company. From these initial findings they had to fashion a compelling storyline that focuses on key learning objectives of the case.

The Vitalite teaching case also benefitted from different perspectives brought to it by Perumal and Munthali. “It’s an interesting and valuable case because it’s been researched consecutively by different students – so the data collection has a continuation. That presents a rare opportunity,” notes Claire Barnardo, who heads the GSB Case Writing Centre. The Centre is a recent addition to the school and was established specifically to develop and publish African-focused teaching case studies that are relevant to business in the sometimes unique and often confounding contexts of emerging markets.

The GSB Case Writing Centre’s current collection consists of 34 teaching cases published since its inception in 2017. In addition to the wins in the EFMD African Business Cases category, GSB teaching cases have also been awarded top prizes in the 2017 African Governance Showcase Competition and the 2017 Emerald/Association of African Business Schools (AABS) Case Study Competition, and featured among the top 10 teaching cases of the 2018 international CEEMAN/Emerald Case Writing Competition.

The EFMD is a global non-profit organisation dedicated to management development, and serves as internationally recognised accreditation body for business schools, business school programmes and corporate universities. Each year, it presents awards across 17 categories in its Case Writing Competition. The event aims to provide useful insights into the internal practices of the profiled companies, while also reflecting social and economic changes from all across the globe that serve as practical teaching and learning material.

Some 550 submitted cases vied for the 17 category awards in 2018.
Source:

University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business
UCT GSB is internationally renowned as one of a few business schools in Africa with the prestigious triple-crown accreditation with endorsements from EQUIS, AACSB and AMBA. As a top school with more than five decades of experience in Africa and other emerging markets, UCT GSB has a responsibility to engage with its socio-political and economic context. Its teaching, learning and research are directed towards addressing the complex and pressing economic and social challenges of our world today. Visit our InfoCentre or website.

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