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Research Focus
Supervision Team
Angelo Nicolaides

SBL- Strategy, Leadership and Governance

Business Ethics
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility


Academic Profile



Academic Profile



Academic Profile


General Information

For MBL REPP the accepted amount of students for this focus
area (qualitative research only) will not exceed seven. There is
also an additional very structured quantitive research project
which Professor Grobler will lead.

Business Ethics Prof A Nicolaides

Academic Profile
Prior to joining SBL, Professor Nicolaides
was employed at the University of
Johannesburg as well as at Vaal University
of Technology. He has taught at the primary,
secondary and tertiary levels. He is a lifemember of the IIPE (International Institute
for Public Ethics) as well as the Ethics
Institute of South Africa (EthicsSA). He is
also a member of SAIMS (Institute of
Management Scientists), a Senior Member
South African Quality Institute (SAQI), the
Southern African Society for quality (SASQ)
and a member of the SABPP (Master HR
Practitioner-Education and Training) and
consults with both SMMEs and Corporations.
He is active in international research
communities and networks, and also serves
in editorial positions and as an editorial
board member in international journals.
He publishes widely and was the Highly
Commended Winner at the Emerald Literati
Network Awards for Excellence 2007 for the
sustainable universities and education for
sustainable development as an ethical
imperative" published in International
Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education
and has also been the recipient of
numerous research and teaching awards.


The DBL takes 26 years to complete. In the first year, you have
to attend the compulsory Research Design module. The
outcome of the research module is an approved research
proposal. After the research module has been approved, you are
officially registered for the thesis. The Research Design Module


Model of

DBL Admission

DBL Selection

Selection Procedure

is run over Fridays and Saturdays from February to August of the

year. The official signoff of the research proposal is done at the
research proposal colloquium and marks the start of the thesis.
Candidates will be allocated to a supervisor, but will be required
to work independently within the requirements of higher degree
studies. In addition, students will be expected to present their
work at topic-specific colloquia. Colloquia will be scheduled for:
1. The research proposal
2. The research method
3. Thesis defence.
Students have the opportunity to attend the colloquia of their
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;
Has to apply for admission.
In addition to the admission criteria contained in the DBL
brochure, potential students are required to prepare a fivepage expression-of-interest essay describing the following:
1. Topic ( page)
2. Short literature review (2 pages)
3. Potential contribution of the study ( page)
4. Potential unit of analysis ( page)
5. Access to the research context ( page)
6. Personal motivation to pursue studies in this topic ( page)
7. List of references (use Harvard referencing method)
1. Apply for a student number follow the steps outlined in
2. Apply for a space in the selected research focus area using
the online application process.
3. Once acceptance in the research focus area has been
confirmed, you may register for your studies.
Selection of candidates will be in line with Section 37 of the
Higher Education Act 101 of 1997 to provide appropriate
measures for the redress of past inequalities and to provide
clear assessment criteria to avoid any unfair discrimination.
Applicants will also receive feedback on their submissions to
readmission submissions.
The following criteria will be applied to assess the expression-ofinterest essay:
a) Academic merit: Quality in terms of originality,
significance, rigour and impacts in terms of reach and


b) Evidence of higher-order thinking: The candidates skills

and abilities in analysing, synthesising, applying, and
evaluating information.
c) Academic 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 tone
and constructive, varied sentence structures, and the
use of correct grammar, punctuation, spelling and
d) Academic and professional experience: Strengths and
relevance relative to the candidates opportunities

Possible Alternative
Opportunities for

Short-listed candidates will be required to meet with potential

supervisors and present their expression of interest in person or
via an electronic medium such as SKYPE.
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
The following possible alternative opportunities exist for
applicants who do not meet the generic admission requirements
for SBL:
(1) 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.
(2) Students who have been refused admission because of
limited capacity within the academic department where
the application was made may reapply in subsequent
(3) 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
alternative options for access into the programme
any other factor deemed necessary by the
Documents to
Support Application

Research Agenda
for Focus Area

One-page abbreviated CV, including:

Academic qualifications

Work experience

Contact details

Expression of interest (see selection criteria)

The objective is to further research in the area of applied
organizational ethics and moral leadership and to that end to
conduct high quality and practically relevant research in the
management, corporate social responsibility, gender and
diversity as well as in managing and developing human
resources. The research rests on the discipline's core strength of
highly pluralist and multi-vocal understandings of organizational
settings as sites where business actions are engaged and
decisions are made in the face of potentially often incompatible
demands and rationalities based on the notion of the triplebottom-line. There are a plethora of other demands that extend
beyond shareholder value that are in need of being met.
From time-to-time the research work will span disciplinary
collaboration will result. Some examples of topic areas of
interest for trans, inter and multi disciplinarity may include
business ethics and leadership, corporate social responsibility,
information access and privacy, ethical decision-making.
Essentially the focus is on how private and public organizations
are able to sustain moral commitment both internally and
externally and how they communicate integrity to all
stakeholders as part of their commitment to society.

Subject Field

1. Allen, N. J., & Meyer, J. P. (1990). The measurement and

antecedents of affective, continuance and normative
commitment to the organization. Journal of Occupational
Psychology, 63, 118.
2. Avolio, B. J., & Gardner, W. L. (2005). Authentic leadership
development: Getting to the root of positive forms of leadership.
The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 315338.


3. Avolio, B. J., Gardner, W. L., Walumbwa, F. O., Luthans, F., &

May, D. R. (2004). Unlocking the mask: A look at the process by
which authentic leaders impact follower attitudes and behaviors.
The Leadership Quarterly, 15, 801823.
4. Bakker, A. B., & Schaufeli, W. B. (2008). Positive
organizational behaviour: Engaged employees in flourishing
organizations. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 147154.
5. Bass, B. M., & Bass, R. (2008). The Bass handbook of
leadership. Theory, research, & managerial applications. New
York: Free Press.
6. Bliese, P. D. (2000). Within-group agreement, nonindependence, and reliability: Implications for data aggregation
and analysis. In K. Klein & S. Kozlowski (Eds.), Multilevel theory,
research, and methods in organizations. San Francisco: Jossey
7. Cooper, C. D., Scandura, T. A., & Schriesheim, C. A. (2005).
Looking forward but learning from our past: Potential challenges
to developing authentic leadership theory and authentic
leaders. The Leadership Quarterly, 16, 475493.
8.Dineen, B. R., Lewicki, R. J., & Tomlinson, E. C. (2006).
Supervisory guidance and behavioral integrity: Relationships
with employee citizenship and deviant behavior. Journal of
Applied Psychology, 91, 622635.
9.Douglas, C., Ferris, G. F., & Perrew, P. L. (2005). Leader
political skill and authentic leadership. In W. L. Gardner, B. J.
Avolio, & F. O. Walumbwa (Eds.), Authentic leadership theory
and practice: Origins effects and development. Oxford: Elsevier.
10. Driscoll, C., & McKee, M. (2007). Restorying a culture of
ethical and spiritual values: A role for leader storytelling. Journal
of Business Ethics, 73, 205217.
11. Ferris, G. R., Treadway, D. C., Kolodinsky, R. W., Hochwarter,
W. A., Kacmar, C. J., Douglas, C., et al. (2005). Development and
validation of the political skill inventory. Journal of Management,
31, 126152.
12. Ferris, G. R., Treadway, D. C., Perrew, P. L., Brouer, R. L.,
Douglas, C., & Lux, S. (2007). Political skill in organizations.
Journal of Management, 33, 290320.
13. Gagn, M., & Deci, E. L. (2005). Self-determination theory
and work motivation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26,
14.Griffin, M., Neal, A., & Parker, S. (2007). A new model of work
role performance: Positive behaviors in uncertain and


interdependent contexts. Academy of Management Journal, 50,

15.Grojean, M. W., Resick, C. J., Dickson, M. W., & Smith, D. B.
(2004). Leaders, values and organizational climate: Examining
leadership strategies for establishing an organizational climate
regarding ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 55, 223241.
16. Kaptein, M. (2008). Developing and testing a measure for
the ethical culture of organizations: The corporate ethical virtues
model. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 29, 23947.
17. Simons, T. L. (1999). Behavioral integrity as a critical
ingredient for transformational leadership. Journal of
Organizational Change Management, 12, 89104.
18. Simons, T. L. (2002). Behavioral integrity: The perceived
alignment between managers words and deeds as a research
focus. Organization Science, 13, 1835.

The research methodology to be employed will be qualitative as

well as quantitative and from time-to-time mixed methodology
will be used.
The types of research will be:
1. Applied research- Is to solve a current problem faced by the
manager in the work setting, demanding a timely solution.
2. Basic research (fundamental, pure)-Is to generate a body of
knowledge by trying to comprehend how certain problems that
occur in organizations can be solved.
The findings of such research contribute to the building of
knowledge in the various functional areas of business.

resources i.e.
scholar and

Potential research projects/topics/titles

Focus areas are crystallised in:
Standards of business behaviour
Advancing the effectiveness of ethics policies and programmes.
Embedding ethical values and behaviours
Corporate ethics
Ethics and risk


Corporate social responsibility

Corporate sustainability
Ethical norms in international business
Ethics and leadership (e.g charisma, manipulation, persuasion)
Organizational ethics
Managers moral decision-making
Learning and critical management perspective
CRS studies
Developing sustainable ethical business practices