Two research papers were presented by members of the Department of Business Management at the recent Southern Africa Institute for Management Scientists (SAIMS) conference.

After being postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 32nd edition of the SAIMS conference was held online for the first time in 2021. This year’s edition of the conference was hosted virtually by North-West University from 13-14 September 2021. The theme of the conference was ‘Re-Imagining Management Research: Past insights for Future Foresights’.


Firstly, Prof Elroy Smith and Emeritus Prof Noxolo Mazibuko co-authored a paper with a past PhD student of theirs and a subsequent alumnus of the department, Dr Siya Xolo. The title of their research paper was ‘Beneficiary perceptions regarding farm worker equity share schemes in South Africa’. Given the importance of the agricultural sector, the primary objective of their study was to assess beneficiary perceptions regarding farm worker equity share schemes in South Africa. The empirical results showed that farm worker equity share schemes are influenced by stakeholder trust, government intervention, farm owner support, but not by worker exploitation and access to resources. The results further showed that farm worker equity share schemes could influence farming performance, farming sustainability and employee expectations.


Secondly, Prof Elmarie Venter presented a research paper that was co-authored with Prof Shelley Farrington, which was titled ‘Entrepreneurial orientation as a source of heterogeneity in African family businesses’. The paper was motivated by the dearth of empirical research on understanding entrepreneurial orientation (EO) in African family businesses, and because these businesses can leverage entrepreneurship to respond to and take advantage of opportunities in the marketplace, reduce unemployment, and deal with a global crisis. The results of the study, conducted amongst 122 family businesses from 9 African countries, revealed that African family businesses demonstrate strong Innovativeness, Proactiveness and Autonomy, while the dimensions of Risk-taking and Competitive aggressiveness were much weaker. Significant differences in the average score of the EO dimensions according to country were obtained for the Overall EO, Innovativeness, Proactiveness and Competitive aggressiveness, illustrating heterogeneity amongst African family businesses.


Contact information
Prof Shelley Farrington
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2203

Prof Elmarie Venter
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2204

Prof Elroy Smith
Professor in Business Management
Tel: 041 504 2033

Prof Noxolo Mazibuko
Emeritus Professor in Business Management