Dr Conrad van Greunen has completed his second PhD in Business Management and graduated at the recent December 2021 graduation ceremony. Dr van Greunen has kindly given us an intimate view of the heart, personal foundation and framework that fuelled his meticulous persistence to become the first person in the Department of Business Management to earn two doctorates, both under the supervision of Prof Elmarie Venter.

Dr van Greunen is a unique blend of focus, confidence and sheer grounded beliefs. He used these attributes to navigate the challenges of life from an early age, with a consistency that propelled his academic success from his undergraduate years. As far as credit goes, his foundation was set by a loving father, who was always his inspiration and role model, the lens to identifying opportunities, and the very definition of values. His achievements are thus always driven by his father’s honour.


Dr van Greunen’s journey began at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), where he completed his BCom degree, followed by his BCom Honours and MCom degrees in Business Management. His research interest was sparked and nurtured here by Prof Elmarie Venter and Prof Suzette Viviers, who were pivotal in architecting and developing his research skills. Dr van Greunen’s desire to add value to the greater good, and his burning passion for academia and research in particular, allowed for the progression and attainment of his second PhD. This happened under the skilful supervision of Prof Elmarie Venter, who clearly became a key proponent in his ability to overcome feats with quality and high standards.


Dr van Greunen’s study, titled “Team-related factors influencing intra-team knowledge-sharing in knowledge-intensive businesses”, empirically examines selected team-related factors influencing the intra-team knowledge-sharing behaviour of individual members participating in knowledge-intensive teams in knowledge-intensive businesses. Through structural equation modelling analysis, the research concludes that the factors team psychological safety, team development competition, cultural intelligence and age significantly influence intra-team knowledge-sharing behaviour and that they could thus be seen as predictors or determinants thereof. The study makes several practical recommendations to knowledge-intensive businesses on how to manage team-related factors that influence the intra-team knowledge-sharing behaviour of individual members who participate in knowledge-intensive teams. These recommendations could possibly enhance the competitive advantage of knowledge-intensive businesses.


Dr van Greunen’s journey was not without its fair share of hurdles. As the Dean (Faculty of Commerce) of one of the largest private education providers in Southern Africa, followed by a move to a global Business School as Academic Head and Head of Research, Dr van Greunen had to learn how to best manage his academic responsibilities and professional workload. Whilst managing to juggle his delivery on demanding roles, Dr van Greunen also managed to publish several articles and contribute as editor and author of two locally published textbooks. During this time, Dr van Greunen also took the helm as a first time father to his son, Cohan, whom he regards as his biggest achievement.


As far as guidance and learning for upcoming academics is concerned, his advice is: “Believe in yourself and always stay humble in success.”  Some of his favourite quotes that have deep meaning to him and moulded his identity are: "Nothing worth having comes easy” - Theodore Roosevelt; and “Act as though it is impossible to fail” - Dorothea Brande.

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