Graduate School of Economic & Management Sciences
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Research Themes 2019

​Scroll down for research themes listed under each academic department.

University of Stellenbosch Business School:

Department website


  1. Research management
  2. Coopetition
  3. Africa Wildlife Economy – Topics that combine conservation with business or focus on the value of ecosystems. What role do economic value play in the conservation of species (for instance from hunting).
  4. Environmental strategy
  5. Green consumer behavio​ur
  6. Studies that advance our knowledge about Women at work in Africa, which could cover topics listed below:
    •  The gender wage gap
    • Gender traits (masculinity, femininity) in relation to work/workplace outcomes
    • Traditional gender-role reversal e.g. stay-at-home-fathers
    • Identity crafting of Black women in male-dominated industries in SA
    • Experiments to prove or disprove work-related gender dynamics​
  7. The Zero Waste Movement and its future implications for circular design in business.
  8. Games and/or gamification for businesses: distraction gimmick or the future of customer engagement and/or training.
  9. The future is Vegan: implication for food / health related business (systems).
  10. The myths and realities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
  11. Pricing carbon emissions in Africa
  12. An evaluation of carbon taxes or cap-and-trade systems
  13. Greening the economy through tax incentives (and/or subsidies)
  14. Promoting renewable energy in Sub-Saharan Africa
  15. The role of coaching (executive / management/ organisational) in supporting senior female corporate leaders in Africa outside of South Africa. 
  16. The potential of artificial intelligence coaching chatbots to help corporate managers / leaders in one or more of the following areas: goal-attainment; self-awareness; self-efficacy; EQ; trust 
  17. PhD topic on the example of Nelson Mandela (click for additional information)


  1. ​New Business Creation and Economic Growth
  2. Banking sector market structure and financial inclusion
  3. Financial regulation, market structure and systemic risk
  4. Finance and entrepreneurship in Africa
  5. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) Spill overs in Developing Countries.
  6. Cross Border Trade in Africa: Pattern, Growth and Impact
  7. National Development Policies and Household Welfare
  8. Impact Studies of Financial Policy Interventions/New Products 


School for Public Leadership:

Department website

  1. Resilience, Complexity and Sustainability (hosted at the C​ST​)
  2. Public leadership
  3. Collaboration and Public Private Partnerships in sustainable service delivery
  4. Green economy
  5. Informal settlements
  6. ​Investing in urban ecological infrastructure. The objective of the research is to improve the governance of urban rivers in Cape Town towards a state where it delivers sustained ecological, recreational and water benefits to the wellbeing of its citizens and visitors.
  7. Environmental dynamics and governance in the interaction between energy and the economy. The objective of the research is to advance the field of environmental governance of by including environmental impacts and costs in integrated energy-economic modelling efforts.
  8. Environmental governance of municipal solid waste systems. The focus of the research is to advance the field of environmental governance in municipal waste management systems.
  9.  The human person in environmental governance. The focus of this research will be on conceptualising and advancing the place of human persons in the field of environmental governance and its response to the global ecological crises.



Department website

  1. Econometrics and statistical learning techniques for detection of anti-competitive behaviour and estimation of associated damages
  2. Infrastructure and health: Evidence from twentieth century South African death records
  3. The road to upward mobility? Tertiary education in twentieth century South Africa and its consequences
  4. Regional Economics (including spatial inequality, remote-sensing for welfare analysis, migration, infrastructure, food security, urban and rural economy, small-holder agriculture, spatial econometrics and machine learning)
  5. Capital controls for emerging market economies
  6. Monetary and fiscal policy coordination
  7. Fiscal consolidation in South Africa
  8. Using Behavioural Economics to change behaviour
  9. Using micro-panel data to study wage growth in low-income countries in Africa
  10. Health economics and health policy

Industrial Psychology:

Department website

Please note that a recognized master's degree with Industrial Psychology or Human Resource Management as a major is a requirement to qualify for admission to the doctoral programme at the department of Industrial Psychology

  1. Leadership, leadership development and executive coaching in organisations
  2. Psychological assessment and test use in developing countries
  3. Measurement of vocational interests in the African context.
  4. Predictive validity of vocational interests with respect to academic achievement in the African context.
  5. Psychological Health and well-being in Higher Education
  6. The Job Demands-Resources Model and the bright and dark sides of personal internet-use-at-work


Business Management:

Department website

At the department of Business Management, the emphasis is on basic research and not on applied research. We do not accept students whose sole purpose is to address a company-related problem.

Admittance to the PhD programme requires a highly-specialised academic background including under-graduate qualifications. It is are thus not suitable to potential candidates with a more a more 'general' (non-specialisation) academic background.

  1. Investment Management
  2. Financial Management
  3. The Management of Innovation

Logistics – Transport Economics:

Department website

1. Rail Economics: 

  • Rail infrastructure investment, regional integration and trade facilitation in Sub Sahara Africa.
  • Privatising Rail: A critical examination of  private rail operations and business models  in Sub Sahara Africa.

2. Travel Behaviour and data analytics
  • The impact of Information Communication Technologies (ICT) on individual travel behaviour and travel behaviour analysis
  •  Using smartphones and other geospatial technology to source and analyse travel behaviour data and promote sustainable travel decision making among commuters.
  • The impact of the shared economy on vehicle ownership and use.

3. Urban Transport Economics

  • Promoting sustainable urban land use and transport development through Transport Oriented development (TOD's): A case for Century City in Cape Town.
  • Monocentric urban form versus polycentric urban form: Benefits and costs for alternative transport options.

4. Transport and Economic Development:
  • Unpacking the relationship between transport and economic development with quantitative economic models. Developed a strategic macro-economi c model to assess the direct and indirect impacts of policy or structural changes within the transport industry.

5. Land Transport Funding:
  •   Funding for land transport infrastructure: New road user charging options for road funding ​