Graduate School of Economic & Management Sciences
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Research Themes

Scroll down for research themes listed under each academic department.

Stellenbosch Business School:

Department website

  • ​Theme 1: The dynamics of value creation in coopetition – particularly in environmental (ecological context), but it can also be wider.
  • Theme 2: Climate services: There is an increasing awareness of a rising industry around climate services. What is meant by climate services, and how big is this industry potentially? What is the level of willingness to pay for climate data and climate services?
  • Theme 3: Studies making use of fsQCA (Fuzzy set Qualitative Analysis) as method.
  • Theme 4: Exploring the difference between coopetition and collusion.
  • Theme 5: Willingness to pay for South Africa's carbon tax (sustainable behaviour).
  • Theme 6: Women in the workplace.
  • Theme 7: Disability and Inclusion in the Workplace or Higher Education.
  • Theme 8: Disabled People's Organizations and Corporate Social Responsibility.
  • Theme 9: Disability and Gendered Experiences of Inclusion.
  • Theme 10: Invisible Disabilities, Work Disability and the Social and Economic Impact of work.
  • Theme 11: Eco-responsibility: How we respond to the Sustainable development goals as leaders or organisations. Knowledge needed for leaders to take up their eco-responsibility (not just trees and plants but especially their social environment).
  • Theme 12: How to enhance teamwork/team effectiveness and the concept of teaming (teams on the fly). This is for coaches and leaders.
  • Theme 13: Post-Pandemic work-life integration of women and men.
  • Theme 14: Post-Pandemic integration into work of young women and men.
  • Theme 15: Responsible leadership in an era of ​remote and hybrid working.
  • Theme 16: Remote and hybrid working arrangements and organisation culture management.
  • Theme 17: Careers, Identity and security of Global nomads in knowledge sectors.

School for Public Leadership:

Department website

  • Theme 1: Leadership and Public Policy.
  • Theme 2: African Political Economy.
  • Theme 3: Developmental State.
  • Theme 4: Corruption and Development.
  • Theme 5: Comparative Public Policy.
  • Theme 6: Social Movements, Change and Public Policy.
  • .Theme 7: Decoloni​sation and Public Policy.
  • Theme 8: Curriculum reform and Public Policy.
  • Theme 9: Corruption/Anti-corruption.
  • Theme 10: Public Trust.
  • Theme 11: Ethical dimensions and Leadership in Public Administration.
  • Theme 12: Gender and Transformation Challenges in Higher Education.
  • Theme 13: Values based approach to Public Administration.
  • Theme 14: Environmental governance (specifically climate, solid waste, or urban rivers and ecosystems).
  • Theme 15: Economic approaches to environmental management and policy.
  • Theme 16: Integrated energy-economic-ecological assessment and modelling. 
  • Theme 17: The human person, environmental change and social order. 
  • Theme 18: Strengthening evidence-informed decision making in government​.
  • Theme 19: Design/Implementation/Impact evaluation of government policies/programmes.
  • Theme 20: Evaluation synthesis studies.​

Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST):

Department website

  • Theme 1: Exploring the links between socio-economic inequalities and biosphere stewardship: How does inequality influence environmental management, especially in highly unequal societies of the Global South?
  • Theme 2: The role of informality in building urban resilience and equity in southern Africa.

The Africa Centre for HIV/AIDS Management:

Department website

  • Theme 1: Health management, gender and equity.
  • Theme 2: Indigenous health knowledge systems and pandemics.
  • Theme 3: Corruption in Health.


Department website

  • Theme 1: The economic consequences of slave manumission in the nineteenth-century Cape Colony.
  • Theme 2: Tax compliance in developing countries - looking beyond enforcement.
  • Theme 3: The fiscal theory of price level and the coordination of monetary and fiscal policies.
  • Theme 4: Monetary policy with regime switching: The case of South Africa (Candidates are required to have the basic knowledge of DSGE model with regime switching).
  • Theme 5: Contemporary or historical spatial economics.
  • Theme 6: Migration and labour markets (including precarious urban employment, informal economy, small and micro business entrepreneur development, remittances, remittance behaviour and poverty reduction, urban social networks and labour market outcomes, niche migrant labour markets, international migrant labour market outcomes).
  • Theme 7: Health economics.

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

  • Theme 1:  Applied psychological assessment and test use in developing countries.
  • Theme 2: Measurement of vocational interests in the African context.
  • Theme 3: Competency Modelling for the new world of work (development and application).
  • Theme 4: Career Counselling in the African context.
  • Theme 5: Leadership development, leadership coaching and coaching psychology, especially within multicultural context.
  • Theme 6: Human capital disclosure through integrated reporting.
  • Theme 7: Human capital disclosure through ESG reporting.
  • Theme 8: Forward-looking human capital disclosure.
  • Theme 9: Human capital disclosure through the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) methodology.
  • Theme 10: Board effectiveness and remuneration reporting.
  • Theme 11: Psychological assessment in the African context.

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 thus not suitable to potential candidates with a more a more 'general' (non-specialisation) academic background.

  • Theme 1: Investment Management.
  • Theme 2: Financial Management.
  • Theme 3: The Management of Innovation​.

Logistics (Transport Economics):

Department website

  • Theme 1: Travel behaviour and data analytics: Deriving activity, travel and transport behaviour patterns from cell phones, GPS devices, and other geospatial technologies​
  • Theme 2: Urban, regional and transport economics
  • Theme 3: City and spatial development and travel implications​
  • Theme 4: Role of International trade, transport infrastructure, logistics on economic development and growth​
  • Theme 5: Distance-based Road user charging and support for distance-based user charges in a developing country context
  • Theme 6:​​ Activity based transport models and planning