New GIBS faculty research outputs

Since the beginning of 2023, a number of research articles have been published by our faculty and research associates. Below, a selection of these publications

The impact of remuneration governance on chief executive officer overpayment by Mark Bussin, Albert Wocke and Benno Deysel.

South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 26(1), 1-10.

BACKGROUND: Chief executive officer (CEO) payment and company performance are highly controversial, and existing research has focused on this link for decades. The study was conducted in South Africa where corporate governance regulators have introduced measures to improve the relationship between CEO pay and performance 

AIM: This research aimed to explore the problem by extending Pepper and Gore’s (2015) behavioural agency theory to examine the moderating effect of remuneration governance on the CEO pay – company performance relationship

SETTING: The study focused on the Top 100 listed companies in which several regulations concerning CEO pay were introduced, which provided the opportunity to examine such regulations on the alignment of CEO pay and company performance 

METHOD: Panel data from 67 company annual reports were analysed over two decades with 871 datapoints, divided into three periods corresponding with the introduction of regulations. Analyses included corrected panel standard errors and estimated generalised least squared hierarchical multiple regression and moderated multiple regression analyses 

RESULTS: Results showed a statistically significant positive relationship between company performance measures and total CEO remuneration (including long-term incentives [LTIs]) for each of the three periods. We found that LTIs tied to performance-vested criteria and CEO minimum shareholding do enhance pay-performance sensitivity. Results further suggest that the behavioural agency theory is incomplete and researchers should consider the role of remuneration governance in moderating CEO overpayment 

CONCLUSION: Remuneration governance should be refined through the inclusion of retrospective CEO remuneration disclosure to increase pay-performance sensitivity 

CONTRIBUTION: This research contributes to knowledge of CEO payment and company performance

Greater risk and a smaller opportunity: The opportunity space of SME internationalization in lower-income countries by Chikondi Ngombe, Theunis Mans and Helena Barnard

Transnational Corporations, 30(1), 135-155

Why do small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from lower-income countries internationalize using high-commitment modes? In this exploratory, qualitative study of 22 SMEs from South Africa (a middle-income country) and Malawi, Zambia and Zimbabwe (low-income countries), we document that the SMEs typically have both a greater tolerance for risk, likely due to the region from which they originate, and an appetite for opportunities smaller than what would be acceptable to multinational enterprises (MNEs) from advanced economies. This provides a very different opportunity space for the two types of enterprises. The size of the home country seems to matter: SMEs from middle-income countries often work on their own and target other emerging markets, but in poorer countries, SMEs often work synergistically with MNEs from more advanced economies, acting as their “delivery arm” into the small markets in their immediate region. This opens up a new way of understanding MNE-led development. Facilitating the development of partnerships between local SMEs and advanced MNEs is a potentially fruitful avenue that policymakers from poor countries can pursue to help their countries open to the benefits of internationalization.

In search of operational resilience: How and when improvisation matters by Dominic Essuman, Henry Ataburo, Nathaniel Boso, Emmanuel Anin, Listowel Appiah

Journal of Business Logistics.

The need to improvise during supply chain disruptions to enhance operational resilience is ever more critical. Yet, managers appear to lack an understanding of how and when improvisation matters. We apply the conservation of resources theory to conceptualize how firms activate spontaneous and creative improvisation during supply chain disruptions and theorize how that relates to operational resilience in low and high supply chain disruption conditions. We test our arguments on primary data from a sample of 259 firms in Ghana. We find that creative improvisation has a positive relationship with operational resilience, and this relationship is stronger in high supply chain disruption conditions. Spontaneous improvisation, on the contrary, is unrelated to operational resilience in both low and high supply chain disruption conditions. These findings indicate that not all types of improvisation contribute to operational resilience, suggesting the need for a nuanced approach to theorizing and applying the improvisation concept in supply chains.

The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on women entrepreneurs operating in the informal sector by Motshedisi Mathibe and Willie Chinyamurindi

Journal of Contemporary Management, 19(si1).

Purpose of the study: The COVID-19 pandemic has had a global effect on the world of business. Calls exist to understand the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the informal sector, especially across businesses operated by women entrepreneurs. The study sought to explore the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on women entrepreneurs operating in the informal sector.

Design/methodology/approach: The study was split into two phases using a sequential explanatory mixed method design. The first phase was quantitative in nature, where descriptive data around the sample in view of the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic was generated. The second phase was qualitative in nature, and it explored the lived experiences of the sample of women entrepreneurs in the informal sector in understanding the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Findings: Based on the analysed data, three main findings emerged. First, the participating women entrepreneurs expressed concern, especially about the COVID-19 pandemic in the informal sector. Second, this impact mainly centred on cutting back. This was done by laying off their support staff component. Finally, to adjust to these challenges, the women entrepreneurs opted to take up loans to sustain their businesses. This action was actuated by a perceived lack of support for women entrepreneurs in the informal sector from the government.

Recommendations/value: Support is needed to assist those operating within the informal sector, especially as part of post-recovery efforts from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Managerial implications: There is a need to provide financial and non-financial support, especially to women owned businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic within the informal sector. These also include the provision of business management strategies in response to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exploring accountability of individuals in the mining sector: A multi-level perspective by Tarryn Brandling, Hayley Pearson and Morris Mthombeni

South African Journal of Business Management, 54(1), a3085.

urpose: In heavy industries like mining, where safety is paramount, organisations need a well-functioning system of accountability. Yet to whom employees perceive they are accountable differs at varying hierarchical levels. This article reports on the findings from a study that investigated sources of accountability at different organisational levels in a certain mining operation and the mechanisms used to manage such accountability.

Design/methodology/approach: An exploratory, qualitative research methodology was used in the study, underpinned by in-depth interviews with participants from three organisational levels: blue-collar workers, supervisors and managers. The data collected were analysed using thematic content analysis.

Findings/results: Blue-collar workers and supervisors considered self-accountability and accountability to line managers to be the primary sources of accountability. However, managers stressed the importance of accountability to regulatory bodies and the legal implications of non-adherence to prescribed standards. All participants perceived their reputations to be heavily dependent on their accountability relationships. Mechanisms used in the organisation to promote accountability included clarifying roles and responsibilities, building open and honest interpersonal relationships, implementing standardised policies and procedures, and offering financial incentives.

Practical implications: The findings from the study informed the development of a conceptual accountability model, which should help mining executives in other organisations to manage the accountability process and promote responsible and safe behaviour at all organisational levels.

Originality/value: There is limited empirical research on sources of accountability in organisations. This study provides useful insights that help to fill this gap.