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Wits Professor to join the UCT Graduate School of Business

The University of Cape Town (UCT) Graduate School of Business (GSB) has appointed Professor John Luiz as a full professor at the school. Luiz, who will join the GSB on 1 September was previous International Programmes Director at the Wits Business School and will add significantly to the school's endeavours to grow research in trans-disciplinary approaches in emerging markets.

Luiz has visited the GSB on a number of different occasions, most recently last month when he presented a research programme funded by the National Treasury of South Africa, in his capacity as Chair of the Academic Committee of Economic Research Southern Africa (ERSA).

Director of the GSB, Walter Baets, said that Luiz brings with him an impressive academic track record, as well as a number of notable accomplishments.

Luiz started his 20-year academic career in the economics department of Wits University before moving to the Wits Business School in 2003. This transition, he says, was very important as it allowed him to collaborate with disciplines outside of economics and according to him, set the tone for his approach into teaching and research. It also resulted in his continued research focus on international business strategy; the relationship between business, society, and government; and the economics of emerging markets. Previously he was also the Executive Dean in the Faculty of Management at the University of Johannesburg.

Luiz is also widely published in journals, books and cases and has been an NRF-rated researcher since 2003. He was a visiting scholar at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1999, 2006 and 2011, and a research affiliate at Columbia University in 2006. He also sits on the Editorial Board of the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences and the South African Journal of Business Management.

"I am very excited about the move to the GSB," said Luiz, "The University of Cape Town has set itself apart from its competitors in South Africa and stands above others as the leading university in Africa. The GSB, likewise, consistently appears at the top of the rankings amongst business schools on the continent - this is something that I want to be a part of and contribute towards," he said.

Luiz also commented that what excites him the most about the new appointment is the opportunity to work with a business school "where the focus is on emerging markets and a trans-disciplinary approach."

"Not only is it reflective and embedded in its context on the continent, but it is also breaking down the disciplinary silos that MBA students consistently complain about," said Luiz.

Furthermore Luiz thinks highly of the school because according to him his own philosophy mirrors that of the GSB.

"The GSB's approach is about reflecting the challenges that managers face in their organisations, which in reality means never having the luxury of operating in artificial functional areas. When a crisis hits, they need to be prepared to handle its full complexity and I do believe business schools should prepare them for that - which the GSB does. The school is also focused on preparing leaders in Africa to deal with the continent's unique challenges and has an innovative business model that incorporates the importance of sustainable development that seeks to lower our negative externalities and increase our positive spill-over effects," said Luiz.

"We are very happy to welcome Prof Luiz to the GSB," said Baets, "his research focus will add great value to the body of knowledge within the school and is perfectly aligned with our forward-moving vision to be a business school that emphasises values and sustainable enterprise, within the context of the emerging market paradigm."

31 Aug 2011 12:10