The University of Cape Town has announced that Walter Baets, Director of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (GSB), has been awarded the Allan Gray Chair in Values-based Leadership.
The Chair, located in the Allan Gray Centre for Values-based Leadership at the GSB which was funded by Allan Gray and his wife Gill, is the first of its kind in South Africa and will explore new ways of doing business, based on purpose and sustainability, that create dignity and belonging.
Allan Gray is the founder of Allan Gray Limited and co-founder of the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation.
According to Gray, values-based leadership involves a fundamental questioning of the principles by which the world has been doing business and the Chair will explore what is required for the generation of new business and economic practices that are geared towards adding more value to society.
Gray said: “I am extremely pleased with the committee’s decision to appoint Walter Baets. With Walter we have someone who is passionate about the subject of values-based leadership – and can put the Centre on the right path.
“Alongside this is his ability to inspire others – and considering that a main aim of the Centre is to ensure that the lessons are taken further into society, this is invaluable for the role.”
Baets’ responsibilities will include giving academic leadership and establishing a research agenda for the Centre.
“The right questions need to be asked,” said Baets. “For example, what does it mean for a company to embrace values-based leadership – what are the tools, and the mindsets needed? The Centre will explore these questions and develop the appropriate responses.”
The Chair will be complemented by two senior lecturers and two PhD bursaries. It will focus on more than just research and development – there will be active interaction and collaboration between the Centre and the Allan Gray Orbis Foundation and to some extent with Allan Gray Limited.
At the same time, the foundation will benefit from the fresh research and input to improve its endeavours.
Baets also hopes to spread the information into the operation of other businesses, by including research output on modules on the GSB’s acclaimed Executive Education programmes.
The position is effective from January 2014.