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Supervision Team Details

Dr Iréze van Wyk

012 429 2085

(Contact person for this focus area)


Iréze van Wyk is a lecturer in department of Business Management at UNISA. She obtained her master’s degree with distinction from UNISA in 2014 and was awarded the college research award in 2015 for obtaining this degree. She completed her doctoral degree in 2022 which focused on effective ethical strategic decision making by focusing on small and medium entities (SMEs) and identified a strategic decision-making process. Dr van Wyk has published a few articles in national peer reviewed journals with colleagues, presented papers at national peer reviewed conferences and contributed to book chapters. She has also supervised postgraduate research projects. Her research interests include strategic decision-making, integration of ethics in strategy and favours SMEs and qualitative research designs.

Prof Tersia Botha



Prof Tersia Botha completed her MCom and DCom in Business Management, focusing on Investment Management. She has a keen interest in Responsible Management, focusing on sustainability, responsibility and ethics in business. She has published articles, authored and co-authored books and presented papers nationally and internationally on various Business Management topics and has lecturing experience of more than 30 years.

Ms Lynette Cronje

012 429 2245


Lynette Cronje is a lecturer in the Department of Business Management, teaching Contemporary Management Issues as well as a short course in Strategic Management. She completed her MCom degree cum laude by exploring the aspects influencing decision-making regarding responsible business practices in SMMEs in 2016. She has published in an accredited journal, and co-authored a book in the field Business Management. She is passionate about responsible business practices and favours quantitative research.

Ms Tracey Cohen

012 429 6136

Tracey Cohen is a lecturer in the Department of Business Management. She holds a Bcom (UP), Bcom Honours (UP) and is awaiting the outcome of her MCom in Business management at UNISA titled: The consumer behaviour and environmental consciousness of domestic air travellers within the South African context. She has co-authored chapters of a book in the field of Corporate Citizenship and published in an accredited academic journal. Her fields of interest include Sustainable development, Corporate Citizenship and corporate social responsibility. Responsible leadership, Consumer behaviour Green / sustainable tourism and Consumer environmental consciousness. She is passionate about the role of corporates in society.


Research Agenda

Sustainability has become the “mantra” for business in the 21st century and there has been a significant “shift to sustainability” by organisations (Laszlo & Zhexembayeva 2011, Smith & Sharicz 2011). Sustainability is said to be “shaping the business landscape” to such an extent that it has become a “business imperative” for operating in today’s globalising world (Lacy, Arnott et al. 2009, Laszlo & Zhexembayeva 2011). Those in practice have noted that an organisation’s commitment to, and adoption of sustainability have become both necessary and expected (Dyllick & Hockerts 2002, Skinner & Mersham 2008).

Sustainability means the capacity to endure, maintain, preserve and be resilient by crafting strategies that avoid collapse and failure (Enders & Remig 2015). Corporate sustainability refers to the role of business in making the world a more sustainable place (Dyllick & Muff 2015). Corporate or business sustainability emerged from the strategic management field in the early 1990’s (Valente 2015).

This shift to sustainability is a response by organisations to a long-standing call for them to analyse their current underlying views and fundamental beliefs towards business and society (Gladwin et al. 1995, Margolis & Walsh 2003). The shift has also been driven by stakeholder pressure aimed at getting organisations to commit to and adopt sustainability (Banerjee & Bonnefous 2011). Stakeholders blame the private sector for excessive consumption, environmental degradation and for many of the social issues found today (Valente 2015). Advocates for corporate sustainability have developed a ‘business case for sustainability’, which is aimed at enticing organisations to adopt corporate sustainability. This business case focuses on the many drivers and benefits associated with sustainability adoption.

Sustainability adoption refers to how organisations manage and implement sustainability (Vidal, Kozak et al. 2015). Sustainability adoption is usually portrayed as a journey with stages on a continuum (Rake & Grayson 2009). The stages range from legally complying with sustainability towards proactivity and then onto embedding sustainability and transitioning into a sustainable organisation (Valente 2015). Wagner (2007) describes the sustainability journey as a continuum that ranges from “not at all integrated” to “fully integrated”. Transitioning into a sustainable organisation is considered the ultimate goal in terms of sustainability adoption (Perrott 2014). A sustainable or sustainability embedded organisation is an organisation that has “evolved” and “matured” by undergoing significant paradigmatic, strategic, operational and transformational change (Bell, Soybel et al. 2012, Adams & Frost 2008). Dyllick and Muff (2015) describe truly sustainable [embedded] organisations as those who have shifted from seeking to diminish the corporates’ negative impact, to understanding how it can create a substantial positive impact in critical and pertinent areas for the planet and society.

Sustainability embeddedness is defined as the instilling of sustainability into practices (behaviours, actions, beliefs and attitudes) and decision making at every level. In this way, sustainability becomes deeply engrained in the organisational existence (strategy fabric), in relationships with stakeholders, and becomes an integral part of how the organisation ensures its future resilience and performance. Embedding sustainability eventually leads to a change of the organisation’s culture towards the long-term sustainability of profit, people and planet (le Roux & Pretorius 2016, Laszlo & Zhexembayeva 2011, Wagner 2011, Valente 2015).

The discussion about whether business needs to embed social and environmental sustainability into its business operations is long over. Sustainability is seen as a vital part of how an organisation ensures its future resilience and performance. For sustainability to become embedded, it needs to be made a part of an organisation’s strategy fabric so that it permeates throughout the organisation and forms part of practitioner practices, beliefs, and decision-making at every level. The reality is embedding sustainability poses daunting and immense managerial challenges for those in practice and that few companies’ successfully transition into sustainable organisations. It appears that sustainability is not as embedded in decision making and practice as desired, and that practitioners are struggling with its adoption and implementation.

Scrutiny of sustainability literature reveals that sustainability is no longer a question of ‘should we accommodate it?’ Instead, given its connection to sustained performance, legitimacy, resilience and its role of governance, the question has become, ‘how to do so?’ For many organisations, it is in the actual ‘doing’ and ‘realizing’ of sustainability embeddedness that they find themselves wanting. Even though sustainability embeddedness is a valid and accepted orientation for business and there is evidence of strong commitments to sustainability by organisations, a “big disconnect” exists in the implementation of sustainability (Dyllick & Muff 2015, Valente 2015).