Inaugural Addresses (Business Management)

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    Investor short-termis and managerial myopia : irrational behaviour or human nature
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-08) Erasmus, Pierre D.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT : The world seems to be moving faster and faster. Bombarded with an ever-expanding stream of new information and facing rapid technological change, we are experiencing intensified pressure to deliver immediate results. Nowhere is this more apparent than in capital markets. Investors harness sophisticated technology to gather, analyse and interpret information and react to new information almost instantaneously. Corporate managers’ ability to churn out satisfactory returns to shareholders is under constant scrutiny. In the era of “quarterly capitalism” (Barton, 2011: 86; Millon, 2002: 890), time is indeed money – requiring measurement “in nanoseconds rather than milliseconds” (Budish, Cramton & Shim, 2015). Surviving in such a fast-paced environment requires the ability to keep abreast of technological change, leading to significant changes in our behaviour. Advances in technological innovation not only influence how we behave, however, but may also have an impact on the way we think. Adapting to the challenges of the information revolution may have produced a neurological rewiring of our brain (Carr, 2011), resulting in a shortened attention span (Haldane & Davies, 2011: 1). The benefits associated with technological innovation therefore may have come at a cognitive cost. Despite concerns regarding increased shortsighted behaviour by shareholders and corporate management being raised by the business community for some time, empirical evidence assessing the causes and the consequences of this change in behaviour remains limited (Dallas, 2012: 268; Bøhren, Priestley & Ødegaard, 2009: 3). Given our poor understanding of the role short-termism played during the global financial crisis, I find myself sharing the concerns of those who feel that, if left unchecked, short-termism could severely disrupt long-term sustainable value creation (Davies, Haldane, Nielsen & Pezzini, 2014: 16; Dallas, 2012: 269; Rappaport, 2011: 5; Dobbs, 2009: 127). In this inaugural address, I will discuss how shorttermism impacts on corporate finance. I will start by providing an overview of short-termism by explaining how it influences our behaviour and the resulting impact on financial markets. Given the damaging consequences increased investor short-termism and managerial myopia could have on corporate performance and sustainability, I will then reflect on whether technological innovation and inappropriate incentives could have contributed to these two forms of short-termism. In conclusion, I will identify ways to reduce short-termism by referring to some of the problem areas I have identified.
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    Mixing morals and money – a futile dream?
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2013-10) Viviers, Suzette
    Suzette is op 28 September 1973 gebore as enigste dogter van Andries en Anna Viviers. Sy is ’n laatlam en het drie ouer broers, Dolph, Kobus en Andrè. Suzette voltooi haar hoërskoolloopbaan aan Goudrif Hoërskool, Germiston. Na die afsterwe van haar vader in 1990, verhuis sy en haar moeder na Port Elizabeth. In 1995 behaal sy haar BCom-graad cum laude met Ondernemingsbestuur en Bedryfs- en Organisasiesielkunde as hoofvakke. In 1996 ontvang sy haar BCom Honneursgraad in Ondernemingsbestuur ook met lof. Sy het hierdie graad gedeeltelik aan die eertydse Universiteit van Port Elizabeth (UPE) en gedeeltelik aan die Vrije Universiteit van Amsterdam voltooi. Twee jaar later ontvang sy haar meestersgraad aan die Vlerick-Leuven-Gent-Management-School in België, weereens met onderskeiding. After a short stint in the consulting industry, she began her academic career in the Department of Business Management at UPE in January 1999. She completed her DCom degree in 2006 under the guidance of Professors Johan Bosch (UPE), Arie Buijs (Utrecht University) and Eon Smit (Stellenbosch University). Her thesis, entitled “A critical assessment of socially responsible investing in South Africa,” documented the development of the phenomenon, its ethical foundations and the riskadjusted performance of a sample of local responsible investment funds. The main finding of this study was that South African investors who wish to invest in line with their personal values would not have to sacrifice returns. In 2009 ontvang Suzette ’n toekenning as Ontluikende Navorser aan die Nelson Mandela Metpolitaanse Universiteit (die voormalige UPE) en ’n Y2-gradering van die Nasionale Navorsingstigting in 2010. Op 1 September 2010 aanvaar Suzette ’n pos as senior lektor in die Departement Ondernemingsbestuur aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch. In April 2011 word Suzette die eerste vroueprofessor in die Departement se geskiedenis. Soos in Port Elizabeth doseer sy finansiële bestuur en beleggingsbestuur op voor- en nagraadse vlak. Sy doseer ook finansiële bestuur aan die Universiteit Utrecht (2002, 2011 en 2013) en aan die Amerikaanse Universiteit van Koeweit (2009) as deel van die universiteite se somerskoolprogramme. Oor die jare het sy verskeie nagraadse studente begelei en wyd gepubliseer in plaaslike en internasionale vaktydskrifte. Sy het talle referate by nasionale en internasionale kongresse gelewer en is ook mede-outeur van twee handboeke in finansiële bestuur. Gegewe haar passie vir etiek, sentreer haar navorsing op verskillende aspekte van sake- en beleggingsetiek. Suzette has served as Director of the Unit for Applied Management Sciences at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (Jan 2008–Aug 2010) and as Secretary General of the Business Ethics Network of Africa (Nov 2010–Nov 2012). Since joining Stellenbosch University she has been a member of the University’s Research Ethics Committee (Humanities). Sy dra hierdie intreerede aan haar moeder, Anna Viviers, en ouma, Babe van den Berg, op.