Course Description: During the International Assignment to South Africa, students will be involved in an intensive weeklong project at a local South African organisation. The exercise is framed around multi-stakeholder engagement and organizational responses because the topic is sufficiently general to serve as a lens for an array of fundamental organisational issues such as organizational culture and identity and the development and execution of strategy. For example, focusing on the broader issue of how the organisation engages and interacts with its diverse set of stakeholders, both internal and external (e.g. customers, employees, shareholders and communities), typically reveals issues surrounding such varied areas as employee morale, conflict, motivation, as well as cohesiveness of overall strategy and effectiveness of execution, to name just a few.
Through this exercise, students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about the kinds of external and internal pressures, demands and expectations organisations are facing, and the process through which they decide how best to respond to them. In addition to these broad lessons, students will also learn how organisational culture may shape strategic responses but also how it directly impacts behavioural issues such as, for instance, management style and the effectiveness of decision-making. South Africa serves as a particularly interesting and fertile ground in this respect. The country has undergone, and continues to undergo, enormous social, political, and economic change.