AbstractsBusiness Management & Administration

A sustainability reporting framework for South African Higher Education Institutions

by Samuel Mobisa Bosire

Institution: Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Department: Faculty of Business and Economic Science
Degree: DBA
Year: 2014
Keywords: Sustainable development reporting  – South Africa; Business intelligence  – South Africa.; Universities and colleges  – South Africa; Corporate governance  – South Africa
Record ID: 1425433
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10948/d1016126


Sustainability has gained prominence globally among nations, regions and organisations as a result of factors such as the effects of climate change on the environment, diminishing natural resources and rising population growth with their concomitant impact on economies and social systems. South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) that promotes international principles and best practices on sustainable development. Sustainability Reporting is one such best practice. Sustainability Reporting is imperative for good governance and organisations are now expected to support sustainability issues, risks and performance in a balanced and reasonable way. The United Nations and other global bodies have been in the vanguard in promoting guidelines for sustainability reporting with the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) being the most Prominent Sustainability reporting guideline. The South African Higher Education Institutions generate a number of reports in the course of any given academic year. As has been the case in the global corporate world, failures in governance in some South African universities point to weaknesses in their governance, especially when it comes tooversight of the operations of institutions. Considering this, it is important to critically examine strategic planning processes to understand the aspects that are important for the survival of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) and therefore they should be regularly and closely monitored. The study begins by exploring literature relating to strategic planning, governance, sustainability reporting practices and Business Intelligence (BI) technologies in Higher Education. The primary objective of the investigation is to propose a sustainability reporting framework for Higher Education Institutions in South Africa. It is argued that with the aid of appropriate BI tools, the proposed Sustainability Reporting framework would be useful in tracking progress in the implementation of strategic plans and at the same time strengthen governance in institutions. The study identified elements of Sustainability Reporting that are important for strategic planning. To develop the proposed framework, an empirical investigation was undertaken. Four online questionnaires were completed and returned by 108 participants comprising of Registrars and Information Managers at 23 South African Higher Education Institutions as well as to Information Managers in selected International Higher Education Institutions and Managers at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU). The online questionnaires were developed to elicit information to include in the proposed framework. To analyse results, both descriptive and inferential statistics such as Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used. Results from the surveys revealed that Higher Education Institutions globally and in South Africa are grappling with the same issues. When it comes to Sustainability Reporting, factors such as information culture and Business Intelligence maturity levels were not found to…