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Drs Chitongo, Grobbelaar and Scribante from the Graduate School of Technology Management received their PhD degree at the Graduation Ceremony held on 3 September2019.

Posted on September 05, 2019

Alfred Chitongo

Title: Competition between key project participants during project execution: A system dynamics approach

Summary: Project management is widely used in almost every organisation. Yet, many projects continue to be poorly managed. The use of competition, as a conflict-handling style aimed at win-lose end-results, is a common challenge during project execution. In his thesis, Competition between key project participants during project execution: a system dynamics approach, the promovendus proposed a novel system dynamics simulation model of competition between two key project participants (client and engineering consultant). The research followed a mixed-methods design, incorporating the system dynamics approach. The results of simulations and impact analyses suggested that the competition (aimed at win-lose results) negatively influenced both project performance (client’s interest) and the engineering consultant’s project business performance (lose-lose long-term results). The counterintuitive results highlighted the dynamic complexity of the competition. Policy optimisation results suggest key interventions that improve competition, enhancing both project performance and the engineering consultant’s project business performance (win-win long-term results).

 

Schalk Grobbelaar

Title: Evaluating the Management, Measurement and Prediction of Business Competitiveness

Summary: A company is a complex system that operates within an even more complex ecosystem. For companies to survive and grow, they must remain competitive. To achieve this, companies should understand how they influence and are influenced by the ecosystem. In his thesis, Evaluating the management, measurement and prediction of business competitiveness, the promovendus proposed that multiple correlation tests should be used to identify quantifiable predictors of financial competitiveness for companies. To test this proposition, two case studies were performed. The first on sawmilling companies in South Africa and the second on companies listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. The multiple correlation tests illustrated that it is possible to identify quantifiable predictors of financial competitiveness. These predictors, in combination with decision-making techniques, can be utilised to predict the financial competitiveness of a company or group of companies.

 

Naude Scribante

Title: An investigation into requirements volatility using systems dynamics modelling – The design of a requirements engineering research tool

Summary: The challenges in the requirements engineering domain can be traced to several factors, including that the requirements engineering domain is a complex socio-technical system. This complexity makes research in this field difficult since it is not possible to set up research experiments if the researcher is not involved and if the experiment cannot repeatedly produce the same outcome. In his thesis, An investigation into requirements volatility using Systems Dynamics modelling—The design of a requirements engineering research tool, the promovendus proposed a novel design for a requirements engineering research tool by following a design science research methodology. The research methodology and method developed are also applicable to the requirements engineering domain, the larger complex research domain and the complex socio-technical research domain. A further contribution of the research is the development of an elicitation-diffusion model for requirements engineering.

 

Published by Marlene Mulder

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