Contact us:


Suki Goodman receives SIOPSA Presidential Merit Award for Academic Excellence

Associate Professor Suki Goodman 

Associate Professor Suki Goodman was the 2017 recipient of the Society for Industrial & Organisational Psychology of South Africa (SIOPSA) Presidential Merit Award for Academic Excellence. The overarching theme of the SIOPSA Presidential Merit Awards is to identify, recognise and reward members of the Society who have contributed positively and excelled in their areas of expertise within the IOP profession. The award was presented at the gala dinner on 26th July at the Society’s annual conference. Suki received the award for her dedication to institutional transformation in industrial and organisational psychology.

Kanshukan Rajaratnam, the Deputy Dean of Transformation in the Faculty, praised A/Prof. Goodman on her efforts both in her discipline and her work at the Faculty, “Suki Goodman’s award is an indication of her dedication to society’s transformation. She currently curates the Commerce Education Group, which in 2017, is focussed on curriculum transformation. We are proud of Suki and this national recognition for her work. We hope to see more of this as she takes on a senior leadership role in her department.”

Additionally at the conference, the Section of Organisational Psychology facilitated a round table discussion entitled, Talking about what a decolonised Industrial/ Organisational (IO) Psychology university curriculum could look like?

The Section was represented at the conference by Suki along with her colleagues Prof Jeffrey Bagraim. Dr Ameeta Jaga, Associate Professor Ines Meyer and Mr Simba Tevera. The round table discussion was set up to involve the IO Psychology community in questions around how to respond to calls for decolonising the curricula.

The Section of Organisational Psychology at UCT are attempting to proactively respond to these calls for curriculum change by reflecting on and challenging academics to think about what is taught, how material is taught and for what purpose. The aim of the round table discussion was to open up opportunities for conference attendees and SIOPSA members to share their thoughts and engage with and critique the panellists.

The call for decolonisation has implications for the kinds of graduates and professionals that universities’ produce and the nature of the work done at these institutions. The Section used the conference platform to generate debate and encourage conversation.

Lifetime achievement award for Org Psych Prof


This is the speech from Prof Theo Veldsman, Head of the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management at the University of Johannesburg.

“It is indeed a great privilege to introduce Prof Joha Louw-Potgieter as one of recipients of our Life Long Achievement Awards tonight…. As you know this Award is given to persons who have made a real difference over their academic career, and consequently have left the world a better place through their legacy.

Resources entrusted to others as stewards thereof have to be deployed with accountability, transparency, responsibility and wisely in order to have the intended outcome and impact. Not only in developed countries but even more so in emerging countries where resources are not only scarce but needs are vast, and the vying amongst stakeholder to have their needs satisfied – driven by the desire for a ‘better life’, usually as soon as possible – is furious, frequently arising out of life threating desperation.

The imperative to assess the effective, efficient and responsible deployment of entrusted resources relative to the intended desired outcome and impact, or not, in satisfying needs in an impartial, objective way is thus mission critical, not only for the intended direct beneficiaries but also for the parties owning and making the resources available. Especially in emerging counties being in the throes of fundamental, rapid social transformation where resources, and their deployment, relative to the overwhelming vastness of needs are at a premium.

The evaluation of the effectiveness and efficiency of resource deployment centres around the assessment of the need for a programme; its design, logic, and theoretical base; how it is being implemented/ has been implemented; an assessment of the program’s outcome or impact, positive/ negative, intended/ unintended; and its cost and efficiency. In short, it is about the evaluation of context, input, process and product in judging a programme’s value. The discipline embracing all of the aforesaid is Programme Evaluation (PE).

This is the space in which the pioneering contribution of Joha comes in. She was a pioneer in the field of IO Psychology in establishing PE as a formal, post-graduate academic discipline in South Africa. She first became involved in PE 1992 through the World Food Programme based in Rome at that time, when she was requested as a consultant to conduct a PE of a training programme they had developed for the World Food Programme. This consulting assignment convinced her of and converted her to the need for the formal evaluation of intervention programmes for the sake of social accountability and involvement. Also of the criticality of social advocacy and conscience roles.

After being appointed as Professor in 2003 at the University of Cape Town she took the brave step to set up the Institute for Monitoring and Evaluation, and under its auspices the development and implementation with international academic partnering of an one year masters and doctoral programme in PE in 2007, the first time ever in SA. At that time only University of Stellenbosch offered a qualification in PE but it was only post-graduate diploma. A formal research component was missing in the latter. Under the auspices of the Institute she set up short courses in PE are also offered and PE contract research done.

This post-graduate programme in PE is all about bridging seamlessly the gap between theory and practice, and making a real, lasting difference where research needs to matter: in organisations, communities, and society. For example, the masters mini-dissertation entails the evaluation of real life programmes requiring for students to work full time in the organisation’s whose programme are being assessed. Some of the PE research to date has covered the assessment of the effectiveness of child literacy programmes; the effectiveness of sport in child development; the effectiveness of universities’ extended academic programmes; nursery school Grade R effectiveness; and the effectiveness of upcoming farmers support programmes.

Students come from all sorts of disciplines such as psychology, social work, Economics and Accountancy from South Africa and the rest of Africa. To date 70 masters and 1 Ph D students have graduated from the academic programme. Graduates are working in NGO’s, the public sector, and donor organisation. Over this time PE as a formal organisational portfolio and discipline as an accepted way of doing things have become firmly established IN sa, especially in the public sector and NGO’s. For example, a number of years ago a Department of Planning, monitoring and Evaluation was set up in the SA Presidency.

The general acceptance as PE as a mission critical activity in an emerging economy like SA I would like to venture can in no small way be attributed to the pioneering work that Joha undertook over so many years. As a true academic leader she showed courage, passion, perseverance and future foresight. She has triggered and nourished the social consciousness for the need for an ongoing PE narrative in order to ensure that our scare resources are deployed effectively and efficiently in order to satisfy real stakeholder needs sustainably.

Joha, it is indeed a honour and privilege to bestow this evening on you the Lifelong Achievement Award of the Department of Industrial Psychology and People Management. You have left a worthy, lasting legacy which leaves us and upcoming generations in better place. We salute you!!”

Dr Ameeta Jaga chosen as a Commerce representative on the prestigious New Generation Professoriate programme.

Dr Ameeta Jaga chosen as a Commerce representative on the prestigious New Generation Professoriate programme.

Dr Ameeta Jaga chosen as a Commerce representative on the prestigious New Generation Professoriate programme.

Dr Ameeta Jaga chosen as a Commerce representative on the prestigious New Generation Professoriate programme.  Photo taken by Mr Michael Hammond.





PhD candidate Ms Sibusiso Mdlongwa



PhD candidate Ms Sibusiso Mdlongwa represented the Section at the Africa Academy of Management’s 3rd Biennial Conference Nairobi 5-10 January 2016.  The theme of the conference was: Managing Africa’s Future: Prospects and Challenges. Ms Mdlongwa presented a paper based on her Masters dissertation entitled: An exploration into the work-family experiences of black professional women in South Africa.

How to make a PhD even longer


A PhD journey is, by necessity, a long one, and for many the time between thesis marking and the wearing of the funny hat in Jammie Hall, is, by preference, as short as possible. This was not the case, however, for Dr Chao Mulenga, who put her family’s interests above her own academic need to graduate.

Dr Mulenga, who is attached to the Section of Organisational Psychology in Commerce, completed her thesis on Occupational Health Psychology (An explanatory model of antecedents and outcomes of the health and safety climate in the South African Construction Industry). In total the doctoral route took 5 ½ years.

She found out that she would be awarded her doctorate shortly before the June graduation – but there was not enough time to organise for her beloved family to attend, so she delayed her graduation date by six months to accommodate them.She explained; “My family have supported me on this long journey. I could not see myself walking onto the stage in the Jammie Hall without a single member of my family making a noise for me in the crowd!”

Fortunately the time lapse enabled her family to overcome geographical inconveniences to celebrate her special day.Her daughter, a UCT graduate, Mukuka Mulenga-Bwalya and son-in-law, Dennis Bwaylya (A UCT Mechanical Engineering alumnus) and her grandchildren Chilela Bwalya (5) and Temwani Bwalya (2) arrived from Lusaka, Zambia for the ceremony. Her eldest daughter, a vet in Johannesburg, Dr Ida Mulenga, also made the journey for grad as well as her two brothers and their wives. “I’m so proud of you,” said an admirer. “I’m so proud of myself,” said Dr Mulenga.

Story By : Carolyn McGibbon

Guest lecture by international expert

 “Testing across culture and ethnicity: Trends and issues”,

by Prof Marise Ph. Born (Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands)

Prof Born

On the 3rd of April, UCT students and staff had the privilege of a guest lecture by Prof Marise Ph. Born (Erasmus University of Rotterdam, Netherlands), an international expert in personnel selection and assessment (see speaker bio, below).

Organisational psychologists worldwide face unique issues when they test applicants drawn from multiple cultural and ethnic groups. So, Professor Born shared her insights on recent developments on this topic. She is uniquely positioned to do this as a past president of the International Test Commission (2008-2010) and member of the task force of ISO 10667, a world-wide ISO Standard on assessment of people for work-related purposes (launched in 2010). Professor Born’s talk focused on international guidelines for assessment (ISO 10667 and ITC guidelines), and on measuring individual differences across cultures and ethnicities.

Her talk was structured into a discussion about factors related to the assessment device (the need for cognitive pretesting, contextualization of tests, and the usability of tests across cultures), the assessee (response style factors), and the assessor (assuming characteristics of assessees), with illustrations coming from several of her studies done with colleagues.


Watch the lecture

Please download the slides for the presentation at: If you are a UCT student or staff member, please contact and request the hyperlink for the videotaped Skype lecture.

(Note: The slides were provided by the presenter for personal use of UCT staff and students, and should not be redistributed without permission of the presenter.)

More about the speaker

 Prof (Dr.) Marise Born is Professor of Personnel Psychology and Chair of Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands. She is also Extraordinary Professor of Work and Personnel Psychology in the domain of ethnicity, Free University Amsterdam (Bijzonder Hoogleraar Arbeids en Personeelspsychologie in het bijzonder gericht op allochtoon-etnische groepen). She has published her work in the eminent I-O Psychology journals, including Journal of Applied Psychology, Personnel Psychology, Human Performance, International Journal of Selection and Assessment, and others. At the same time, she serves on the editorial board of various journals. She has also co-authored chapters in both the Handbook of Industrial, Work and Organizational Psychology and The Blackwell Handbook of Personnel Selection.

Registration of a new qualification

The Section of Organisational Psychology is proud to announce that the Master of Philosophy in People Management is now accredited.

IMG_7842 (2)

Please use the programmes tab to access more information on our new programme.