Roles and Responsibilities

Background

Nkosana is focused on advancing human cooperation through scholarship, entrepreneurship and governance.

He received his PhD from Monash University and was awarded the Mollie Holman Medal - one of Monash's highest academic honours, conferred annually to 10 doctoral graduates from across the university for exceptional research. Nkosana also holds a Bachelor's degree from the University of Queensland with First Class Honours and was valedictorian of the Business School.

Nkosana joined the University of Edinburgh Business School in 2022 and received a Teaching Excellence Award in his first semester.

Integrating academic theory with firsthand professional experience is at the heart of Nkosana's research and teaching approach. Before academia, he was the CEO of a software company backed by Telstra, Australia's largest telecommunications company. For 3 years, he served as the managing director of CYALA (the Council for Young Africans Living Abroad), which he founded in 2015. Over the last 2 years, Nkosana has extended his industry involvement by providing strategic implementation and governance support to projects in the NFT (Non-Fungible Token) industry.

He draws on his diverse professional experience as a non-executive director and statutory advisor. Nkosana is a non-executive board member at SAAS (Student Awards Agency Scotland). SAAS is the Scottish Government agency that annually administers over £1 billion in funding to more than 180,000 higher education students. Previous appointments include: 

  • 4 years as an advisory council member at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
  • 3 years on the multicultural advisory council within Australia's Queensland State Government. 
  • 3 years as a non-executive director/Chair of the Global Shapers Community in Australia, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Research Interests

How can strategic leaders elevate their decision-making in a world where humanity's limitations clash with the growing complexity of society and technology?

This question lies at the heart of Nkosana's research. To address this, he integrates macro-level trends and micro-level psychological processes into the study of organisations. 

Central to Nkosana's research is the Microfoundations of Society and Technology in Organisations — a focus that drives him to examine how social dynamics and technological advancements influence strategic leadership and decision-making within organisations.

Through a multidisciplinary lens that draws on insights from organisation theory, sociology, and cross-cultural psychology, he produces theoretically significant and practically relevant research to confront the diverse challenges presented by our rapidly changing world.

Nkosana's research is published in the Journal of Business Venturing and has won three Best Conference Paper Awards at the European and American Academies of Management

Society in Organisations: In his first research program, Nkosana investigates how perceptions of inequality within markets and across borders and cultures influence decision-making processes. This program explores how, for instance, immigration experiences define a social entrepreneur’s social class shaping their assessments and subsequent decisions. In other work, he examines how actors re-legitimise abandoned cultural artifacts in fast growing markets. Combining principles from psychology and sociology, he is developing frameworks to help strategic leaders make better decisions.

Technology in Organisations: Nkosana’s second research program explores how emerging technologies can enhance decision-making practices. One project integrates decentralised storage with multimodal AI to develop advanced methods for archiving digital data. Another project employs large language models to assist in qualitative data analysis. By creating tools for better data collection, retrieval, and analysis he helps strategic leaders avoid decision paralysis.

Phenomena: Hybrid organisations, transnational venturing, social entrepreneurs, impact investors, socio-technical disruption, diaspora communities, digital communities, digital dark age

Theoretical Interests: Organisational paradox, cross-cultural psychology, organisational sociology, social evaluations (class, status, stereotypes, authenticity, legitimacy, stigma) 

Methods: Narrative interviews, netnography, comparative case study, questionnaires, vignettes, digital archival  

Research Fingerprint

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Research Area