Short Bio – Dr. René Pellissier
Dr. René Pellissier

PhD (Systems Engineering), MBA, MSc (Mathematical Statistics)
Research Professor, University of South Africa
Extraordinary Professor, University of the Western Cape
Faculty Associate: The Albert Luthuli Centre for Responsible Leadership, University of Pretoria. Each problem that I solved became a rule, which served afterwards to solve other problems. 'René Descartes My namesake also wrote 'I think; therefore I am', This makes no sense to me as scientist.

I describe myself as an informationologist and a futurist. (On the latter, sorry, I cannot see into the future. Yet.) I am at the frontiers of my subject mainly because of an eclectic academic background which has allowed me to explore and gain insights across traditional subject boundaries. What do I do? I focus and specialize in the management sciences, specifically in strategy design and implementation, business engineering, information and, consequently, innovation and technology, thus leading me into complexity and complex adaptive systems and the differences between developed and developing economies world-wide. I concern myself with the development, improvement, implementation and evaluation of integrated systems of people or process, knowledge, information or equipment and I draw upon the principles and methods of engineering analysis and synthesis, as well as mathematical/statistical, physical and social sciences to formulate optimal design and good practice. The primeval objective is: analysis, design, transformation and evaluation – focusing on renewal. Businesses always have unanswered questions: What? How? Why? When? and Where? I have spent most of my academic and consulting life trying to help answer these.

I hold a systems view of organisational theory and believe there is a growing need to develop management theory and practice that can handle the increasing nature of complexity because of the increasing number of variables, their relative linkages and the separate and joint impact they have on growth. I revel in redesign and thus love research as it provides new knowledge. My research foci are: research itself, innovation and technology, complexity, business and competitive intelligence, psychic distance as a developmental model for trade relations and small business development (and entrepreneurship). 

I have held several executive and research positions across the globe, and have taught at business schools across Europe, the U.K, Africa and the U.S. I have extensive consulting, teaching and research experience in: Statistics, Informational Engineering, Knowledge Management, Value Chain Management, Operations Management, Strategy, Business and Process Engineering and Scientific Research. I have received numerous research awards and accolades from scientific journals. I am on the review boards of several scientific committees and project manages several research projects: gap analysis on HR demand and supply; the development of a framework for research competencies for academics; the application of complexity and complex adaptive systems in business; operational excellence, etc. I supervise doctoral degrees across the globe and have published (or, by invitation, contributed to) books and scientific papers, regularly present at conferences and workshops. I founded Ymholiad (International Research Institute in Leadership and Innovation) and co-founded The Informational Accounting Institute of Southern Africa. I live in Massachusetts with my husband, dog and fish, where I currently battle my way through life in New England and work life in Africa.


Author: René Pellissier

Department of Business Management, University of South Africa

Synopsis of the research

I am of the opinion that the strategic management as we teach and preach it, is flawed as it dates back to 1911 when Taylor pushed the principles of SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT. Although we all acknowledge the role of technology and innovation in modern management, we still revert to established rules and processes. In fact, we like stability, structure and order because it makes us feel safe. However, the environment refuses to accept linearity and our world is cluttered with so much non-linearity and complexity that we need to look for alternatives in how our management practices should be established, let alone taught. It is possible that developed economies, because of the unstable environment that they are based in, are more set to embrace non-linearity than their developed counterparts. China is but one example. So, is there a difference, from the perspective of the organizational strategic plan based on the environment? My postdoctoral research project explores elements of non-linearity and complexity and tries to develop (and justify) a framework to turn to for complexity in strategy. The data gathering involved extensive interviews with selected industry leaders in

both domains (I chose South Africa and the United States) to determine their views on these aspects. The questions reviewed strategy, structure and design and the role players they identify to address linearity or complexity to achieve innovation. The results of the study are enlightening and refreshing going beyond the current management thinking.