Conference Proceedings 2014

Proceedings of the 2nd UGBS Conference on Business and Development

The University of Ghana Business School (UGBS) conference was established in April 2013 on the back of the UN World Summit in September 2005 that identified sustainable development as critical for the world’s attention. In that summit, sustainable development ideals were identified as the three interdependent and mutually-reinforcing components of economic development, social development, and environmental protection. Nearly ten years after the world summit leading to the maiden UGBS conference, it was noted that governments, development agencies, private institutions and civil society organizations were striving to achieve the ideals of sustainable development that headlined the summit. Hence, the attempt by UGBS to institutionalize an annual conference, with a mandate to encourage academic - corporate discourse that seeks to address how the business community can contribute to Ghana and Africa’s strife to achieve sustainable development.

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The theme for the maiden conference was Business and Development in Africa: Determining New Frontiers; and focused on the impact that different strategic choices in business have on economies and societies, and on the context in which those strategic choices are made. The questions raised in that conference were: How do businesses contribute to the socio-economic development of people and localities? What is the role of business in economic development and environmental protection?

In addition to the September 2005 UN World Summit, the 2nd UGBS conference scheduled for 29 - 31 July 2014, as a follow up to the maiden conference draws inspiration from the target of the seventh Millennium Development Goal (MDG7), to encourage macro and micro level integration of the principles of sustainable development. The theme of the 2nd UGBS conference this year, lead sponsored by First Capital Plus Bank (FCP) and the Bank of Ghana (BoG), is ‘Sustainability and Enterprise Development’, as a micro level adaptation from the MDG7, and as a response to calls by growing numbers of business leaders and governments for market transformation, organizational restructuring, institutional frameworks and the redefinition of development programmes to address the sustainability agenda.

The conference, therefore, seeks to unearth answers concerning how enterprises and institutions can be built for posterity. The conference will deliberate on issues regarding theories, frameworks, and empirical evidence on the conditions and tools for promoting and managing sustainable innovation and business models. Further, the conference seeks to touch on social entrepreneurship and social business models. It will also cover sustainability policies, in addition to the strategies of firms and governments, accounting, assurance, and communication of sustainability in business education, as well as how marketing of sustainability influences consumption and public opinion.

Out of the 75 papers that were received and reviewed, there are 42 accepted conference papers and 20 doctoral submissions. 19 of the 42 accepted conference papers were accepted only for oral presentations in 7 tracks, based on the above themes. The remaining 23, were however accepted for oral presentation, as well as inclusion in the conference proceedings. There are several key findings identified in the accepted papers, some of which are stated below. Nonetheless, complete versions of these findings, among others are presented throughout the entire proceedings document.