Professor Martin Hall, Vice Chancellor of University of Salford delivers a speech titled “Reconciliation and Reconstruction through Organisational Change”

Sunday 11 December 2011

South Africa’s first democratic elections in 1994 were a milestone in reconciliation and reconstruction following the years of conflict in the apartheid era.

Over the following fifteen years many organisations – universities, public bodies, private corporations and others – embarked on projects to transform their cultures as institutions, the stereotyped views different groups of people held about each other, and the day-by-day discrimination that allowed some groups of people to prosper at the expense of others. 

This work demonstrates that organisations provide significant opportunities for effective action following a wide range of societal traumas, including conflicts. Whether state institutions, privately owned corporations or third-sector bodies, organisations bring people together from a wide range of circumstances, define a set of common purposes and have their own, often distinctive, institutional cultures. 

This opens up fertile possibilities for connecting individual and group mentorship and mediation with developing shared and distributed leadership objectives and for addressing aspects of the organisational cultures that play such an important role in a wide range of ways. 

This presentation  used some examples from South Africa’s pathway to reconciliation and reconstruction to outline ways in which organisational change may contribute to reconciliation and reconstruction in other countries, now and in the future.

This event was jointly organised by The International Centre for Ethnic Studies, Sri Lanka; Centre for Disaster Resilience, University of Salford, UK; Social Policy Analysis and Research Centre, University of Colombo, Sri Lanka; Chamber of Construction Industry Sri Lanka.

Speaker Biography

Martin Hall is Vice Chancellor of the University of Salford. He is also Professor Emeritus, University of Cape Town, where he is affiliated with the Graduate School of Business.

Previously Professor of Historical Archaeology, he was inaugural Dean of Higher Education Development and then Deputy Vice-Chancellor at UCT (from 1999 to 2008). He is a past-President of the World Archaeological Congress and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of South Africa and of the University of Cape Town. He is an accredited mediator with the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement.

He has written extensively on pre-colonial history in Southern Africa, on the historical archaeology of colonialism, on contemporary public culture and on issues in higher education.

Recent publications include:

  • “Identity, memory and countermemory:  the archaeology of an urban landscape” (Journal of Material Culture 11(1-2): 189-209, 2006)
  • Historical Archaeology (edited with Stephen Silliman; Oxford, Blackwell, 2006),
  • Desire Lines: Space, Memory and Identity in the Post-Apartheid City (edited with Noeleen Murray and Nick Shepherd; London, Routledge, 2007),
  • “Transformation and continuity in the university in Africa” (Social Dynamics 33 (1):181-198, 2007),
  • “Stitch Wise: Strategic Knowledge Management for Pro-Poor Enterprise on South Africa’s Goldfields” (in The Business of Sustainable Development in Africa:  Human Rights, Partnerships, and Alternative Business Models, 2008)
  • The Next Twenty Five Years? Affirmative Action and Higher Education in the United States and South Africa, edited with Marvin Krislov and David L. Featherman, University of Michigan Press, 2009.

See a full list of publicationsand current work.