Change the world


The doctoral study of Storm Watson, Business Management lecturer at Nelson Mandela University, informs decision-making, guides strategic planning, and advances the discussion on digital transformation in higher education, both nationally and internationally.


Dr Watson, at the age of 27, recently graduated with his PhD in Business Management at the University’s Autumn graduation with his thesis entitled “Scenarios for re-imagining the digital landscape of South African organisations”.

By developing and evaluating scenarios, the research significantly contributes to the understanding and re-imagining of the digital landscape in South African organisations, particularly, within higher education institutions, said his supervisor Professor Miemie Struwig.

The developed framework can also be adapted by various South African organisations to incorporate scenario planning within their strategic management process.

Findings from the study indicated that owing to rapid technical advancement globally and within the country, institutions should have the ability to enhance their infrastructure and systems to keep pace with the rest of the world. However, despite these advancements, the digital divide in South Africa remains a deeply ingrained systemic issue.

The study found that challenges related to accessibility and equity are complex and multifaceted, extending beyond the scope of technological progress alone.

Regarding research and innovation, related specifically to the digital landscape, institutions might experience positive developments in research funding, but would continue to grapple with challenges in research capacity. Available funding would need to be leveraged, and the necessary capacity ensured to maximise research potential within the digital landscape.

Regarding community engagement, institutions face a negative development in both the digital divide and digital literacy, which might hamper their ability to effectively engage with communities in the digital era. The systemic inequalities faced by the country may exacerbate these challenges, making it difficult for institutions to contribute to community engagement in the digital landscape.

During the final year of Dr Watson’s doctoral studies, he was appointed as a full-time lecturer in the Department of Business Management, and he will soon become the father of a baby boy, Mason.

Professor Struwig continues to work closely with Dr Watson to mentor him in his role as an academic in the Department of Business Management. Watson stated that “my dream job would be to become a Professor, so luckily, I am on the right track for that”.

For all your graduation content across your social media platforms, please use #MandelaUniGrad24. We would love to collate, share and celebrate this amazing achievement with you on official University platforms.

Contact information
Ms Elma de Koker
Internal Communication Practitioner
Tel: 041-504 2160