Get to know CAPSI Research Student: Lloyd Derengi
Lloyd Derengi is a PhD student, born in Marondera, Zimbabwe. After completing his early basic education, Lloyd moved to Zambia where he worked and attained his diploma and undergraduate degree, eventually attaining his Masters in Business Administration and other certifications upon relocating to South Africa.
Q: What are you researching and what inspired you to take this path?
A: My PhD is in the field of business management and is by full research. It is cross-disciplinary research with a special focus on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and risk management in the retail sector, with the focus of my case study being Massmart.
I chose to take this path because I wanted to contribute to the narrative of corporate involvement in social issues. Reflecting on my experience and academic background (social sciences and commerce), l concluded that CSR is a discipline that connects these elements.
The choice of Massmart as a case study of my research is due to dominance of multinational corporates in Africa and South Africa in particular. If there was ever a time for the operations and contributions of these corporates to be scrutinised, it is now. Given the socio-economic conditions and background of South Africa, the retail sector is expected to play a vital role in changing the social landscape through CSR initiatives. In return, these community engagements serve as a risk management tool for firms.
Q: What have you learnt or seen that has been vital to your career or that has stood out most?
A: Thus far, I am realising how CSR is understood and acted upon by corporates, particularly in the retail industry within risk management and the need for supporting inclusive development through community CSR projects. l am starting to see how some companies or sectors are being duplicitous when they claim to take CSR seriously or have integrated it into their strategy. All this is reflected in how these companies are responding to the current global pandemic of COVID-19. We have observed various trends in terms of active contributions by corporates in South Africa. Corporates with strong and entrenched CSR policies seem to be leading from the front in terms of mitigating the negative impact of this global health crisis.
Q: What is the potential impact of your research in the social investment space?
A: My research joins a chorus of voices whose aim is to interpret the role of CSR on managing risks in corporate South Africa. It is hoped that the results from this study will assist companies especially in South Africa, to formulate more informed CSR policies that will impact positively on the company’s triple bottom line, as well as assist in ameliorating the socio-economic developmental challenges of the communities in which they operate. The results will provide companies with a strategy and a framework of risk management, as well as issues to consider when initiating, designing, budgeting and implementing CSR in their organisations.