Ant Wilson-Prangley

Anthony Wilson-Prangley
Anthony Wilson-Prangley

Before joining the faculty Anthony helped to build the Centre for Leadership and Dialogue at GIBS – a series of programmes that build the next generation of SA leadership. The centre focuses on the context and capacities required for leading complex societies. His professional interests include the study of democracy in countries in transition, social change in the contemporary era and active citizenship. He runs many of the experiential learning aspects of GIBS especially those focused on the broader socio-economic and political environment of the country.

Before this he founded an NGO The Gumboots Foundation and was intimately involved with a global non-profit youth leadership network – Pioneers of Change.


​​He lectures in the area of leading social change with emphasis on the dynamics of leadership, human behaviour, diversity and change. He has experience in the areas of business in society, social entrepreneurship and public leadership.

Published Research

Journal articles

Sonday, M., & Wilson-Prangley, A. (2016). Intermediary capabilities in the context of challenging state dynamics. Journal of Business Ethics. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1007/s10551-016-3319-z

The intertwined nature of social, economic, and environmental problems has led to an increase in cross-sector partnerships to create collaborative value. Intermediary organizations can enable these partnerships, but the context shapes what is needed. There is a need to understand how different contexts shape how intermediaries create value. This study fills this gap by focusing on intermediaries in Johannesburg, South Africa. We find there is significant unrealized collaborative value in the context studied. This is due to the coexistence of a limited state combined with a strong incumbent political party. While the existing scholarship on intermediaries is relevant, two particular capabilities are especially important in such a context. First, intermediaries need to focus on seizing opportunities to generate short-term value in order to build trust among partners. Second, they need to strengthen the capacity of the state through lateral influence. Weak and limited states combined with strong political regimes are common in many nations, especially those in transition. In addition, there are a variety of contemporary global political pressures that emphasize greater state autonomy. These contextual pressures make these findings particularly relevant to partnership scholars and practitioners

Stirling, L., Wilson-Prangley, A., Hamilton, G., & Olivier, J. (2016). Antecedents to transformational community engagement in South Africa. South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, 19(4), 514-532. doi: 10.17159/2222-3436/2016/v19n4a4

Firms face increasing societal pressures to act responsibly towards stakeholders, and community engagement is a key element of this response. While Bowen, Newenham-Kahindi and Herremans (2010) have found that community engagement strategies fall into the transactional, transitional and transformational categories, more research is needed. Nineteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with CSR practitioners, community beneficiaries and external experts across three companies from different sectors and geographically-associated South African communities. Barriers to and enablers of transformational community engagement are identified and compared with points made in the literature. Prominent barriers identified include community expectation; the internal capacity of the company to engage properly with communities; and, according to a new finding in the literature, community educational levels. The most prominent enabler of engagement was relationshipbuilding. Companies with dedicated CSR practitioners are able to engage more in the community. Regulatory dynamics are found to largely determine the differences across sectors. But there is the risk that engagement is symbolic rather than substantive. Eleven higher-order antecedents to transformational community engagement are then identified. A newly developed firm-oriented decision-making model is proposed for moderating these antecedents. The findings in the community and national context provide granular insight into an African operating environment.

Prangley-Wilson, A., & Olivier, J. (2016). Integrative public leadership in the private sector in South Africa. Development Southern Africa. Advcance online publication. doi:10.1080/0376835X.2015.1120653

Complex social issues exist in many emerging democratic contexts. It has been argued that boundary-crossing leadership is needed to overcome these issues. Scholarship has developed around this, arguing that leadership in these shared power contexts is different to leadership in hierarchical organisations. This study focuses on a sample of senior private-sector leaders in South Africa who have reached across sector boundaries, in their individual capacity, to make a difference. This extends the existing scholarship which has focused on public-sector and non-profit integrative leadership. The intention is to understand the relational context of their boundary-crossing work and to extend the concept of ‘Integrative Public Leadership’. The leaders studied manage relationships with the government, their own company and multi-company partners within a historical context. The findings emphasise three understudied issues: own-company buy-in, historical context and ‘integrative’ conflict. A shared concept of integrative leadership, located in the African context, could further enhance practice.

Mishan, M., & Prangley, A. (2014). Barries to inter-organizational collaboration amongst performing arts organisations in South Africa. South African Theatre Journal, 27(2), 125-146.

There is significant financial pressure on the performing arts sector in South Africa. Demand for the performing arts sector needs to grow if this is to change. This requires inter-organisational collaboration. This study explores, through a grounded qualitative approach, the barriers to inter-organisational collaboration amongst performing arts organisations (PAOs) in South Africa, as seen through the experience of strategic leaders in the sector. These included views from commercial producers, theatres, festival and independent companies, and performing arts promoters. These organisations were professionally run with paid staff. The findings are then compared with the emerging literature in the field, conclusions drawn and recommendations made. Barriers identified include personal pride, artistic ideology, the survivalist reality, fragmented audiences and lack of support from government. The contextual complexity of South African post-apartheid society also acts as a barrier to collaboration. Ideas from the literature for overcoming these barriers are included. For practitioners, the problem of inter-organisational collaboration in the performing arts was identified. It appears as if inter-organisational collaboration (as a means of stimulating primary demand) is constrained when the financial pressures on a sector are so great as to push organisations into a corner. For academics, this study makes a contribution to the literature that is part of a broader relational and ‘shared-power’ turn in leadership studies, where collective action is increasingly required. The strong importance of contextual barriers confirms the call for an increased ‘field-level’ analysis.

Case studies

Wilson-Prangley, A
., Mhizha, T., & Petzer, D. (2017). Soweto Gold: Building an iconic craft beer brand (Case Study No. 9B17A031). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Wilson-Prangley, A., Marks,  J., & Sutherland, M. (2015). Olitzki Property Holdings catalyzes change in Johannesburg (Case Study No. 9B15M118). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Prangley, A. & Wilson, G. (2014). Buses for democracy: Improving public transportation in South Africa (Case Study No. 9B14C028). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Sutherland, M., Prangley, A., & Hawarden, V. (2013). Tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic through multi-partner stakeholder engagement (Case Study No. 9B13C029). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Consulting Involvement

​​Anthony consults on public change initiatives and social change projects initiated by business, government and the non-profit sector. ​

Significant Achievements

​​He was named as one of the Mail & Guardian’s Top Young Leaders in 2009 and 2010.

Contact Details

Tel : +27 (0) 11 771 4000

Email :

Twitter: @aprangley

  • BSc (Hons)
  • MA (Sociology)
  • MBA (GIBS)
Fields of Interest

Global turbulence makes running a business challenging. Firms need to change and innovate to remain successful. I am interested in the organizational and personal capacities required to navigate a complex world and thrive within it. I have a specific focus on the societal context of business and change dynamics within the organization.

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