Prof Albert Wöcke

Professor Albert Wöcke
Prof Albert Wöcke

Albert is a professor and permanent faculty member at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He has been on the GIBS faculty since 2000, where he joined after a career as a trade union official. As the assistant general secretary: collective bargaining, he headed up the collective bargaining functions of the union and was a founding member of the Public Service Bargaining Council and represented the labour movement in the public finance and Monetary Policy Chamber of Nedlac (the National Economic Development and Labour Advisory Council).

Albert is a recognised researcher with a National Research Foundation (NRF rating of C3) and has published academic and other articles in South Africa and internationally. He is a member of the American Academy of Management and the Academy of International Business and the South African Institute of People Management. He regularly reviews for international and local academic journals.

Since joining GIBS, Albert has taught in the areas of international business srategy and human resources, strategy and organisational behaviour. His current research interests include the process and strategies of emerging market firms going global, the design and impact of HR strategy in multi-national corporations and talent management in emerging markets. He has had papers presented at the American Academy of Management and the Royal Geographic Society and he has taught in Botswana, Kenya, Ghana, the UAE, Hong Kong and Namibia. He consults widely and clients have included MTN, UTI, South African Revenue Services, Zurich Reinsurance, PPC and government departments including Foreign Affairs and Forestry and Water.


Full-time faculty and lecturer

Published Research

Journal articles​

Wöcke, A., Grosse, R., Stacey, A., & Brits, N. (2017). Social identity in MNCs based on language and nationality. Thunderbird International Business Review. Advance online publication. doi: 10.1002/tie.21953

Goldman, M., Chadwick, S., Funk, D., & Wöcke, A. (2016). I am distinctive when I belong: Meeting the need for optimal distinctiveness through team identification. International Journal of Sport Management and Marketing, 16(3/4/5/6), 198-219.

Wöcke, A., & Marais, J. (2016). The use of external perceived injustices by AMCU in the South African platinum mining industry. South African Journal of Labour Relations, 40(1), 108-120.

Seopa, N., Wöcke, A., & Leeds, C. (2015). The impact on the psychological contract of differentiating employees into talent pools. Career Deveplopment International, 20(7), 717-732.

Wöcke, A., & Moodley, T. (2015). Corporate political strategy and liability of foreignness: Similarities and differences between local and foreign firms in the South African Health Sector. International Business Review, 24(4), 700-709.

Wöcke, A. (2014). Review of Frege, Carola and Kelly (Eds), Comparative Employment Relations in the Global Economy. Global Labour Journal, (5)1, 88-90.

Pillay, D., Hofmeyr, K., & Wöcke, A. (2014). Mission attachment and job embeddedness in the trade union sector in South Africa. South African Journal of Labour Relations, 38(1), 31-52.

Wöcke, A. (2014). Trade unions: Declinging membership increasing militancy. Acumen (8), 28-30.

Wöcke, A., & Heymann, M. (2012). The impact of demographic variable on voluntary labour turnover in South Africa. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(16), 3479-3494.

Wöcke, A., & Klein, S. (2009). The protective incubator and the growth of South African multinationals. Thunderbird International Business Review, 51(4), 341-354.

Wöcke, A., & Leeds, C. (2009). Methods to reduce the referral of frivolous cases to the CCMA. South African Journal of Labour Relations, 33(1), 28-44.

The Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration is a statutory labour dispute resolution body that was introduced in 1996. With over 125 000 referrals annually, experience has demonstrated that too many frivolous cases are referred, causing administrative problems and potentially increasing the cost of doing business in South Africa. Propositions, based on international experience from three other labour dispute resolution systems and recommendations in the literature, were tested with the aid of the Delphi technique. Three rounds were conducted with experts in the field. The findings show that there are a number of interventions which, if implemented, would prevent the referral of frivolous cases to the CCMA. In implementing the interventions, the underlying principle needs to be that rights of access and use should be enhanced and not narrowed. Therefore, the interventions focusing on enhancing systems are deemed preferable to those that use exclusionary criteria.

Wöcke, A., & Sutherland, M. (2008). The impact of employment equity regulations on psychological contracts in South Africa. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 19(4), 528-542.


This article will show the impact of employment equity legislation on the psychological employment contracts of the three main employee groupings in South African society. This study is important in that it fills the gap in the literature that identifies labour market regulations as an important shaping influence on the psychological contract. More than 500 managers from across South African industry and from all ethnic groups were surveyed to identify differences in psychological contracts and attitudes towards the social transformation regulations. We found that the legislation has impacted differentially on the three groupings mainly in terms of their loyalty to stay with their organizations, the focus on their career development in terms of the external labour market and the degree to which they felt they had been affected by the legislation. Additionally we find that the perceived linkage between job satisfaction and labour turnover is significantly weakened by labour market legislation in the case of the beneficiaries of the legislation, but that this may not be the case for those negatively affected by the legislation. The findings have significant implications for the HRM practices of multinationals operating in societies with significant labour market regulatory interventions.

Wöcke, A., & Von Ketelhodt, A. (2008). The impact of electricity crises on the consumption behaviour of small and medium enterprises. Journal of Energy for Southern Africa, 19(1), 4-12.

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will play a key role in future economic and social strategies in South Africa. However, we find that SMEs are particularly vulnerable to shocks in their external environment due to a general lack of skills and resources. This is critical as the future demand for electricity in South Africa is likely to outstrip supply and electricity will become increasingly unreliable and expensive. We surveyed 250 SMEs in Cape Town and found that the prevailing policy methods of changing electricity consumption behaviour: information campaigns, increasing prices, and providing rebates for energy savings, have had limited results and are unsustainable when applied to SMEs.

Wöcke, A., Bendixen, M., & Rijamampianina, R. (2007). Building flexibility into multi-national human resource strategy: a study tour of four South African multi-national enterprises. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 18(5), 829-844.

The study describes four approaches for configuring corporate HR strategy by firms from an emerging market when dealing with the integration-differentiation dilemma. Most research on strategic international HRM is on the perspective of the affiliate or discusses the degree of isomorphism between the HRM practices of the parent and affiliate. The authors apply a cross-case analysis of the cases of Nandos International, MTN International, Sasol and SABMiller, focus on the implementation of corporate HR strategies from the parents perspective and show that MNEs differ in the scope and level of abstraction of their corporate HR strategies. It is further suggested that this is primarily due to differences in business model, the need to accommodate national culture, the type and role of organizational culture in the MNE, which impact on the level of convergence of HR management practices. In all of the cases, there is a large degree of variance in these factors.

Wöcke, A., & Klein, S. (2007). Emerging global contenders: the South African experience. Journal of International Management, 13(3), 319-337.

The global strategies of three major South African MNEs are examined with a view to understanding the applicability of existing theories to developing country firms and their emergence as global industry leaders. Emerging market MNEs are motivated by both defensive and offensive considerations. At the same time, home market domination allows potential contenders to develop competitive firm-specific advantages that are non-location based. We propose that successful emerging market MNEs start to build their global positions on the back of asset exploitation, but soon follow with asset seeking behavior. When country specific advantages are less important, contenders can accelerate their development of non-location based FSAs rapidly. Finally, leadership and domestic dominance may be more important than country specific advantages in explaining the success of emerging market MNEs.

Wöcke, A., & Van der Merwe, M. (2007). An investigation into responsible tourism practices in the South African hotel industry.  South African Journal of Business Management, 28(2).

This paper sheds light on the reasons for the limited uptake of responsible tourism initiative memberships by hotels in South Africa, despite South Africa being regarded as a leader in the field of responsible tourism policy, with the drafting of responsible tourism guidelines by the South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEAT). The International Centre for Responsible Tourisms conference (hosted in South Africa) preceding the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 resulted in the Cape Town Declaration, which was based on the guidelines developed by DEAT. There are currently two responsible tourism membership initiatives in South Africa. Non-experimental survey research was conducted among hotels about their understanding and implementation of responsible tourism practices. Sixty hotels responded to the survey, and it would appear that these hotels implement Corporate Social Responsibility / responsible tourism, though to varying extents. Many responding hotels do not participate in responsible tourism initiatives because of - amongst others - confusion about what the concept means, and a lack of awareness of such initiatives. This paper raises questions about the effectiveness of membership initiatives in promoting the implementation of responsible tourism practices and questions the importance of a common understanding and awareness of what responsible tourism entails in ensuring that policy is implemented.

Wöcke, A. (2006, August). Do you really have an HR strategy?  HR Future, 16-18.

Wöcke, A. (2005, July). Is the vitality curve damaging your business? People Dynamics.

Wöcke, A. (2003).  Jobs reserved: why South Africa’s skills migration policy is bad for business.  People Dynamics, 21(8), 10-17.

Wöcke, A., & Van der Spuy, M. (2003).The effectiveness of technology based (interactive) distance learning methods in a large South African financial services organisation. South African Journal of Business Management, 34(2), 1-10.

The trend towards technology-based learning (or e-learning) is increasing, driven largely by anecdotal evidence of advantages. This article compares the effectiveness of the technology supported learner driven distance learning methods to the traditional classroom based teaching model and the simulation model. The results of the training methods on a sample of cashiers in a major South African bank are compared and the study finds that there were significant differences between the outcomes of three methods of training that had an impact on performance and knowledge retention with classroom based learning having the greatest impact.

Wöcke, A., & Klein, S. (2002). The implications of South Africas skills migration policy for country competitiveness. Development Southern Africa, 19(4), 441-454.

Book chapters

Wöcke, A., & Sing, L. (2013). South Africa: Inward FDI and its policy context, 2013. In K. P. Sauvant, P. Mallampally & G. McAllister (Eds.), Inward and outward FDI country profiles (2nd ed., pp. 1044-1065). Vale Columbia Center for Sustainable Investment.  Columbia Unversity: New York.

Klein, S., & Wöcke, A. (2012) Netcare’s international expansion. In P. Beamish, & J. Lawrence (Eds.), Globally responsible leadership: managing according to the UN Global Compact (pp. 235-260).  California: SAGE Publications.

Wöcke, A., & Bendixen, M. (2008). Building flexibility into multi-national human resource strategy: a study of four South African multi-national enterprises. In C. Rowley & M. Warner (Eds.) Globalising international human resource management (pp. 113-128). New York: Routledge/Taylor and Francis.

Wöcke, A. (2004). International business strategies and international human capital management. In I. Boninelli & T. N. A. Meyer (Eds.), Building human capital: South African perspectives. Randburg: Know Res Publishing.

Case studies

Wocke, A., & Beamish, P. W. (2017). MTN and the Nigerian fine (Case No. 9B17M031). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Wöcke, A. (2015). Donovan Marks: Shifting entrepreneur motivations (Case No. 9B15M001). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Wöcke, A. (2013). Hello Healthcare: Taking a cooperative business into Africa (Case No. 9B13M076). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Wöcke, A., & Grosse, R. (2011). Platmin mining: Managing your stakeholders in developing economies (Case No. 9B11C012). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Wöcke, A. (2010). Ebio: What value are social partnerships in South Africa? (Case No. 9B10M059). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Wöcke, A., Klein, S. (2009). Netcare’s international expansion (Case No. 9B09M005). Ontario: Ivey Publishing.

Conference papers

Wocke, A., & Morgado, M. (2017, July). Tension between MNEs and indigenized local firms in the Mozambique Petroleum and Gas industry. Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Conference, Dubai.

Grosse, R., & Wöcke, A. (2016, June). Competitiveness of South African firms: New theory or new application? Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Conference, New Orleans.

Mudekunye, T., & Wöcke, A. (2016, June). Industry context and modes of entry: South African financial services MNEs in Africa. Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Conference, New Orleans.

Grosse, R., Wöcke, A., Fonseca, A., & Brits, N. (2014, June). The influence of language on relationships between subsidiaries and headquarters. Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Annual General Meeting, Vancouver. Abstract retrieved from

Goldman, M. M., Chadwick, S., Funk, D. C., & Wocke, A. (2014, May). I am different when I belong: The function of team indentity in seeking optimal psychological distinctiveness. Paper presented at the North American Society for Sport Management, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Wöcke, A., & Grosse, R.  (2012, June) Government business relations and financial crises. Paper presented at the Academy of International Business Annual General Meeting, Washington DC, June. Abstract retrieved from

Wöcke, A., Klein, S., & Ridgeway, T. (2009, June). A study of multinational property investment companies’ international strategies. Paper presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Businessg, San Diego. Abstract retrieved from

Nightingale, D., Wöcke, A., & Klein, S. (2008, July). Implementing MNC strategy in emerging market subsidiaries: A comparative study of South Africa, Turkey, Morocco and Nigeria.  Paper presented at the 5th Annual Meeting of the Academy of International Business, Milan. Abstract retrieved from

Van Der Merwe, M., & Wöcke, A. (2006). Implementation of responsible tourism practices in the hotel industry in South Africa. Paper presented at the 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Royal Geographic Society, London.

Wöcke, A. (2005, August). The configuration of corporate human resource strategies in multinational enterprises: A study of four South African MNEs. Paper presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Honolulu.

Consulting Involvement

Extensive consulting in all areas of international business including modes of entry, matrix structures in MNEs and the management of subsidiaries and affiliates.


Human resources management including talent management and performance management. Industrial relations and collective bargaining, including trade union recognition, dispute management. strategy formulation and execution.

Contact Details

Tel : +27 (0) 11 771 4172

Email : ​

  • BA (Hons) (cum laude)
  • MA (Political Science)
  • MBA (Wits)
  • PhD (UP)
Fields of Interest
  • International business strategy
  • Human resources
  • Strategy
  • Organisational behavior
Professional Memberships
  • Academy of International Business
  • Academy of Management
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