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Alan Brent      
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Alan Brent published an article in August 2016.
Top co-authors
Mario Giampietro

16 shared publications

Zora Kovacic

15 shared publications

Publication Record
Distribution of Articles published per year 
(2009 - 2016)
Total number of journals
published in
Article 0 Reads 2 Citations Probing uncertainty levels of electrification in informal urban settlements: A case from South Africa Zora Kovacic, Suzanne Smit, Josephine Kaviti Musango, Alan C... Published: 01 August 2016
Habitat International, doi: 10.1016/j.habitatint.2016.06.002
DOI See at publisher website
BOOK-CHAPTER 0 Reads 1 Citation Appropriate Curricula for Engineering Management Programmes: A South African Approach Alan Colin Brent Published: 01 January 2015
Philosophy of Engineering and Technology, doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-16169-3_17
DOI See at publisher website
BOOK-CHAPTER 2 Reads 0 Citations Transdisciplinary Approaches to Engineering R&D: Importance of Understanding Values and Culture AlanColin Brent Published: 01 January 2013
Handbook of Sustainable Engineering, doi: 10.1007/978-1-4020-8939-8_90
DOI See at publisher website
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The emerging classification of Sustainability-oriented Innovation Systems places an emphasis on the social elements of change, as well as the technological. However, sustainability-oriented problems are too vast for one person or discipline to comprehend; thus people tend to want to collaborate, meaning they form teams. As a further extension to address sustainability-oriented problems, there is an increasing emphasis on transdisciplinary research and development (R&D) efforts, whereby coproduction transgresses boundaries, and science becomes visible before it becomes certain. To reach the objectives of transdisciplinary R&D efforts will require two key concepts: the gathering of information from experts, namely, knowledge transfer; and making connections between them, namely, knowledge integration. Nevertheless, challenges have been noted in terms of academic tribes that impede teamwork, and, importantly, the lack of combined thought and action in R&D. This chapter explores the collaboration, between disciplines, that has been described as the means of meeting the requirements of transdiscplinary R&D to identify, structure, analyze, and deal with specific problems in such a way that it can: grasp the complexity of problems; take into account the diversity of life-world and scientific perceptions of problems; link abstract and case-specific knowledge; and develop knowledge and practices that promote what is perceived to be the common good. However, the latter brings into question how values and culture influence collaboration and thus transdisciplinary R&D efforts. The chapter subsequently builds on an introduced conceptual framework to understand how the values and culture of individuals in a transdisciplinary R&D team, as well as those of the organization, determine the potential success or failure of the R&D effort. A case study in the bio-energy field is used as basis. The R&D project, which spanned over 3 years in South Africa, required a transdisciplinary team of engineers and scientists of various fields to collaborate with stakeholders outside the R&D team. The case emphasizes that the lack of engineering disciplines to recognize, understand, and incorporate values and culture into R&D practices will lead to project failure; pre-empting and managing expectations of social change (often) far outweigh the necessity for technological change. A number of recommendations are thus made to improve sustainable engineering R&D practices.
Article 1 Read 9 Citations Strategic corporate environmental management within the South African automotive industry: motivations, benefits, hurdle... Jürgen Ertel, Anderson Gwanyebit Kehbila, Jürgen Ertel, Ala... Published: 01 November 2009
Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, doi: 10.1002/csr.188
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This paper conveys the experiences of the South African automotive industry as it attempted to implement the ISO 14001 standard. Through a questionnaire‐based survey, small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) as well as larger companies were asked about the key motivations for engaging in environmental change, the benefits accrued and the barriers that prevented them from doing so. This paper analyzes the variation in adoption rates in order to establish different relationships between them. The results reveal substantial differences and some similarities with regard to the hurdles, benefits and motivations behind the implementation of environmental management systems (EMSs) that are hidden behind corporate rhetoric and commitment to sustainability. This paper concludes by prescribing robust recommendations that would set off the pace for government officials to incorporate effective and realistic incentives into future policy to better encourage environmental compliance and improved performance while minimizing costs both to businesses and to the Government. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.
Article 0 Reads 0 Citations Corporate sustainability, ecological modernization and the policy process in the South African automotive industry Jürgen Ertel, Anderson Gwanyebit Kehbila, Jürgen Ertel, Ala... Published: 01 January 2009
Business Strategy and the Environment, doi: 10.1002/bse.669
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In the past decade, the plea for corporate sustainability has gathered momentum and protecting the environment is one aspect for organizations to address if they are to conduct business in a sustainable manner. In this paper, we present the results of a questionnaire survey on the state of corporate sustainability within the South African automotive industry. The survey focused on the meaning and relevance of sustainability to South African automotive companies, and their use of different approaches to implement sustainability in corporate practice. On this score, the paper seeks to analyze and compare the levels of voluntary environmental initiatives between large and small and medium‐sized enterprises within the automotive milieu. Survey results reveal that a majority of automotive companies have sought to improve their environmental performance by integrating environmental considerations into their core activities. Although the majority of these companies have standardized EMSs, our analysis reveals considerable differences between companies' approaches to corporate sustainability. In particular, they varied in the extent to which procedures were formalized and documented behind the corporate rhetoric of a high commitment to sustainability. The paper concludes by prescribing a number of recommendations as to how to engage and promote more widely the South African automobile manufacturing companies in environmental change. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.