Dr. King Costa, Managing Director and Registrar at the Global Centre for Academic Research and Research Associate Professor at AMADI University College in Swaziland.
What is the role of social and management scientists in response to societal problems, COVID-19 in this case? Why is developing research capacity in African institutions important? How can African institutions foster knowledge production and scale beyond academia? Why is research communication dependent on research leadership? Read through Dr. King Costa’s insightful responses on the impact of research in Africa, and the invaluable contributions scientists like Dr. Costa are making to the African continent.
Dr King Costa is a Management Scientist, an Associate Member of the Society for Industrial and Organisational Psychologists of South Africa (SIOPSA) and a member of the Southern African Research & Innovation Management Association (SARIMA). He is currently a Postgraduate Research (MBA) Supervisor at MANCOSA (The Management College of Southern Africa). He also serves as a member of the Scientific Committee for the teaching 2020 Conference (techling2020.web.ua.pt/) to be held at the University of Aveiro in Portugal and the 5th World Conference on Qualitative Research (https://wcqr.info/world-conference-on-qualitative-research/).
More of my bio is available at https://drkingcosta.academia.edu/
How did you learn about AfricArXiv?
Through search at the Open Science Framework (OSF).
Have you previously shared results on other preprint or institutional repositories?
Yes I have shared preprints with Preprints.org and Open Science Framework:
A systematic Review of Challenges in Research Supervision at South African Universities – https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/201812.0305/v1
Maximizing Organisational Performance and Goal-Achievement through Competency-Based Education – https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/201903.0162/v1
Introducing the C.O,S.T.A. Postgraduate Research Model – A Complementary Approach to Supervision – https://www.preprints.org/manuscript/201904.0073/v1
Systematic Guide to Qualitative Data Analysis within the C.O.S.T.A. Postgraduate Research Model – https://osf.io/sq2dh/
Introducing the C.O,S.T.A. Postgraduate Research Model – A Complementary Approach to Supervision – https://proceedings.wcqr.info/index.php/wcqr2019/article/view/200
How is your research relevant to the African context?
My research is relevant to the African context in that it seeks to provide solutions to African postgraduate researchers on understanding critical research concepts to assist them to complete their studies at universities, while at the same time seeks to assist practitioners to implement well-thought and researched solutions for solving problems. The COSTA Model on its own, as andragogy seeks to provide a pathway for solving problems.
The context of our work at the Global Centre for Academic Research is to assist Africa in knowledge production. We believe that the role of universities is to be leaders in developing knowledge and secondly knowledge producers who can continue to do just that beyond their academic activities. In South Africa, the National Development Plan has made this emphasis that universities have to focus on this area of knowledge development – so that we may be a nation that shifts from being resource-based to be knowledge-based. On the contrary, a comparison of uptakes/enrollment at universities with those who complete is far from satisfactory. Our research (preprint) found that the main problem that affects throughputs is research capacity in these universities.
What challenge were you setting out to address when you started this work and what are the discoveries that have led you to your current results?
Referring to the article about COVID-19, we are still continuing with this project. As social and management scientists, we seek to understand the impacts on society in relation to particular problems, and now the global problem is the COVID-19 phenomenon. It was important to understand the causes of panic when we had already heard about the outbreak in China in December already. Further still, it was important to understand whether people’s behavior on particular phenomenons can be the same. The situation in New York and South Africa (though New York is a City and South Africa a country) seem to have interesting similarities. The people were not sure what this COVID-19 is and what it will be to live and deal with it. As you can see, we used Content Analysis to analyze different media applications to how people felt. Similarities were drawn between these two different geographical areas and it became clear – people are just people and they need information and to know what is being done. Since then, South African government has demonstrated outstanding leadership and visibility – and it is clear why the President Ramaphosa kept on asking people not to panic – because he knew what had to be done and has kept demonstrating that, together with the entire cabinet ministers and even support from political parties.
Currently, we are working on issues related to employees, their lived experiences are important to us. This understanding will help organizations to take issues of health and catastrophic events more seriously if we know the impact on employees. The outbreak has created fear more than just panic – workplaces are now places associated with the potential to contract the very COVID-19. So our role as researchers is to solve problems and right now the problem is explored for a social perspective.
How do you envision research communication in Africa?
Research communication in Africa requires research leadership that will encourage robust professionalism in research activities. We are currently working at establishing a research association that will continually seek to create partnerships with a number of research formations on the continent. Preprint servers need to be promoted – once a credible editorial board is formed by preprints and due diligence is given to submissions – it is critical to promote the service of preprints. That encourages communication of new findings that authors might need to communicate. So for this communication to be credible – the editorial board needs to enhance its review methods.Dr. Costa King, MD and Registrar at G-CAR
Thank you for the insightful conversation. Dr. King Costa is working to provide solutions to African postgraduate researchers and practitioners on research. Research in Africa depends on research leadership. The role of universities is to be leaders in developing knowledge.
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