Historical dissertation in Ethiopia

On April 5, Yikaalo Welu defended his doctoral thesis in business administration, the first in Ethiopia, at Addis Ababa University in collaboration with Jönköping International Business School.

Yikaalo Welu is the first ever to have a PhD in business administration from an Ethiopian university. All other Ethiopian PhDs in the subject have their degrees from foreign universities. Yikaalo was the first to defend his doctoral thesis from a total of 23 doctoral students, who are taking the country's first ever doctoral education in business administration. The education takes place at Addis Ababa University (AAU) in collaboration with Jönköping International Business School (JIBS) and is funded by Sida, the Swedish international development cooperation agency.

The courses are mainly delivered by teachers at JIBS. Some courses take place in Addis Ababa while others are given in Jönköping together with JIBS doctoral students. The doctoral students are supervised in teams with supervisors from both JIBS and AAU.

Yikaalo Welu was supervised by professor Ethel Brundin, main supervisor, and professor Lucia Naldi, assistant supervisor, from JIBS and by Dr Yitbarek Tekele, assistant supervisor, from AAU.

Yikaalo Welu's thesis is entitled "Human Capital as a Process. Learning from an Emerging Economy" and he has studied how two Ethiopian companies, Ethiopian Airlines and Bishoftu Automotive Industry, work with their staff and how this work contributes to building up human capital.

In the thesis he has found that three factors are important in the development of human capital:

  • socio-emotional factors, such as feelings such as trust, loyalty, fear and frustration
  • homosociality, that is, affinity through belonging to the same ethnicity, family or group
  • experienced support through the organization.