BCom (Business Management) with specialization in Risk-Based Integrated Management


The Da Vinci Institute for Technology Management (Da Vinci), is a school of managerial leadership and is focused on enabling its students to acquire their qualification through the core principles of action learning. Being a Mode 2 institution, we are focused on the identification of knowledge and the solution of practical problems in day-to-day life, rather than exclusively focusing on the academic interest of a discipline or community. It is in this context that South Africa needs to provide a learning journey for future business leaders and tomorrow’s innovative entrepreneurs. Da Vinci derives its passion from developing both entrepreneurs and future business leaders for our country. Together with its partners, The Da Vinci Institute offers a spectrum of modules, which ranges from entrepreneurship through to leadership.

Background and Context

Business Management can be defined as a process, which enables managerial leaders to make a value judgement on how to improve the performance of their operations through the selection and application of a blend of technologies relevant to their market. In addition, this is an innovative process which continually tests existing commercial and technology boundaries to build market-driven excellence – the
human interface is an integral part of this paradigm.

As a result of the business management practices developed during the late 1970s and 80s, South Africa focused on the development of business administration skills and knowledge for junior managers. Since the 1990s, coinciding with the democratisation of South African society and the resulting globalisation of the South African economy, a more systemic approach towards managerial leadership development has been required to ensure the sustainable development of businesses. The key objective of the Bachelor of Commerce (Business Management) is the development of managerial leaders who will understand the importance of socio-economic transformation for South Africa. The qualification will achieve this through broad-based foundational education, providing a thorough understanding of:

• T – Technology Management
• I – Innovation Management
• P – People Management
• S – Systems Management
• Business Management

Finally, it assists in focusing on sustainability to increase


The BCom Degree is specifically designed to afford prospective candidates an opportunity to realise their true potential by:

• Preparing them to perform their work effectively within a modern organisational environment;

• Providing them with personal development opportunities while they meet requirements within the business management domain;

• Emphasising the integration of systems, technology, innovation and people development concepts into individual performance within an organisation; and

• Developing them to better understand their role in the organisational environment and improve their capacity to contribute towards managing a system.


People who achieve this qualification should be able to:

• Define and apply a variety of management development theories within a systemic thinking framework;

• Describe the knowledge and skills required to inform sustainable management and organisational development practices; communicate ideas, concepts, and practical application of theories related to management development; and

• Apply technology, innovation, people and systems thinking concepts to transform individuals, organisations and/or communities.

Admission Criteria

The minimum entry requirement is a Matriculation Certificate or a National Senior Certificate with Exemption and the appropriate subject combinations and levels of achievement, as defined in the Minister’s policy (Minimum Admission Requirements for Higher Certificate, Diploma and Bachelor’s Degree Programmes Requiring a National Certificate, Government Gazette, Vol. 482, No. 27961, 18 August 2005).


The generic content of this qualification will enable ease of contextual application across a wide range of industries and organisations in:

  • Planning and designing a risk-based integrated management system;
  • Establishing and documenting the integrated management system;
  • Implementing Risk-based Integrated Management (RIM); and
  • Continually evaluating and improving organisational performance through increasing awareness and developing capabilities based on continuous learning and experience.

It is founded on the underlying principles of strategic thinking, a process approach to management, systems thinking and involvement of stakeholders.

Target Group

Students pursuing a formal qualification to function effectively at all leadership levels as:

  • Risk Manager
  • Integrated Management Systems Manager
  • Compliance and/or Governance Manager
  • Business Continuity / Resilience Manager


With growing competitiveness, and higher expectations from customers and the global marketplace, organisations are under increasing pressure to demonstrate their status as good corporate citizens and suppliers with e.g. effective quality and continuity management systems, sound environmental practices, and a robust safety culture. To meet these expectations, many organisations have adopted the use of internationally recognised management system standards, frameworks and guidelines as a model for setting up and operating a management system; the framework of processes and procedures used to ensure that the organisation can fulfil all tasks required to achieve a set of related business objectives.

Contrary to many other types of standard, management system standards cover multiple aspects, levels and functions of an organisation and, therefore, their implementation can have a substantial impact on how an organisation operates and manages its business processes. In addition, more and more organisations are applying not only one, but a range of management system standards to satisfy their own needs as well as those of external stakeholders. Today’s integration objectives are generally clear: organisations want a management system that seamlessly addresses the requirements of multiple management system standards while serving as the foundation for continual improvement and organisational excellence.

An Integrated Management System is a management system that integrates all of an organisation’s systems and processes into one complete framework, enabling the organisation to work as a single unit with unified objectives. With an integrated system, the organisation becomes a unified whole, with each function aligned behind a single goal: improving the performance of the entire organisation. Instead of “silos”, the organisation will operate a genuinely coordinated system: one that’s greater than the sum of its parts, and can achieve more than ever before.

However, a management system is not bureaucracy, tons of paper, a barrier to creativity and change, or a replacement for clear thinking and common sense – it is a systematic approach that reduces uncertainty (i.e. contributes to predictable outcomes) and enables continual improvement.

1. Integrated Management

Effective integrated management must embrace all areas of business: strategy, risk, finance, human resources, supply chain management, marketing, manufacturing and operating systems, information/knowledge management and front-line staff; essentially all aspects of the operation processes.

Although the integrated management system represents the foundation, the ultimate objective is integrated management; by omitting the word ‘system’ the actual intent of systems integration becomes obvious, i.e. changing the subject of integration from ‘system’ to ‘management’.

Integrated management is a concept whereby, for example, Safety, Health, Environmental, and Quality (SHEQ) functional management is effectively dispersed throughout an organisation so that employees comply “almost unwittingly” and managers manage a range of functions – e.g., a manufacturing manager would manage planning, manufacturing, safety, personnel, quality, environment, finance, etc., with managing risk being an obvious, integrated action.

2. Typical management system requirements

In order to plan for the development of an Integrated Management System, management should consider the specific legal requirements and the requirements of management system standards (international, national, regional and/or industry sector) or specifications they wish to subscribe to.

2.1. Legal and other requirements

Standards and legislation affecting, for example, conditions of employment and health and safety management share many common elements that, if effectively integrated, will stimulate business improvement and risk reduction.

In addition, “technical” legal requirements for products & services, contractual requirements from customers and information about the needs and expectations of other stakeholders must be considered.

2.2. Management Systems Standards

A new guideline for the development of all ISO management system standards was released early in 2013. Annexure SL to the ISO/IEC Directives, Part 1 (Consolidated ISO Supplement — Procedures specific to ISO) now prescribes a standardised high level structure (HLS) and core identical text for all ISO management system standards. This HLS, therefore, forms the basis of the current versions of ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015 and planned new releases – such as OHSAS 18001 to be released as ISO 45001 during 2018 and all other ISO management systems standards in future. The prescribed HLS is as follows:

  1. Scope
  2. Normative references
  3. Terms and definitions
  4. Context of the organisation
  5. Leadership
  6. Planning
  7. Support
  8. Operation
  9. Performance evaluation

2.3. Standards, frameworks and guidelines for self-regulation

Industry is acutely aware of the power of self-regulation to forestall government regulation.  Self-regulation is seen rather as an alternative form of non-market regulation that, depending on the context, may supplement or complement direct regulation by the government. Positive organisational self-regulation occurs when leaders can effectively satisfy their short and long-term goals through approaches that fit with their regulatory focus and that of their surroundings.

There is a significant trend towards redefining the expectations about corporate behaviour, a redefinition going on both within organisations and in the wider international society of which it is a part. Business is interacting with governments and civil society in new ways, resulting in new forms of regulation. Most industry associations, national and international, promote voluntary standards for the activities of their members and, most visible of all, more and more corporations are partners with governments, international organisations (such as ISO), and non-governmental organisations in designing and implementing a variety of voluntary initiatives. This typically includes guidance and requirements for Enterprise Risk Management (ERM), Operational Continuity (or Resilience) Management, Corporate Governance, Business Excellence, Social Responsibility and Sustainability, and Integrated Reporting.

Often called “codes”, “guidelines” or some other title that would indicate a self-regulatory function, self-regulating commitments more often play no other role than to indicate to clients, consumers and regulators that the organisation had considered the requirements at some level, and believed that it would be good public relations to state a set of commitments. However, voluntary commitments may give rise to real obligations and should not be made without proper understanding of how they will be implemented, and their associated risks and benefits.

3. Risk-based Integrated Management (RIM)

Nowadays, risk management is on everyone’s corporate agenda; let it be a private or public organisation. A special attention to risk management is paid by governments, stock exchanges, shareholders and regulators.

ISO 31000:2009 is an international standard that provides principles and guidelines for effective risk management. It describes principles for managing risk, the foundations and organisational arrangements that enable risk to be managed, and specifies a process that enables risk to be recognised, understood and modified as necessary, according to criteria that are established as part of the process.

Risk managers should make sure that common risk management principles and language are used throughout the organisation; they should build relationships and join forces with the other managers responsible for performance improvement initiatives, like lean management, quality, safety, environment, security and others.

But risk management is not about avoiding or minimising risks, it’s an integral part of all organisational activities, including decision-making. It is not a stand-alone activity that is separate from the activities and processes (and, therefore, management system) of the organisation. Everyone in an organisation has responsibility for managing risk, as risk management improves decision-making at all levels. The objective is to create an organisational culture in which managing risk would be an obvious, integrated action.