Prof Ian leads seven students to a PhD

Hanlie Smuts -- Fri, 05/06/2016 - 11:41

Prof Ian leads seven students to a PhD

Prof Ian Rothmann from the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University recently saw the graduation of no less than seven PhD-students which have been working towards their doctoral degrees under his leadership.

Dr Simeon Amunkete graduated after submitting his thesis entitled, Psychological capital in Namibian state-owned enterprises: Measurement, antecedents and outcomes;

Dr Maritha Basson looked at Pathways to flourishing of pharmacy students

Dr Elmari Fouché - Well-being of teachers in secondary schools;

Dr Marita Heyns studied Trust within the work context: Conceptualisation, measurement and outcomes;

Dr Joe Palo engaged with the topic, Work engagement in a South African platinum mining company;

Dr Cindy Rautenbach was awarded her PhD with the thesis, Flourishing of employees in a fast moving consumable goods environment and 

Dr Ederick Stander submitted his thesis entitled, Entering the zone: A positive psychological framework for the achievement of flow amongst athletes.


Prof Rothmann is a professor in Industrial/ Organizational Psychology and also the Director of the research focus area Optentia on the campus.  The mission of the Optentia Research Focus Area is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with specific interest in the African context.  The research programme utilises the inputs from various disciplines in the social sciences, including Psychology, Industrial/ Organisational Psychology, Human Resource Management, Educational Psychology, Sociology, Educational Sciences, Employment Relations and Social Work. 

Back row from left:  Dr Cindy Rautenbach, Dr Ederick Stander, Dr Elri Botha, and Dr Marita Heyns.

Front row from left:  Dr Marietta Basson, Dr Elmari Fouché, Prof Ian Rothmann, Dr Joe Palo and Dr Simeon Amunkete.

Under the leadership of Prof Rothmann, Optentia is currently running seven research sub-programmes, of which one is facilitated by the Professor himself:  “Flourishing in institutions” encompasses seven research projects.  “People who prosper in work and organisational contexts are satisfied with their jobs, experience positive emotions, are energetic, learning and dedicated, experience satisfaction of their autonomy, competence and relatedness needs, find meaning and purpose in their work, experience harmony and relate positively,” says Prof Rothmann.  “I research the prospering of people at work, the antecedents and outcomes thereof, and intervention programmes that could contribute to prospering of individuals and organisations.”


When Prof Ian is not in the research chair, he enjoys being a husband and devoted father to adult Ian Jr. and three-year old Lian.  He is married to Melanie, who flourishes in her own right as a business woman in the catering industry.