The Nelson Mandela University Unit for Positive Organisations (UPO), located within the School of Industrial Psychology and Human Resources, has a long history of development and change since its inception as the Industrial Relations Unit in 1981. In response to the emergent new positive approach to organisational conflict resolution solutions, the Unit elected to shift the primary focus of research activities away from institutionalised dispute resolution mechanisms, towards interventions aimed at developing positive organisations.  This resulted in a name change in 2014 and the adoption of a new strategic roadmap to grow the UPO as a respected academic unit, within Nelson Mandela University, and on the African continent.

Since 2014, the Unit has established strong links within the private and public business sectors as well as with international academic institutions, such as The Center for Positive Organizations at the University of Michigan in the United States of America.

The UPO is also proud to be associated with the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber, and continues to build relationships with our local, national and international business communities.  The UPO strives to realise our vision and mission through engagement in positive leadership, research and positive learning, and interventions designed to build capacity for positive change within organisations. 

UPO Vision

The Unit for Positive Organisations strives to be the leading unit in Africa in academic excellence, practical relevance, and the development and dissemination of knowledge and expertise in the field of positive organisational scholarship.

UPO Mission

To generate and apply knowledge that will serve to establish and advance positive relationships, organisations and economies on the African continent.