Prof. Justin Barnes

Executive Director

Brief profile:

Justin is the inaugural Executive Director of TWIMS and an associate professor at GIBS. He is also the chairperson of B&M Analysts, a benchmarking, clustering, supplier development and policy research consulting company he co-founded in 1997; the vice-chairperson of Thomas More College, KwaZulu-Natal’s largest independent private school; and a non-executive director at Ninian and Lester (N&L). N&L is one of South Africa’s largest clothing and textiles manufacturers, and the owner of the Jockey brand in Sub Saharan Africa. Justin completed all of his formal academic studies at the University of Natal, completing his BA Hons (Geography) cum laude in 1994, his MSocSci (Development Studies) cum laude in 1995, and his PhD in 2001. His doctoral research focused on the application of lean production systems and its impact on firm-level competitiveness.  

Justin has had the benefit of working for 25 years as an academic, consultant, and industrial policy advisor. The highlights of his academic career include a stint as Chair of Industrial Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal from 2011 to 2014, publishing over 30 peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters, and spending a semester as a visiting fellow at the Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. As a consultant he has worked in over 30 countries and for some of South Africa’s largest corporates. His most notable projects have included the introduction of a Quick Response retailing and associated supply chain model at TFG, the roll out of a national benchmarking programme for the South African automotive components industry, the establishment of several cluster programmes in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape, and the development of a national performance monitoring system for South African-based vehicle assemblers.  


Contact Justin


Phone: +27 (0)31 767 5202

As an industrial policy advisor, Justin has advised several governments on their industrial policies. The most notable of these have been for the South African government, where he has been involved in the development of the country’s present automotive, clothing, textiles, footwear and leather, food processing and off highway transport equipment industrial policies. Internationally, Justin has reviewed the Brazilian government’s automotive policies for the World Bank, advised the Saudi Arabian government on the development of their automotive policies, supported the activities of the Hungarian Automotive Benchmarking Club, and benchmarked a range of manufacturing sectors in Bangladesh, again for the World Bank. Closer to home he has advised the Namibian government on their clothing and textiles policies, reviewed Lesotho and eSwatini’s clothing and textiles policies (World Bank again) and is presently advising the Mauritian government on the development of their industrial policy to 2025 (for UNCTAD). 

Despite his intensive consulting and policy advisor commitments, Justin has written 30 peer reviewed articles and book chapters and participated in several large-scale local and international research projects. He is particularly interested in future manufacturing technologies, lean operations management and supply chain management, green manufacturing, Global Value Chains, supplier development, firm level benchmarking, regional clustering, and local, regional and national industrial policy. His most recent research projects have focused on understanding the impact of digital technologies on the future of industrial policy, the price elasticity of vehicle consumption, the importance of social cohesion to Kaizen activities, and opportunities for the development of a Sub Saharan African automotive industry.  


  • PhD (Natal), Development Studies (Industrial Specialisation)
  • MSocSci (Natal), Development Studies
  • BA Hons (Natal), Geographical and Environmental Science


Published research (articles/conference papers/book chapters) – last 10 years only:

  1. Barnes, J (2019). Developing manufacturing leadership in South Africa (and regionally): The role of Monozukuri, Pretoria, South Africa-Japan University Forum Conference, Pretoria, 23-24 May 2019
  2. Black, A, Barnes, J, Makundi, B, and Ritter, R (2018). Electric two-wheelers in Africa? Markets, production and policy, Conference on Green Transformation and Competitive Advantage, Bonn, 18-19 June 2018
  3. Monaco, L, Barnes, J, and Black, A (2018). Multinational strategy, structural change and supply chain development in the South African auto industry, Conference paper, GERPISA Colloquium, 11-14 June, Sao Paulo.
  4. Barnes, J (2017). The automotive GVC: Policy implications for developing economies. In Keane, J and Baimbill-Johnson, R (eds), Future Fragmentation Processes: Effectively Engaging with the Ascendency of Global Value Chains. The Commonwealth, London, p.133-143.
  5. Barnes, J., Black, A. and Techakanont, K. (2017) Industrial policy, multinational strategy, and domestic capability: A comparative analysis of the development of South Africa’s and Thailand’s automotive industry, European Journal of Development Research, 29, pp 37-53.
  6. Barnes, J, and Black, A (2014) The Motor Industry Development Programme 1995-2012: What have we learned? International Conference on Manufacturing-Led
Growth for Employment and Equality in South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 – 21 May 2014.
  7. Morris, M, and Barnes, J (2014) The challenges to reversing the decline of the apparel sector in South Africa. International Conference on Manufacturing-Led
Growth for Employment and Equality in South Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa, 20 – 21 May 2014.
  8. Barnes, J, and Hartogh, T (2014) Exploring the relationship between exchange rate movements, volatility and South African manufacturing sector growth – Preliminary research findings. Economic Policy Dialogue on the Exchange Rate and its impact on the Manufacturing Sector in South Africa, Bytes Technology Conference Centre, Midrand, 5 November 2014.
  9. Barnes, J (2013), Capital Structure of the South African automotive industry: Historical perspectives and development implications, Transformation, 81/2.
  10. Barnes, J and Black, A (2017). Developing a South African automotive Masterplan to 2035 in the context of Global Value Chain drivers: Lessons for second tier automotive economies. Conference paper, GERPISA Colloquium, 14-16 June, Paris.
  11. Jeppesen, S, and Barnes, J (2011), Is attracting foreign direct investment the only route to industrial development in an era of globalization? The case of the clothing and textiles sector in South Africa. In Rugraff, E, and Hansen, M.W (eds), ‘Multinational Corporations and Local Firms in Emerging Economies’ (Amsterdam University Press, 2011).
  12. Staritz, C, Morris, M and Barnes J (2011), Value chain dynamics, local embeddedness, and upgrading in the clothing sectors of Lesotho and Swaziland, International Journal of Technological Learning, Innovation and Development, 4, 1/2/3.