Adun is a strong advocate of the mutualism of research and practice, where practice is informed by research, and research is led by practice. As such, her research interests are influenced by their practical applications, and where she is advising an organisation, the strategy development, recommendations and any other advice provided is backed by research.
Her research interests in business leadership, tourism and infrastructure in Africa, are seemingly different themes but connected.
The sustainable development of Africa, to create a better quality of life for the African people, is a focus which can be achieved through various means and channels but ultimately directed through leadership. Her focus is on the private sector as an agent of development, hence the interest on business leadership development on the continent. Leadership research on the continent has focused on political leadership and rightly so, but there are other levels and strands of leadership which have not been given the attention they deserve – business leadership and community leadership through civil societies. Adun situates her research in this gap – business leadership – although as is to be expected, there are linkages with political and civil society leadership.
Business leadership occurs in various forms and in different industries. Adun enjoys travelling and discovering new places, and is interested in understanding more about how the tourism systems in Africa can be developed contribute to development on the continent – employment, rural development, cultural and heritage preservation etc. This is her compelling motivation, to contribute to the research on the African tourism system and translate this research into practical interventions for the tourism system in Africa.
The state of tourism has several challenges, one of which is the lack of adequate infrastructure for tourism: domestic, regional and international. Her focus is on domestic and regional tourism and on how infrastructure can be developed to grow these segments of the tourism industry.
Infrastructure refers to the connection between, and within structures and networks, and how to make these better connected, and have smoother flow, be it in an organisation, and extrapolating this to the wider society, for example how communication flows, how strategy is formulated and disseminated, how feedback is utilised, how systems are made to work better.
All these point to the need for visionary and effective leadership, and this is where her research journey nodes.