Original Research

The role of values in enhancing longevity among indigenous black South African family businesses

Welcome Kupangwa, Shelley M. Farrington, Elmarie Venter
The Southern African Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management | Vol 15, No 1 | a555 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajesbm.v15i1.555 | © 2023 Welcome Kupangwa, Shelley M. Farrington, Elmarie Venter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 28 March 2022 | Published: 27 January 2023

About the author(s)

Welcome Kupangwa, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa
Shelley M. Farrington, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa
Elmarie Venter, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Business and Economic Sciences, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha, South Africa

Abstract

Background: Values play a fundamental role in the longevity of family businesses. However, not fully understanding these roles threatens their long-term survival. Given their potentially large numbers and subsequent ability to reduce unemployment and poverty, it is critical that black-owned South African businesses achieve entrepreneurial success. While much research exists on family business values in a Western and European context, research on family business values in an indigenous black South African (IBSA) context is nonexistent.

Aim: The aim of this research is to determine the role that family business values play in enhancing the longevity of IBSA family businesses.

Setting: The study focused on IBSA family businesses that are independently owned and managed by one or more IBSAs and which are located in various major cities of South Africa.

Methods: A qualitative methodological approach following a multiple–case study design was adopted. Semistructured interviews were conducted with several key participants using a combination of face-to-face, telephone and online interviews. The six steps of reflexive thematic analysis were used to analyse the data.

Results: Four themes describe the role of family business values in enhancing longevity among the IBSA family businesses. Family business values were found to guide the behaviour of family business members, build the identity of the business-owning families and their businesses and build a sense of community in both the family and the family business. The continuity and success of their family businesses were also attributed to these underlying family business values.

Conclusion: Family business founders and/or current leaders should articulate the value set they uphold and use it as a resource to build the identity of both their families and family businesses while moderating the behaviours of family business members.

Contribution: The study responds to several research calls to investigate family businesses in African cultural settings and provides practical guidance to scholars, entrepreneurs and practitioners on how family businesses can use values as strategic resources to enhance business longevity and success.


Keywords

black; family business; indigenous; longevity; South Africa; values

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Crossref Citations

1. The African philosophy of Ubuntu and family businesses: a perspective article
Welcome Kupangwa
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