Sustainability of families in business into the third generation and beyond : analysis of three cases.
A major factor for a family business failing in its second or third generation is the death of the founder member, and the second generation not equipped to manage the business. Barker and Ishuzu (2012) added that it was rare for family businesses to survive into the third generation. As a consequence of families in business succeeding beyond second and third generation, a family will achieve financial stability while sustaining and creating jobs and positively impacting on the economy. This qualitative study was modelled on the STEP protocol in which three family businesses in KwaZulu-Natal were interviewed. The interviews were conducted and directed to get an ‘in-depth story’ of each business with regards to their history and performance, with the aim of finding solutions for long term success and sustainability. The research methodology used in this qualitative study was a narrative analysis. Although the findings of this study cannot be generalised to the entire population of family businesses, this narrative provides the researchers interpretation based on her findings of the three cases studied. The narrative analysis used in this research study was useful to understand certain phenomena, particularly in generating new theories that could be tested or researched further. The conclusions of this study were drawn by analysing the following points in particular: Personal Challenges of Owners, Levels of Succession Planning, if any, Power Control issues, The Role of Familiness and the maternal influence on succeeding generations. From the three case studies, it was concluded that the interplay of the above factors do affect firstly, the founder members degree of risk-taking to start a family business and then the successful trans-generation to third generation and beyond. The role of the mother featured dominantly in influencing trans- generational succession. This influence has been under- researched and provides some justification for empirical testing.