Factors affecting the sustainability of family businesses in Ghana after the exit of first generation of founding family members

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Family businesses, many of which fall within the Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), are the center of growth in developing countries such as Ghana as they contribute significantly to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), promote employment opportunities and serve as a means of alleviating poverty. Despite being the center of growth in developing countries, most family businesses rarely have a successful transition from one generation to the next. Majority of research done on family businesses has been carried out on succession planning, corporate governance and characteristics of the different generations running the business. The aim of this paper is to find out the various factors affecting the sustainability of family businesses in Ghana and find strategies around them to ensure long-term sustainability. A qualitative approach was employed in the collection and analysis of data. Using the Sustainable Family Business (SFB) model grounded in the systems theory, this study found out that of all the factors that affect sustainability, succession planning and family dynamics have the most impact on the sustainability of the family business, followed by founder’s syndrome. Entrepreneurial tradition had little to no impact on the sustainability of the business. This study hopes to contribute to the current family business discussion by bringing together the four unique factors that affect family businesses with the hope of finding strategies that will not only increase sustainability of family businesses but also increase the shelf-life of SMEs in general.
Thesis submitted to the Department of Business Administration, Ashesi University, in partial fulfillment of Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, April 2018
Succession planning, Ghana, SME, Accra, Sustainable Family Business model, family, sustainability