Jocelene Buckman, a student from the Department of Marketing and Entrepreneurship successfully defended her thesis on 6th February, 2018, at the School of Graduate Studies. The thesis was on the topic: Succession Planning in Family-Owned Businesses: Narratives from Ghana. Her supervisors were: Dr. Samuel Buame, Dr. Daniel Quaye and Dr. Kwame Adom.
The Viva was chaired by Prof. Richard Boateng. Present were Dr. Tweneboah Koduah, Prof. Johan de Jager of Tshwane University of Technology, Dr. Mahama Braimah, Professor Robert Darko Osei and other faculty.
In her presentation, Jocelene noted that her qualitative approach at the micro level examined various individual experiences which served as a platform for her thematic analysis summary and her holistic succession model.
Below is a copy of her abstract;
Through a phenomenological study, this work investigates succession planning processes in family-owned businesses (FOB) in Ghana, with the objective to develop a succession model suitable for the Ghanaian contest. From a constructivist perspective, six family businesses were studied, interviewing the founder, successor, family member, employee and customer of each business and presenting the results in the form of six case studies. Existing knowledge has also been confirmed that succession is not a one-off event, but a process that takes place over time, requiring the buy-in of not just the founder and successor, but also other important stakeholders including the successor's siblings and spouse (if any), whose support is imperative to the success of the process.
From our research, we contribute towards the understanding of the essential elements in the
succession process, what appropriate measures can be put in place for effective succession outcomes, and how the key stakeholders of the business can be effectively managed as part of managing the succession process for positive organisational outcomes. This study employed a qualitative approach to comprehend how entrepreneurial learning precedes the succession processes of trans-generational firms in Ghana. In an eclectic study of the subject, this work reviewed and synthesised relevant research data into a conceptual framework, which formed the basis of the interview questions generated, and then employing a multi-case study approach, a succession model was formulated based on the responses of sample firms. In so doing, this research created a connection between entrepreneurial learning and succession planning in family-owned businesses, and how these work together to improve a firm's chances of survival beyond the founder within the Ghanaian context.
We contribute to FOB practice, our holistic succession model spanning the founder's entry into the business, to the post-succession period and incorporating contextual intervening variables such as polygamy, religion and systems of inheritance, while we contribute to theory by proposing a comprehensive succession process theory to enhance the understanding of the process.
Succession planning. Family-Owned Businesses, Entrepreneurial Learning, Entrepreneurial Orientation Ghana
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