oa Journal of Contemporary Management - Parental Influences on the next generation’s intention to join their family business

Volume 17 Number 2
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



The unwillingness of next generation family members (NGFMs) to join the family business jeopardises its long-term survival. Although many factors influence a person’s choice of career, including the choice of joining the family business, parents are by far the most influential. The primary objective of this study was to identify the influence that parents have on a NGFM’s intention to join the family business. A structured questionnaire was distributed to South African respondents who have parents who own a family business. Respondents were identified by means of judgemental sampling. A total of 453 useable questionnaires were subjected to statistical analysis. The validity of the scales measuring the dependent and independent variables was assessed by means of factor analysis and the scales’ reliability by calculating Cronbach’s alpha coefficients. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were calculated. Multiple regression analysis was used to assess the hypothesised relationships. The results indicate that three parental influences (parental expectations, perceived parental outcomes and parental identification) significantly influence a NGFM’s intention to join the family business. Knowing which aspects under their control influence their children’s choice of whether or not to join the family business, enables parents to better manage these aspects.

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