Entrepreneurial knowledge and skills from parents to their children: An occupational legacy strategy for family-owned businesses
Keywords:Economic occupations, Transgenerational transmission, Intergenerational success, Occupational science perspective, Parental family traditions, Inherited entrepreneurial knowledge and skills
Background: Transmission of entrepreneurial legacies in family-owned businesses has received increased attention. There is still uncertainty, however, whether families pass down the knowledge and skills onto their children. Aim: This study explored how families transmit entrepreneurial knowledge and skills as part of occupational legacy to their children. Methods: This narrative qualitative research was conducted with five families who owned business in the Western Cape and Mpumalanga Provinces. Twelve participants were selected through purposive sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with the participants using a face-face approach and telephone calls were audio-recorded, transcribed verbatim then thematically analysed in a credible manner. Findings: Four themes captured the qualitative evidence of how the families transmit entrepreneurial knowledge and skills to the children consists of Theme 1: Parental family traditions; Theme 2: Inherited entrepreneurial knowledge and skills; Theme 3: Experiences of the entrepreneurial occupations; and Theme 4: We need to let go and let them carry on. Conclusion: Overall, this study indicates that through enacted togetherness, transitions and adaptations allowed families to engage in entrepreneurial occupations that facilitated inculcation of knowledge and skills needed for family-owned businesses. The social implication of this study is that families transmitted the legacy of social security of their communities. Implications for practice This study suggests that occupational therapists should consider the needs of older generations who are prone to imposter syndrome due to handing over their family-owned businesses to the younger generations. Greater efforts are needed to ensure that older and younger generations have mental and emotional capacity to deal with the psychological and environmental factors that can influence transmission of entrepreneurial legacies. Therefore, occupational therapists may design intervention strategies to facilitate transition, resilience, productivity and wellness.
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