|dc.description.abstract||Family businesses are one of the driving forces behind economic growth in South
Africa. It is therefore very important to understand all the different aspects of family
businesses to ensure sustainability and continuity through different generations. The
reasons for their failure are often predictable and the fact that the 'family dynamics'
and family business issues is not well understood. Family harmony is a situation where
family members acknowledge each other's achievements, that they are emotionally
attached and close to each other, where they support and care for each other's
welfare and this gives them a competitive advantage and as a result are in a better
position to work together, trust each other, and react faster to the changing economic
environment. It also leads to better, wiser decisions being taken, leading to success in
The research was conducted by means of a literature and empirical study. The
literature study entails literature on the key dynamics of family businesses and factors
that influence harmony in family businesses. A convenience sample, by means of a
snowball sample technique was used to identify family businesses. A total of 13 family
businesses and 91 respondents participated in the Lejweleputswa District in the Free
State province in South Africa.
Literature revealed that there are thirteen latent variables that could be used to assess
family harmony in family businesses. These determinants of family harmony are: open
communication, mutual t rust and respect, conflict between family members, family
commitment, personal needs alignment, division of labour, fairness, leadership,
governance, non-active family members, non-family members, senior generation of
family members and financial performance.
The reliability of the questionnaire was determined by calculating the Cronbach alpha
coefficient of the variables. The Cronbach's alpha reliability coefficient normally ranges
between 0 and 1. The closer the Cronbach's alpha coefficient is to 1.0, the greater the
internal consistency of the items in the data.
The participating family members had the highest level of agreement with the following
variables concerning the statements in the questionnaire; Family Commitment
(x=5.877), Financial performance (x= 5.723) and Mutual trust and respect (x=
5.716). Mutual trust, respect and leadership are the more preferable variables for the
participating family members because they have the highest correlation to family
harmony in family businesses. In the relationships of, active and inactive family
members and the gender of the family members in regard with family harmony
(dependable variable) and the perceived future continuity ( independent variable) there
is never a practical significant difference.
Recommendations are made to improve family harmony in family businesses and
subsequently the sustainability and longevity of the businesses||