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08/12/2021

Business values in indigenous Black South African family businesses are influenced and shaped by their African culture, and the philosophy of Ubuntu. And parents are the most influential familial socialisation agents.

These are among the findings of the research of Welcome Kupangwa, who will be graduating with his PhD in Business Management at Nelson Mandela University on 15 December.

His thesis entitled “A framework for transmitting and entrenching values in indigenous Black South African family businesses” focuses on the nature and role of values in these businesses.

The study investigated how values are transmitted from one family generation to the next, and then being entrenched and incorporated into the businesses’ organisational activities.

Personal, family, cultural, and business values amongst the families and their businesses, operate at both individual and group levels.

The values of the founder and/or current leaders influence the family businesses, and these values are institutionalised into the business through influencing and shaping several business functions and processes.

Welcome, a lecturer in Management Practice at the University, obtained all his degrees at Mandela University and focused on South African small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) for his MCom degree in Business Management, which he obtained cum laude.

Drawing on the research proficiency and passion of Business Management’s family business experts Prof Shelley Farrington and Prof Elmarie Venter, he was inspired as he is passionate about ‘the family’ and ‘values’. 

Welcome also faced a few challenges during his years of doctoral research, having been diagnosed with both tuberculosis and diabetes within the space of two months and the psychological trauma of a car accident.  “I remember thinking to myself that I might not complete this PhD journey, as it felt like I was going to die during the process,” he said.

He also spent many tedious months searching for suitable indigenous Black South African family businesses, for his study sample, and learnt the importance of meaningful networks, especially when dealing with notoriously private family entities.

Welcome realised that challenges are sometimes necessary to prepare and strengthen you for life’s difficult journey. “It is because I went through these experiences, that I now know the value of perseverance, hard work, and determination – it is these values that contribute to one’s success, he says

Welcome advises prospective PhD students to create a meaningful relationship with their supervisor(s), seek training and development through attending research workshops, and READ, READ, READ!

Contact information
Mr Welcome Kupangwa
Assistant Lecturer
Tel: +27(0) 415041212
Welcome.Kupangwa@mandela.ac.za