Kinship in business organisations: its flaws and strengths

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Business Organisations are very essential in every country. Their running basically hinges on principles which when rightly appropriated coupled with foresight and ingenuity, greatly affects national economy by promoting growth. Businesses are ventures purposed for growth, since profit optimisation is among its aims and objectives. How far the aim of profit maximisation is attained, is influenced by a number of factors. In Ghana, culture is an important institution, and usually principles, which may be wrong in business, may be right culturally, and in sacrificing business principles for culture, one will be judged generous, wise and successful. However, such do not promote growth of the enterprise, at best they stagnate the business. It is important that proper management practices are adapted in the running of businesses. In Ghana, private business has been in existence since 500BC, but this was mainly agricultural based’. It was the order of the day for households to acquire plots of lands for farming, with almost every member of the households having a part to play on the farm. The farm could therefore be seen as a family business. With time, other businesses emerged, and all these have become part of our economic system. In order parts of the world, businesses started as small units and have grown into big companies with great affluence world-wide. Apple Computers for example, began and grew into a billion dollar Company with five years.2 This success story may not be characteristic of Ghanaian private business. Quite a number of Ghanaian businesses have been in existence for well over a decade, but have not seen any expansion or growth. Several factors might have contributed to this state of affairs. They may include; illiteracy, lack of co-operative spirit, and probably more importantly our kinship system. It is not uncommon in Ghana to find a business enterprise, be it agriculture, manufacturing or commerce staffed mainly with family members. This has been so because of our extended family system, where from time immemorial, kinsmen have linked up each other in business, be it farming, buying or selling.
A thesis submitted to the Board of Postgraduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the award of the Post-Graduate Diploma in Industrial Management, 1997