Market and entrepreneurial vision: the case of two family businesses in South Africa
Van Eeden-Allen, Suzanne
MetadataShow full item record
The question of “why do some family enterprises survive into successive generations, while other succumb to contextual constraints?” elicited different responses. Explanations vary from that it might be inherent to the industry, or the structure of the firm, or simply market opportunism. In seeking a deeper insight on the impact of industry or structural constraints in the general area of family businesses, this article considers the local South African shoe industry. The article reflects on the history of footwear manufacture in South Africa; how it started and grew from cottage industries to a more main stream, modern manufacturing industry. The article attempts to place this industry and its development in a broader current context by considering the impact of exogenous factors, namely globalisation and cheap shoe imports from the East on the South African footwear industry. To investigate the impact of the afore mentioned constraints, the article discusses the birth and growth of two footwear manufacturing family businesses – one operating in Stellenbosch in the Western Cape Province, the other one in Kwazulu-Natal Province – and considers the divergent development trajectories, different styles of management and subsequently, the completely different outcomes of these footwear manufacturing family enterprises.