Initiating professionalisation in family firms through the identification, assessment and development of competency models : evidence from Ghana
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The literature suggests that the professionalisation of the management of family owned firms can be the best option to initiate family firm professionalisation and that this can be achieved through competency modelling and assessment. For this study, the core research question was: What are the challenges encountered in using competency frameworks to initiate the professionalisation process of family firms in an emerging economy? To answer this question the process of competency modelling and assessment was investigated through a positivist multiple-case study design in both external cases and the case organisation. The case organisation here is a family-owned business in its second generation ownership. The data for the study were obtained from 48 completed competency ranking questionnaires and 14 completed 360-degree feedback assessments from six external organisations. For the case organisation, the data were obtained from 14 participants. The study found that highly structured and intensive competency approaches can be successful, but not without challenges that were encountered. These challenges, if not addressed, may limit the potential of the approaches. Recommendations include the adequate sensitisation of all stakeholders, the adoption of company-specific competencies, the inhouse definition of behavioural anchors and the institution of a shared vision and values. Further study could investigate the attitudes to such structured and intensive competency approaches among stakeholders, the application of this process in small organisations and the effects of customisation and alignment of competencies with the vision and values of the organisations. Finally, more guidance on how case study research can be carried out by owner-managers in their own organisations would be beneficial.