African Family Business Conflicts;
The Role of the Church in Providing Mediation as a Ministry to Family Businesses
Mediation has existed in Africa for millennia and is an integral part of African culture and heritage. Sadly, structured mediation through traditional mechanisms, e.g. tribal and clan leadership has not deliberately been passed on to modern generations; it is a skill that seems to be dying with the older generations. Even as the church embraces African cultural aspects such as Rites of Passage Experiences (ROPES) and programs specific to guide men/women to maturity, prepare congregants for marriage, parenting and other life stages, mediation does not regularly feature in adult education within the urban church; it seems to have been relegated to rural village. Study of available literature established that alternative dispute resolution (ADR) is preferred to litigation and rejection when settling disputes within family businesses given the close relationship of the disputants. A quantitative and qualitative survey of urban family business practitioners established that mediation is the method most preferred for resolving conflict in family businesses. The survey further revealed that the founders or leaders within these ventures are looked upon as the ones best placed to engage in conflict resolution even though they may not be the best-suited individuals for this task. The study concludes with suggestions on the urban church can do to raise peacemakers who have a passion for family business, equip them with skills for mediation and deploy them into the market place to meet the needs of family businesses that are struggling with conflict.
Copyright (c) 2019 Peter Mutinda Mutua, Sammy Kent Mangeli
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