The Dynamics of lndian Family Firms in Durban
The author argues that there is a relationship between the joint family and economic (business) development and that contrary to the general belief that the joint (or extended) family is an inhibition to development, it has been in Durban a positive element. The joint family business far from being a hindrance to economic growth is an excellent institution for the concentration of capital, which is a precondition for growth. In Durban where Indians have had problems in competing for capital and other resources in the open market, the value of the joint family business may be even greater. The evidence casts doubt on the traditional arguments of economists who contend that any inhibition on the free movement of factors of production through market mechanism is bad for growth and also the socialist economic models which distrust commercial activity for profit and the accumulation of privately owned capital. The thesis deals with a small Indian immigrant elite business group who lived in Durban for 120 years. The author explores the various phases of the business and its connections with the developmental cycle of the so called "joint family".