Legacy in a family business context: An intergenerational curriculum to foster legacy and assist in navigating transitions

Resource type
Thesis type
(Thesis) Ed.D.
Date created
Author: Chen, Samuel
This study looks at the legacy between me and my father within a family business context through autoethnography and William Pinar's (1975) model of Currere. My thesis is that legacy includes the results of connected and collective aspirations and shapes the journey to full personhood across generations. It encompasses intergenerational learning and struggles from one generation to the next and can include both elements that are good and bad which may either aid or hinder the next generation from living and growing towards full personhood. I have chosen autoethnography because the cultural context of my story is important to its interpretation. I have written about my experiences growing up in a family business and consulting for family firms in the form of vignettes across different life phases (Regressive Movement). My story culminates in the disorienting dilemma of my father's death, my wife leaving me and needing to terminate my international consulting work to be with my children. These three levels of trauma necessitated the need for a new understanding of myself. The Currere framework was chosen, acknowledging that my lived experiences, painful as they were, are a curriculum that if understood could assist in self-knowledge, cultivation and identity formation. As I looked to the past, I was also seeking a new vision for the father I wanted to be and the nature of my future livelihood (Progressive Movement). This was in the context of feeling stuck by constraints of divorce, a new parenting arrangement and not being able to travel for international work. At a deeper level, I was also held back by faulty assumptions I had, which in part were part of my father's legacy (Analysis). I wanted to redefine what family business, legacy and fatherhood meant to me (Synthesis). I have also attempted to apply an educational lens to examine legacy as a learning opportunity and have provided guiding tenets and different learning experiences which might assist in intergenerational learning within a family business context.
174 pages.
Copyright statement
Copyright is held by the author(s).
This thesis may be printed or downloaded for non-commercial research and scholarly purposes.
Supervisor or Senior Supervisor
Thesis advisor: McClaren, Milton
Member of collection
Attachment Size
etd21721.pdf 3.43 MB