Environmental Sustainability in Family Business


  • Nishanthi Kariyapperuma University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Eva Collins University of Waikato, New Zealand
  • Stephen Bowden University of Waikato, New Zealand




Ethics, values and culture (EVC) have been highlighted as critical to understanding business engagement with environmental sustainability (ES) as part of the growing focus on promoting a purposeful approach to managing environmental issues. Research that reviews and integrates the extant literature in the intersection of family business (FB), business ethics and ES has not been conducted. In addition, the question of why and how heterogeneities exist in ES engagement among family firms has not been adequately addressed. This paper posits a causal link between FB' unique organisational structure and the distinct ethics, values, and culture it creates, resulting in heterogeneous engagement with ES by FB. This study is based on a systematic literature review of 89 journal articles at the intersection of FB, business ethics and ES. We found evidence to show how family involvement in the FB generated a distinctive set of EVC in family firms leading to variations in firms’ ES engagement.

Keywords: Family Involvement, ‘Familiness’, Familial Logics, Environmental Ethics, Values, Culture, Heterogeneity, Family Firms, Environmental Sustainability