Sustainability Practices of Family Firms: The Interplay between Family Ownership and Long-Term Orientation


Sustainability practices are critical for family firms, as they relate directly to the continuity of the business and relationships with important stakeholders, such as members of the local community. Nevertheless, not all family firms wish to adopt sustainability practices. To examine this, we draw upon the socioemotional wealth perspective in order to develop a theoretical model of the direct negative effects of family ownership on the adoption of sustainability practices. We also suggest moderating effects of long-term orientation (LTO) on this link. Our model is tested on a sample of 195 family firms in the tourism and hospitality sector. The results support our hypothesis that family ownership negatively influences the adoption of sustainability practices. Additionally, LTO moderates the relationship between family ownership and the adoption of sustainability practices, such that family owners with a high LTO are more likely to adopt this particular practice compared to those with a low LTO.


Business and Information Technology

Keywords and Phrases

Adaptive management; Ecotourism; Family structure; Firm ownership; Hospitality industry; Industrial practice; Family firms; Hospitality; Long-term orientation; Sustainability practices; Tourism

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0966-9582; 1747-7646

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2018 Taylor & Francis, All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Jan 2018