Business Groups owned by Family and Sustainability Embeddedness: Understanding the Family Sustainability Spectrum

Marcela Ramirez-Pasillas, Ulla Saari, Hans Lundberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


Increased awareness about the climate emergency, social and environmental inequalities, and ecological degradation influence the adoption of sustainability by business groups worldwide, including business groups owned by family. The owning families are developing awareness and strategies to pursue ecological, social, and ethical challenges and opportunities. We argue that research at the interface of family, business groups, and corporate sustainability is important to advance our understanding of the influence that the owning family has (and their related sustainability approaches). Thus, in this chapter, we develop a conceptual framework that examines the commitment, control, and continuity of the owning family to its business group’s global corporate sustainability. We merge family business literature with corporate sustainability literature and adopt a sustainability embeddedness perspective. We argue that our proposed conceptual model on sustainability embeddedness is a useful tool when analysing how diverse degrees and forms of involvement by the owning family lead to a variety of approaches to sustainability that are distinct in the business groups owned by family.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Palgrave Handbook of Managing Family Business Groups
EditorsMarita Rautiainen, Maria Jose Parada, Timo Pihkala, Naveed Akhter, Allan Discua Cruz, Kajari Mukherjee
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-13206-3
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-13205-6
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Publication typeA3 Book chapter


  • sustainability
  • business families
  • commitment
  • control
  • continuity
  • family involvement
  • ownership

Publication forum classification

  • Publication forum level 3


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