School of Management
Royal Holloway University of London

The Centre for Research into Sustainability

Family Business, Stakeholder Theory, Ethics and CSR

Project Description

Family enterprises i.e., firms in which members of a family exert significant influence through controlling ownership and/or management, are the most common and pervasive form of business organization throughout the world. While most of the small and medium firms are family controlled, founding family members are active in some of the largest firms in the world such as Cargill, Ford, IKEA, and Wal-Mart. Research indicates the long term orientation of family enterprises as these firms endure through multiple generations of leaders and industry life cycles.

Does family involvement in the firm influence how a firm responds to its stakeholder, ethical, and environmental demands? Although important advances have been made in each of these research arenas generally, limited attention has been devoted to exploring stakeholder/ ethics/ environment issues within family-enterprise research. This topic is the theme of the Family Enterprise Research Conference, 2009 which has a Journal special issue attached to it. For further details see:

Expected Outcomes

Special issue of Business Ethics Quarterly. Guest editors: Bradley R. Agle, University of Pittsburgh, James J. Chrisman, Mississippi State University, Ronald K. Mitchell, Texas Tech University, Laura J. Spence, Royal Holloway, University of London: Stakeholder Theory, Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility and Family Enterprise


Laura Spence (Royal Holloway, University of London)