Does Family Matter? Ownership, Motives and Firms’ Environmental Strategy

Abubakr Saeed, Hammad Riaz, Tahiru Liedong, Tazeeb Rajwani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (SciVal)


Extant research has primarily focused on the economic drivers and outcomes of corporate environmental performance. This trajectory oversimplifies the motives for environmental strategies across all firm types and particularly overlooks how firm ownership presents other motives for environmental strategies. In this study, we leverage institutional theory to examine how family motives, underpinned by family members' desire to gain or preserve family legitimacy and socio-emotional wealth, affect ISO 14001 certification. Using firm-level data, we find that family ownership has a positive effect on ISO 14001 certification. This effect is stronger for firms whose names include the family name and also for firms located closer to large cities. Our study contributes to nonmarket strategy literature by showing that family motives underpin firms’ environmental initiatives. It also contributes to institutional theory by delineating the levels of legitimacy that spur nonmarket strategy in family firms.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102216
JournalLong Range Planning
Issue number1
Early online date11 May 2022
Publication statusPublished - 28 Feb 2023


  • China
  • Environmental strategy
  • Family and firm legitimacy
  • Family firms
  • ISO 14001
  • Institutional theory
  • Nonmarket strategy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


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