In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be reached by 2030. They are aimed at all members of society, including businesses, which could integrate SDGs within their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. As family firms constitute the most widespread form of business, understanding the factors that drive the decisions to pursue SDGs is essential. Thus, this research aims to understand why a family firm complies with SDGs. Additionally, it examines how SDGs enter, at the strategic level, activities and management practices. Following the case study method, the paper focuses on a family firm based in Italy, by means of documentary analysis, semi-structured interviews, and online data. In line with the Socioemotional Wealth (SEW) theory, family and personal values are crucial. While SDGs are only now entering the strategic level, their rationale has always been part of the family values, and the firm's culture. The selected firm is pursuing ten Goals. SDGs serve as a further motivator for family firms to behave more responsibly, meaning that they help to align the firm's strategy with the global challenges, building on existing family and firm's values. Our paper brings several contributions to the family business, CSR and SDGs literature, providing a representation of the reasons why a family firm pursues SDGs and the first reaction phases to SDGs. It brings practical implications for policymakers, highlighting the role of family values as the main drivers of the choice to invest in SDGs. By providing unique evidence, it is the first to connect the family business literature, CSR and SDGs.

Drivers and nuances of sustainable development goals: Transcending corporate social responsibility in family firms

Patuelli Alessia
;
Lattanzi Nicola
2022-01-01

Abstract

In 2015, the United Nations established 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to be reached by 2030. They are aimed at all members of society, including businesses, which could integrate SDGs within their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategies. As family firms constitute the most widespread form of business, understanding the factors that drive the decisions to pursue SDGs is essential. Thus, this research aims to understand why a family firm complies with SDGs. Additionally, it examines how SDGs enter, at the strategic level, activities and management practices. Following the case study method, the paper focuses on a family firm based in Italy, by means of documentary analysis, semi-structured interviews, and online data. In line with the Socioemotional Wealth (SEW) theory, family and personal values are crucial. While SDGs are only now entering the strategic level, their rationale has always been part of the family values, and the firm's culture. The selected firm is pursuing ten Goals. SDGs serve as a further motivator for family firms to behave more responsibly, meaning that they help to align the firm's strategy with the global challenges, building on existing family and firm's values. Our paper brings several contributions to the family business, CSR and SDGs literature, providing a representation of the reasons why a family firm pursues SDGs and the first reaction phases to SDGs. It brings practical implications for policymakers, highlighting the role of family values as the main drivers of the choice to invest in SDGs. By providing unique evidence, it is the first to connect the family business literature, CSR and SDGs.
2022
SDGs, Family firms, CSR, Case study, Socioemotional wealth theory
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/22298
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