Corporate Social Performance in Family Firms

Proceedings of the International Association for Business and Society 16:154-159 (2005)
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Abstract

This is an exploratory study of corporate social performance in firms with family members in executive, governance, or strong ownership positions. Family firmsdominate the economy in most countries, including the United States, and families are thought to be more concerned with personal wealth creation and risk avoidance than social performance. Although such firms have been shown to have superior financial performance, I found no evidence of superior (or inferior) social performance among family firms in the S&P 500. In a departure from the methodological norm in business and society, I used KLD data as dependent variables instead of independent variables. I was able to predict KLD scores from firm size, industry, and strategy variables, but family firm status rarely played a role.

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