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Keywords:

  • family;
  • ownership;
  • CSR

ABSTRACT

Previous research has shown that family firms differ from non-family firms with regard to aggregate measures of corporate social responsibility (CSR). We argue that CSR is a multidimensional concept that comprises several aspects, which range from employee relations to ecological concerns and product issues. Based on an organizational and family identity perspective, we argue that the effect of family ownership can differ across various CSR dimensions. Family firms can be responsible and irresponsible regarding CSR at the same time. We use a dataset of large US firms to test our hypotheses. Our Bayesian regressions show that family ownership is negatively associated with community-related CSR performance and positively associated with diversity-, employee-, environment- and product-related aspects of CSR. The largest positive effect of family ownership on CSR performance exists with regard to product-related aspects of CSR. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment