Sustainability and family business

Submissions Open March 1st 2024

Submit your paper here!


Sustainability and how companies and institutions implement social, economic and environmental practices for its achievement has gained increasing academic and professional attention (D’Souza et al. 2022). From a policy viewpoint, it is remarkable the effort of the United Nations by establishing the United Nations' 2030 Agenda, which is a ccomprehensive plan to solve sustainable issues by implementing the triple bottom line (TBL) concept (Ratten et al. 2010) that is reflected in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). SDGs sets the path forward for companies, institutions, and society (Ratten et al. 2019), being technology innovation widely recognized as a critical means in tackling climate change and fulfilling policy objectives (Fernandez et al. 2022). Despite the abundance of research on sustainability, only few papers have focused on family firms, which is relevant for at least two reasons (Broccardo et al. 2019). First, family businesses play a relevant role in economic activity in most countries. Second, family business show peculiarities with respect to non-family firms, so it becomes relevant to examine if these differences are also reflected in sustainability related issues.  

Additionally, rapid changes due to the great advances in science and technology makes necessary a deep analysis of new trends, innovation management theories, and the interaction of variables (mediation – moderation) in future development models (Sarwono et al. 2022). 

The objective of this Special Issue is exploring how sustainability concept, theories and its implementation are carried out through management and economic models in family businesses. This Special Issue calls for an insightful and critical discussion about how Sustainability is articulated from the perspective of management and economics in family business. Moreover, this call aims to create a collection of rigorous research articles that examine, explore and make proposals for the conditions and mechanisms that can fully optimize sustainable development by organizations and institutions. We invite articles that integrate a system perspective (i.e., economic, social, governance, and environmental interconnectedness) from the conceptualization to execution of sustainability in family business (Elicegui et al. 2017; Strickland & Ratten, 2023) as well as to examine the role of innovation in all of these processes and results (Barrena-Martinez et al. 2020).  

List of Topic Areas

  • ​​​Responsible behaviors and sustainability in family business. 
  • ​Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S). 
  • ​Measurement of sustainable policies, practices and performance. 
  • ​The role of managers in the development of business strategies for sustainability. 
  • ​Methods, strategies, and tools for sustainable production (e.g., business modelling, circular supply chains, and product design). 
  • ​Sustainable Entrepreneurship, metrics, indicators and assessment approaches. 
  • ​Sustainable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). 
  • ​Emerging topics in sustainability from the 
  • perspective of management, economics, and business strategies. 
  • ​Sustainable Human Resource Management, people and social challenges. 
  • ​Development of sustainable theories, approaches and concepts in family firms. 
  • ​Sustainable business model innovation. 
  • ​Digital sustainable entrepreneurship and role of digital technologies in society. 
  • ​Strategic usage of sustainable development goals for performance outcomes. 
  • ​Sustainability drivers and barriers. 
  • ​Sustainability and open innovation. 

Submissions Information

Submissions are made using ScholarOne Manuscripts. Registration and access are available here.
Author guidelines must be strictly followed. Please see here.
Authors should select (from the drop-down menu) the special issue title at the appropriate step in the submission process, i.e. in response to ““Please select the issue you are submitting to”. 
Submitted articles must not have been previously published, nor should they be under consideration for publication anywhere else, while under review for this journal.

Key Deadlines

Opening date for manuscripts submissions): 1/3/2024 
Closing date for manuscripts submission: 1/12/2024 


Barrena-Martínez, J., López-Fernández, M.  & Romero-Fernández, P. M. (2016). Corporate social responsibility: Evolution through institutional and stakeholder perspectives. European journal of management and business economics, 25(1), 8-14. 
Barrena-Martínez, J., Cricelli, L., Ferrándiz, E., Greco, M., & Grimaldi, M. (2020). Joint forces: Towards an integration of intellectual capital theory and the open innovation paradigm. Journal of Business Research, 112, 261-270. 
Broccardo, L., Truant, E., & Zicari, A. (2019). Internal corporate sustainability drivers: What evidence from family firms? A literature review and research agenda. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 26(1), 1-18. 
D'Souza, C., Ahmed, T., Khashru, M. A., Ahmed, R., Ratten, V., & Jayaratne, M. (2022). The complexity of stakeholder pressures and their influence on social and environmental responsibilities. Journal of Cleaner Production, 358, 132038. 
Elicegui-Reyes, J. I., Barrena-Martínez, J., & Romero-Fernández, P. M. (2017). Emotional capital and sustainability in family businesses: Human resource management perspective and sustainability. In CSR 2.0 and the new era of corporate citizenship (pp. 231-250). IGI Global. 
Fernández, A. M., Ferrándiz, E., & Medina, J. (2022). The diffusion of energy technologies. Evidence from renewable, fossil, and nuclear energy patents. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 178, 121566. 
Ratten, V. (2010). The future of sports management: A social responsibility, philanthropy and entrepreneurship perspective. Journal of Management & Organization, 16(4), 488-494. 
Ratten, V., Jones, P., Braga, V., & Marques, C. S. (2019). Subsistence entrepreneurship: The role of collaborative innovation, sustainability and social goals (pp. 1-6). Springer International Publishing. 
Sarwono, A. W., Ihalauw, J. J., Suharti, L., Usmanij, P., & Ratten, V. (2022). Factors Determining the Sustainability of Inter-organizational Collaboration Between International Higher Education Institutions in Digital Transformation Era. In Context-based Entrepreneurship: The Importance of Location, Time, and Culture (pp. 71-93). Cham: Springer International Publishing. 
Strickland, P., & Ratten, V. (2023). Family business succession: opportunities from the Victorian wine industry. Journal of Family Business Management.