Seminar #22 – June 16, 2021

Non-Transparent Yet Credible?

The Role of Family Owners
on Sustainability Reporting

Josh Wei-Jun Hsueh
Melanie Richards

date: June 16, 2021

time: 12:00-13:00 (CET)

location: Zoom (private event)

ABSTRACT – The success of a firm’s sustainability report depends on whether stakeholders perceive it as credible. Managing transparency is of strategic importance in this context because it enhances credibility. To improve transparency, firms can seek external sustainability assurance. This article looks at how family ownership influences such assurance decisions. Our quantitative analysis reveals that family firms are less likely to adopt sustainability assurance because they feel confident that they are signaling information credibility. However, our qualitative analysis reveals that external stakeholders are critical of family ownership and suggests steps to improve the stakeholder inclusiveness, accuracy, balance, and comparability of reporting.

PRESENTER – University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), Center for Family Business CFB-HSG

HOST – Università Cattaneo LIUC (Italy), FABULA Family Business Lab

DISCUSSANT – Tel Aviv University (Israel), Raya Strauss Center for Family Firm Research


Josh Wei-Jun Hsueh

Assistant Professor