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Family ownership and environmental performance: The mediation effect of human resource practices

Lorenzo Dal Maso, Rodrigo Basco, Thomas Bassetti () and Nicola Lattanzi

Business Strategy and the Environment, 2020, vol. 29, issue 3, 1548-1562

Abstract: Previous literature has found that listed family firms underperform their nonfamily counterparts in terms of environmental performance, but has not explained why this occurs. We address this research gap by hypothesizing that training and development practices (i.e., managerial practices devoted to providing training and development for the workforce) mediate the relationship between family blockholders and environmental performance. Using a sample of 33,901 firm‐year observations from 2002 to 2016 distributed across 56 countries and employing the structural equation model technique, we find that investment in training and development practices explains almost half of the negative relationship between family blockholders and environmental performance. Our study contributes to the agency theory debate on principal–principal problems by explaining why family blockholders could damage other blockholders and minority shareholders.

Date: 2020
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