5 years ago

Trade-offs between dimensions of sustainability: exploratory evidence from family firms in rural tourism regions

Johanna Zanon, Mike Peters, William Nikolakis, Andreas Kallmuenzer

Family firms often pursue social and environmental sustainability, or corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts that go beyond regulations. This is particularly true in nature-based industries. This study draws on socio-emotional wealth (SEW) and tourism literatures, as well as random utility theory, to disentangle the drivers of sustainability in rural tourism family firms (RTFFs). Informed by interviews, this study applied a novel choice-method survey, that brings understanding to the CSR payoffs and trade-offs between ecological, social and economic attributes in RTFFs. The results from 152 family firms in Western Austria show that after satisfying financial requirements, RTFFs are predominantly motivated by ecological and social considerations. The findings indicate that RTFFs obtain greater utility from positive ecological and social outcomes than additional financial profits, which the authors hypothesise is because of family-related SEW dynamics that enhances CSR. The findings from this study offer theoretical and practical insight into the motivations for proactive sustainability strategies among RTFFs.

Publisher URL: http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/09669582.2017.1374962

DOI: 10.1080/09669582.2017.1374962

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