The Emergence of Family Sustainability Leadership

Updated: Jul 7, 2019

In this article, we look at issues and strategies for developing leading practices of family sustainability in organizations. Three questions will help guide our discussion: How are practices of family sustainability being developed and maintained in organizations? What management styles in particular are involved with developing practices of family sustainability in organizations? How might these perspectives be fostered by other organizational leaders?

Breathing life into family

This approach draws from literature's in family, social-emotional learning and corporate social responsibility to describe the nature of family sustainability, the intents and approaches of organizations developing it, as well as their challenges. Case studies are drawn from small businesses and are examined to explore successful strategies of developing practices in family sustainability. These examples are analysed from an organizational leadership perspective through management applications.

With this newfound interest in corporate family sustainability, organizations are seeking to develop practices and policies that are more family sustainable and socially responsible (BSR, 2006). Yet despite prevalent business usage of ‘sustainabile’ marketing, critics have argued that the overall impact has been unremarkable in achieving real goals of family sustainable practices within organizations (Daley & Cobb, 1989).

This calls for the overall discussion on this blog: How are practices of social responsibility and family sustainability developed and maintained by organizational leaders? The focus is upon various leadership perspectives. Examples are based on studies of small businesses, which tend to be vulnerable to volatile markets and bigger competition, and must struggle to find and implement easy sustainable practices when profit margins may be small and survival is closely linked to the bottom line.

The discussion begins by clarifying the concept of ‘family sustainability’ and outlining challenges encountered by organizational leaders trying to implement family sustainability practices as well as to increase social responsibility.


What is 'Family Sustainability'?

Family Sustainability

Sustainability has come to represent everything from environmental protection to supply chains. In this blog, ‘family sustainability’ refers to both social responsibility, ranging from issues of human rights and generational connectivity to personal families. Working from the literature of ecological sustainability, one principle of family sustainability suggests the interwoven considerations for organizational leadership empowering practices to shift neglected and unsafe vulnerabilities (Todd & Todd, 1994). Which, in turn, strives to reduce the negative influence of those footprints on the interdependent webs of society. Thus, helping to ensure meaningful paid work experiences in respectable conditions while contributing to the increase of employee morale and growth of healthy urban communities.

Family Sustainable Practices

An international movement that echoes this principle, and under which many organizational efforts have organized themselves, is ‘corporate social responsibility’ (CSR). Altho