Organizational capabilities for family firm sustainability: The role of knowledge accumulation and family essence

Ismael Barros-Contreras, Jesús Manuel Palma-Ruiz, Angel Torres-Toukoumidis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


While prior studies recognize the importance of organizational capabilities for family firm sustainability, current research has still failed to empirically identify the role of different types of knowledge accumulation with regard to these organizational capabilities. Based on the dynamic capabilities theory, the main goal of this paper is to address this research gap and to explore the relationships between both internal and external knowledge accumulation, and ordinary organizational capabilities. This research also contributes to analyzing the complex effect of the family firm essence, influenced by both family involvement and generational involvement levels, as an antecedent of internal and external knowledge accumulation. Our analysis of 102 non-listed Spanish family firms shows that the family firm essence, which is influenced by the family involvement, strengthens only the internal knowledge accumulation but not the external one. Furthermore, our study also reveals that both internal and knowledge accumulation are positively related to ordinary capabilities.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5607
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2 May 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.


  • Dynamic capabilities
  • External knowledge accumu-lation
  • Family essence
  • Family firms
  • Internal knowledge accumulation
  • Ordinary capabilities
  • Partial least squares
  • Structural equation modeling


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