Which Institutional Investors Drive Corporate Sustainability? A Systematic Literature Review

Research output: Journal contributionsScientific review articlesResearch


In this article, we review recent archival research (66 studies) on the influence of institutional ownership (IO) heterogeneity on corporate sustainability. Relying on an agency-theoretical framework, we differentiate between various types of IO and their nature. We found that most prior research concentrates on the impact of IO heterogeneity on corporate sustainability performance. Long-term, sustainable, and foreign IO leads to better ESG/CSR outputs. Based on the business case argument for corporate sustainability, long-term institutional investors moderate the positive link between corporate sustainability and future financial performance. We provide useful recommendations for future research by focusing on endogeneity concerns as methodological challenges and content-related proposals for future research designs.
Original languageEnglish
JournalBusiness Strategy and the Environment
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)42-71
Number of pages30
Publication statusPublished - 01.2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Open access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.

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© 2022 The Author. Business Strategy and The Environment published by ERP Environment and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.