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Motives to engage in sustainable investment: a comparison between institutional and private investors


  • Magnus Jansson
  • Anders Biel


The current study compares motives to invest in accordance with socially responsible criteria among different groups of investors. In total, 60 employees from 19 investment institutions, 453 private investors and 71 institutional investors participated in a questionnaire study. While socially responsible investment (SRI) among private and institutional investors was guided by self-transcendent values (environmental and social values), this was not the case among fund managers working in investment institutions. Fund managers in investment institutions were affected by beliefs about long‐term returns of SRI. Private investors were, in addition, influenced by beliefs about long‐term returns, whereas institutional investors were motivated by an effort to reduce financial risks. Finally, investment institutions tended to overrate the importance of financial returns among their beneficiaries (private and institutional beneficiaries) and underestimate the importance of ethical, environmental and social aspects for beneficiaries. The results indicate that private and institutional investors/beneficiaries give a wider interpretation of fiduciary duty than investment institutions do. Copyright (C) 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment.

Suggested Citation

  • Magnus Jansson & Anders Biel, 2011. "Motives to engage in sustainable investment: a comparison between institutional and private investors," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 135-142, March/Apr.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:sustdv:v:19:y:2011:i:2:p:135-142

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    Cited by:

    1. Estapé-Dubreuil, Glòria & Ashta, Arvind & Hédou, Jean-Pierre, 2016. "Micro-equity for sustainable development: Selection, monitoring and exit strategies of micro-angels," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 117-129.
    2. Anett Wins & Bernhard Zwergel, 2016. "Comparing those who do, might and will not invest in sustainable funds: a survey among German retail fund investors," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 9(1), pages 51-99, April.
    3. repec:spr:busres:v:10:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s40685-016-0040-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Gregor Dorfleitner & Mai Nguyen, 2016. "Which proportion of SR investments is enough? A survey-based approach," Business Research, Springer;German Academic Association for Business Research, vol. 9(1), pages 1-25, April.
    5. repec:eco:journ2:2017-06-3 is not listed on IDEAS


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