Landowners say they were "greatly encouraged" by the report, but critics insist it doesn't change the pressing need for further land reform.
The work by Scotland's Rural College is based on a study of 23 family estates of different sizes in Scotland. The report describes their characteristics and explores how they interact with local communities.
Report author Dr Mike Woolvin said: "Our study found examples of positive, productive interaction with communities as family estates seek to be strong and adaptable businesses and feed into wider rural resilience."
He said the estates' dominant activities were still farming, forestry, sporting and house letting. But quarrying, tourist accommodation, equine and renewable energy projects were growing in importance.
Douglas McAdam, chief executive of landowners' organisation Scottish Land & Estates, said: "In the current debates about land ownership it is all too easy to generalise and stereotype estates and landowners. We hope that this work will enhance the current debate by adding to the picture of estates and the role they can play in rural society."
A spokesman for Community Land Scotland, which represents the community buyouts, said: "The private estates may latch on to this report as evidence they hope will kill off the debate for more land reform, but it doesn't and it won't. Further land reform is a necessary part of building a fairer Scotland."
He said the SRUC report had looked at a sample of the tiny number of private interests who control the vast bulk of rural Scotland.