Religious Belief, Corporate Philanthropy, and Political Involvement of Entrepreneurs in Chinese Family Firms

Journal of Business Ethics 142 (2):385-406 (2017)
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Abstract

This study examines whether religious belief influences an entrepreneur’s political involvement and further explores the moderating role of corporate philanthropy. Using the data from the 2008 national survey of Chinese family firms, my study provides strong evidence to show that the likelihood of political involvement is significantly higher for entrepreneurs with religious beliefs than for their counterparts, suggesting that religious entrepreneurs in Chinese family firms are more likely to participate in political affairs. This finding echoes the view that religious believers acquire civic skills through their associational memberships or experience in involving religious activities. In addition, corporate philanthropy attenuates the positive association between religious belief and political involvement. The above findings are robust to a variety of sensitivity tests and are still valid after controlling for the potential endogeneity between political involvement and religious belief.

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