Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 130, Issue 4, pp 851–867

Corporate Philanthropy, Ownership Type, and Financial Transparency


  • Cuili Qian
    • Department of ManagementCity University of Hong Kong
    • Business SchoolSun Yat-Sen University
  • Albert Tsang
    • School of AccountancyThe Chinese University of Hong Kong

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-014-2109-8

Cite this article as:
Qian, C., Gao, X. & Tsang, A. J Bus Ethics (2015) 130: 851. doi:10.1007/s10551-014-2109-8


Drawing on stakeholder theory and the concept of enlightened self-interest, we argue that firms that actively engage in corporate philanthropic giving also tend to demonstrate greater concern for investors’ interests by providing more transparent financial information and avoiding corporate misconduct. Moreover, the relationships between corporate giving, financial information transparency, and corporate misconduct vary significantly according to the firm’s ownership type, which affects the fundamental motivations for corporate philanthropy. In a sample of Chinese publicly listed firms from the 2003–2009 period, we find a positive relationship between corporate giving and financial transparency, and note that the relationship is stronger for non-state-owned enterprises (non-SOEs). We also find a significantly negative association between corporate giving and corporate misconduct for non-SOEs, but not for SOEs. Taken together, these findings suggest that responsibility to both stakeholders and shareholders is a vital part of building trust and reputations in China’s non-SOE sector.


Corporate philanthropyFinancial transparencyCorporate misconductOwnershipChinese context

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014