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Family Business Participation in Community Social Responsibility: The Moderating Effect of Gender

Abstract

Small family businesses have generally been shown to exhibit significant concern for social responsibility, especially at the community level. Despite the reported heterogeneity of family firms in their preferences for and participation in social responsibility, the drivers of such differences are not agreed upon in the literature. We draw from enlightened self-interest and social capital theories by exploring their complementary and competing implications for the effect of duration and community satisfaction on participation in community-oriented social responsibility (CSR). Additionally, drawing on the association between gender and self-construal and evidence that gender shapes helping and giving behaviors, we assess the moderating role of the gender of the firm manager in these relationships. We test our hypotheses on a sample of 279 family businesses and find support that gender moderates the relationship between community duration and satisfaction and measures of CSR.

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Notes

  1. For our sample, N = 279, just over one-third were combined interviews (n = 101).

  2. The authors thank an anonymous reviewer for suggesting that we explore mean differences tests for men and women related to their community duration and satisfaction with the community. Such tests reveal no significant differences exist between men and women in their level of satisfaction with the community or their duration in the community.

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Acknowledgments

This paper reports results from the Cooperative Regional Research Project, NE-167R, “Family Businesses: Interaction in Work and Family Spheres,” NE-167, “Family Business Viability in Economically Vulnerable Communities,” and NC-1030, “Family Firms and Policy,” partially supported by the Cooperative States Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES); U.S. Department of Agriculture; the experiment stations at University of Arkansas, University of Georgia, University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Illinois, Purdue University (Indiana), Iowa State University, University of Kentucky, University of Maryland, Michigan State University, University of Minnesota, Montana State University, University of Nebraska, Cornell University (New York), North Dakota State University, The Ohio State University, Oklahoma State University; Pennsylvania State University, Texas A and M University, Utah State University, University of Vermont, and University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Baruch College and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (for the University of Manitoba). This material is also based upon work partially supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. CMS-0625326.

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Peake, W.O., Cooper, D., Fitzgerald, M.A. et al. Family Business Participation in Community Social Responsibility: The Moderating Effect of Gender. J Bus Ethics 142, 325–343 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2716-z

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Keywords

  • Enlightened self-interest
  • Family business
  • Gender
  • Social capital
  • Social responsibility