Imperial College London
Heterogeneous Political Connections and Corporate Social Responsiveness in China
The paper theorises and empirically tests the impact of political connections on the variations in corporate social responsiveness (i.e. donation). By building connections with the state, firms may be under pressure to satisfy government CSR pressure. In addition to direct pressure from the government, the paper theorises that political ties may indirectly elicit pressures from another important stakeholder group (i.e. consumers). I test this framework in earthquake donations from Chinese publicly listed firms in 2008. I find that firms with ties to part-time congressman-type politicians (i.e. symbolic) are more susceptible to government CSR pressure, while ties to official-type politicians (i.e. bureaucratic) are less so. This relationship will be moderated by firms’ external institutional environments as well as consumer awareness. This study contributes to the literature on stakeholder theory and corporate political ties, and enriches our understanding of corporate social responsiveness in the context of emerging economies.
Jyun-Ying Fu is a doctoral student at Imperial College Business School. He received his master in economics from National Taiwan University. His research examines the impact of corporate political connections on corporate social responsibility and corporate strategies