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Centre for Building Sustainable Value

Shipeng Yan

Shipeng YanShipeng Yan
IESE Business School

The Global Rise of Socially Responsible Investing Funds:The Paradoxical Role of Finance.

Socially responsible investing (SRI, hereafter) has emerged globally as an important driving force for corporate social responsibility, but quite how the institution of finance affects the rise of SRI is not well understood. This study addresses this shortcoming by combining perspectives from institutional logics, financialization, and national business systems with a mixed-method design. The findings reveal a paradoxical role of the financial logic: the founding rates of SRI funds have a curvilinear, concave down relationship with the prevalence of a financial logic. Furthermore, this relationship is moderated by the broader societal arrangements, such as national labor system and financial system, as measured by union density and financial crises. This study makes contributions variously to institutional theory, financialization and socially responsible investing.


Shipeng is a PhD candidate from IESE Business School whose academic interests revolve around an institutional analysis of novel financial organizations with a multi-method approach. His dissertation explores the mutually constitutive relations between socially responsible investment funds and their institutional environments in China and at a global level. He is keen to study how financial organizations can contribute to economic and social development. He adopts a multi-method approach for his intellectual inquiries: sometimes he immerses himself with the life of the research subjects (theoretically fascinating individuals and organizations) and code the hand-collected data with Atlas.ti; sometimes he stays away from them and analyze their behavior with STATA. He is a fervent soccer player who plays on a regular basis.