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Religious organisations as investors: a Christian perspective on shareholder engagement

Abstract : The purpose of this paper is to deepen the discussion about religious organisations’ (ROs) potential to practise their faith by means of their investments, rather than keeping both issues separate. The authors adopted a qualitative exploratory approach using seven cases of social shareholder engagement (SSE) by Christian organisations. It focused on creating knowledge from best practices. Within the three Christian organisations studied, the authors identified three significant features that relate to their religious nature and affect their SSE: having a structured belief system, a grassroots network and a long-term perspective. These features can be instrumental in impacting company behaviour and society at large. The authors chose three ROs for their relevance and comparative features, but this limited sample size makes it hard to generalise the research findings. This paper invites ROs to review their potential for actively owning their shares to be consistent with their faith and create change in business and society at large. Besides, ROs, with their unwavering belief system, extensive grassroots networks and long-term approach, are a force in the shareholder engagement field to be reckoned with by business. The paper presents multi cases of ROs active in using their investments to create change in companies and society at large.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 23, 2014 - 10:23:22 AM
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Katinka C. van Cranenburgh, Daniel Arenas, Jennifer Goodman, Céline Louche. Religious organisations as investors: a Christian perspective on shareholder engagement. Society and Business Review, Emerald, 2014, 9 (2), pp.195-213. ⟨10.1108/SBR-11-2013-0078⟩. ⟨hal-01067933⟩

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