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The emergence of dyadic resource exchange relations in transition economies provides a unique opportunity to study the process by which interfirm exchange relations…
The emergence of dyadic resource exchange relations in transition economies provides a unique opportunity to study the process by which interfirm exchange relations develop. I use data on China's 40 largest business groups and their 535 member firms in the first five years of business group formation to investigate the effects of environmental uncertainty, interfirm familiarity, and organizational flexibility on the strength of repeated interfirm resource exchange ties. I model 16,306 ordered pairs of dyadic relations as a function of organization, dyad, and regional covariates to evaluate ideas derived from resource dependence theory and research on social dilemmas. I find that even when less expensive alternatives are available, exchange ties are stronger when the sending firm has secure access to the resource and when the receiving firm is located in an uncertain environment. In addition, exchange ties are stronger between firms that had prior social connections, particularly when environmental uncertainty is high. Finally, the strength of ties decreases where the receiving firm is able to modify its basic priorities so as to do without the resource, particularly when the receiver is exposed to relatively high levels of environmental uncertainty. These results simultaneously lend support for some of the basic propositions of resource dependence theory, provide insight into the process by which interfirm relations develop, and identify relationships of interest to strategists and policy makers.
Purpose – This chapter explores the relationship between religious affiliation and wealth ownership focusing on generational differences.
Methodology – I use data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth and the Health and Retirement Study to create descriptive statistics and regression analyses of the association between religious affiliation in childhood and adulthood for people of two cohorts.
Findings – This chapter shows that there are important patterns by religious affiliation in total net worth, real assets, and asset allocation across generations. My findings are consistent with past work on religion and wealth ownership showing that Jews, mainline Protestants, and white Catholics tend to have higher total wealth than other groups. In addition, I find that black Protestants, Hispanic Catholics, and conservative Protestants tend to have relatively low wealth, consistent with research on religion, race/ethnicity, and wealth. My findings also show that these patterns are relatively robust across generations.
Research implications – The findings are relevant to research on inequality, wealth accumulation and saving, life course processes, and the effect of religion on stratification outcomes.
Originality/Value – This research shows how religious affiliation and wealth are related across generations.
The association between religion and material well-being is fundamental to research on inequality and stratification. Broadly considered, this association includes questions about how religious affiliation and religiosity are associated with work behaviors, education, income, wealth, and related family processes. Early social sciences debated if and how these traits and outcomes are related and offered important insight into the mechanisms that might explain empirical patterns (Simmel, 1997; Sombart, 1911; Weber, 1905/1930). However, the religious landscape and the mechanisms creating religion and well-being have both changed dramatically since the early days of the social sciences. The proliferation of Protestant denominations, the changing role of Catholics, and the increased presence of other religious traditions are beyond the scope of these early works. Moreover, the relationship between religion and stratification is no longer a function of large-scale shifts in the mode of production but rather reflects changing individual and group approaches to human capital, work, and saving. In the 1960s, sociologists revived these debates, but empirical challenges and a narrowing of the discussion to focus on Protestant–Catholic differences weakened and ultimately ended the literature's momentum (Broom & Glenn, 1966; Glenn & Hyland, 1967; Laumann, 1969; Lazerwitz & Rowitz, 1964; Lenski, 1961).
The chapters in Part I highlight some of the central reasons for studying entrepreneurship at the aggregate, family, and individual levels. Lippmann, Davis, and Aldrich develop society level propositions about the relationship between inequality and entrepreneurship. They define entrepreneurship for both individuals and societies, and they argue that factors such as development, state policies, sector shifts, and changing labor market conditions affect levels of inequality and also increase incentives for entrepreneurship. The authors distinguish entrepreneurship undertaken out of necessity and entrepreneurship that takes advantage of market opportunities, and they propose that changing social and economic conditions affect entry into each type of entrepreneurship. The arguments presented in this chapter are well-grounded in previous theoretical and empirical research, but they ask about the relationship between entrepreneurship and inequality in a fresh, new way. Not only does this chapter clarify the factors that lead to entrepreneurship, but it also identifies new relationships between business start-ups and stratification that have not been explored previously.
Innovation is critical to organizational survival, competitive advantage, and economic development. Yet the process by which innovative strategic behavior occurs is not…
Innovation is critical to organizational survival, competitive advantage, and economic development. Yet the process by which innovative strategic behavior occurs is not well understood. This paper takes advantage of rapidly changing corporate governance structures and environmental conditions during China's economic transition to explore the role of corporate ownership in shaping firm innovation. We argue that managers draw on internal strengths within external constraints to develop strategies and that the nature of corporate ownership determines the degree to which internal or external factors are salient. We capitalize on differences between Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and collective enterprises and other non-state firms (CNFs) in the adoption of firm strategies during transition. Analyzing data from 1994 to 1999 on 800 Chinese firms, we study the effect of ownership type on the adoption of four key organizational innovations and identify major strategic groups that developed during reform. The findings provide important insight into the role of corporate governance in influencing strategy formation and adaptation, outcomes that are increasingly important in all economies.
Purpose – Previous studies have found that, for those born after 1960, individuals raised with no religious affiliation were less likely than any other religious group to…
Purpose – Previous studies have found that, for those born after 1960, individuals raised with no religious affiliation were less likely than any other religious group to complete a college degree. This finding is surprising in light of the increasing educational attainment of the American public, as well as the finding that declining religious belief is often presumed to accompany higher education. In this chapter, we explore the changing relationship between religious nonaffiliation and educational attainment for Americans over the past three decades.
Methodology – In order to disentangle the mechanisms behind this relationship, we consider the heterogeneity of nonaffiliates and examine educational attainment for three types of religious “nones.” Using the General Social Survey (1972–2008), we look for cohort differences in attaining a bachelor's degree among persistent nones, disaffiliates, and adult affiliates.
Findings – While being raised in no religious tradition was once predictive of higher odds of completing a college degree, the positive relationship between being raised a religious none and college completion has reversed itself in the past 30 years. Instead, for individuals born after 1960, being raised in no religious tradition is actually associated with lower odds of completing a 4-year college degree relative to adults who were raised in any religious tradition and continue to claim a religious identity in adulthood. This effect is particularly pronounced for adults who maintain no religious identity throughout the life course.
Social implications – We propose some explanations for this finding, with a particular emphasis on the potential significance of religious social networks in adolescence.
Purpose – In this chapter, we advance research on the socioeconomic ranking of religious groups by using both income and wealth to document the rankings of the six major…
Purpose – In this chapter, we advance research on the socioeconomic ranking of religious groups by using both income and wealth to document the rankings of the six major religious groups in the United States – Jews, Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical Protestants, black Protestants, and the religiously unaffiliated – during 2001–2007, a period marked by both catastrophic economic losses and widespread economic gain.
Design/Methodology/Approach – Drawing from the Panel Study on Income Dynamics (PSID), we provide descriptive statistics to explore the socioeconomic differences among the six major religious groups. In addition, we note their ownership rates and changes in wealth and income during 2001–2007.
Findings – Overall, these findings point to enduring stratification in the U.S. religious landscape. Based on median net worth, leading into the Great Recession, the six major religious groups ranked in the following order: Jews, Catholics, mainline Protestants, evangelical Protestants, the unaffiliated, and black Protestants. At the same time, these findings point to the upward mobility of white Catholics, who increased their income and made the greatest increase in net worth between 2001 and 2007. These data also suggest a decline in the socioeconomic status of the religiously unaffiliated as compared to previous studies.
Research implications – These findings illustrate the degree to which certain religious groups have access to wealth and other resources, and have implications for how the years leading into the Great Recession may have influenced households’ vulnerability to financial shocks.
Originality/Value – We use both income and wealth to examine whether different religious groups experienced any changes in income and wealth leading into the 2008 economic downturn.
Purpose – The connections between religious factors and stratification outcomes were long ignored in the sociological literature, yet a growing number of studies show that religion remains important for determining the life chances of individuals. I add to this literature by examining how religious affiliation is associated with the structure of occupational attainment in the United States.
Methodology – I analyze data from the 1972–2008 General Social Surveys to show how religious affiliation is related to occupational attainment and occupational mobility by gender and race.
Findings – I find that sectarian Protestants occupy the lower rungs of the occupational structure, even relative to their low rates of educational attainment. In contrast, Jews and nonidentifying respondents show considerable occupational advantage. Catholics also have specific patterns of occupational attainment that hint at their growing wealth parity with mainline Protestants. I also show that religious influences hold across racial and gender groupings, and across cohorts.
Social implications – Religion continues to significantly influence the occupational structure in the United States, and sectarian religion serves as an important anchor hindering occupational attainment.
Nations with high levels of economic inequality tend to have high rates of entrepreneurial activity. In this paper, we develop propositions about this relationship, based upon current research. Although we provide some descriptive analyses to support our propositions, our paper is not an empirical test but rather a theoretical exploration of new ideas related to this topic. We first define entrepreneurship at the individual and societal level and distinguish between entrepreneurship undertaken out of necessity and entrepreneurship that takes advantage of market opportunities. We then explore the roles that various causes of economic inequality play in increasing entrepreneurial activity, including economic development, state policies, foreign investment, sector shifts, labor market and employment characteristics, and class structures. The relationship between inequality and entrepreneurship poses a potentially disturbing message for countries with strong egalitarian norms and political and social policies that also wish to increase entrepreneurial activity. We conclude by noting the conditions under which entrepreneurship can be a source of upward social and economic mobility for individuals.