Title: From business networks to philanthropic networks: Chinese entrepreneurs and the SEE project

Authors: Khun Eng Kuah-Pearce

Addresses: Department of Sociology, University of Hong Kong Room 915, The Jockey Club Tower, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

Abstract: In the study of modern Chinese philanthropy, Chinese entrepreneurs and business people have become important players to understand the development of a modern form of philanthropy in Mainland China, albeit with Chinese governmental encouragement. This paper will explore mainland Chinese entrepreneurs' foray into social responsibility in a changing moral landscape. It argues that through different sets of loose networks of weak ties in the business dealings connections among the entrepreneurs, these entrepreneurs were able to extend their loose entrepreneurial networks into philanthropic networks and establish an environment oriented NGO called Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology (SEE). It will examine how entrepreneurs' business connections and networks are transformed into philanthropic networks where the intersection of the entrepreneurs' philanthropic acts leads to an entrepreneurial alliance of social responsibility and in this case study, to concern about the environmental issues. The forging of this alliance is located against a background of government's encouragement through a combination of rhetorical persuasion and policy incentives.

Keywords: Chinese entrepreneurs; loose networks; weak ties; philanthropic networks; Society of Entrepreneurs and Ecology; SEE project; Alxa League; China; business networks; entrepreneurship; entrepreneurial networks; philanthropy; social responsibility; non-governmental organisations; NGOs; business connections; entrepreneurial alliances; environment; environmental issues; governmental encouragement; persuasion; policy incentives.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2014.065306

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2014 Vol.23 No.1/2, pp.44 - 62

Published online: 21 Oct 2014 *

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