Get What You Give? An Examination of Enlightened Self-Interest, Philanthropic Intent, and Engagement in Philanthropy for Small Firm Owners
Prior researchers agree that small businesses are important community contributors due to their active engagement in broader social responsibility activities, such as philanthropy. Despite their purported importance to charitable giving and philanthropy, little is known about the factors that motivate small business owners’ decisions to engage in philanthropic giving. We integrate enlightened self-interest theory and the theory of planned behavior to examine how enlightened self-interest influences intentions to engage in philanthropy during start-up, which in turn impacts current levels of engagement in philanthropic activities. Our results suggest that intentions to engage in philanthropy at start-up do partially mediate the relationship between enlightened self-interest and engagement in philanthropy behaviors; thus, suggesting that entrepreneurs’ motivations grounded in enlightened self-interest influence intentions to engage in philanthropy and subsequent engagement in such activities.