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Legacies of the Past: Sources of the Uneven Landscape of Corporate Political Activity across Chinese Cities

Time:2016-11-29 13:31:05  Hits:[]


This study examines the influence of city-level ‘socialist logic’ legacy on the probability and degree of formal corporate political activity (CPA) undertaken by Chinese private firms. It draws upon institutional logics, the imprinting literature, and resource dependence theory, and tests hypotheses on a sample of 1,427 Chinese private firms in 21 cities, using two-stage multilevel regression techniques. The findings suggest that, where the legacy is weaker, firms are more likely to undertake CPA, and to a higher degree. This legacy effect is stronger for smaller firms than for larger firms. Moreover, the legacy interacts with government corruption in influencing firms’ degree of CPA. This study contributes to the CPA literature by bringing history, or informal institutions more generally, to the fore and unpacking the mechanisms through which a specific historical condition is maintained within a geographic location and persists in shaping contemporary organizational behaviors.
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