Religious Organisations as Investors: a Christian Perspective on Shareholder Engagement.
Van Cranenburgh, K.C., D. Arenas, J. Goodman, C. Louche, Society & Business Review, Volume 9, Issue 2, July 2014.

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 ROs.
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It focused on creating knowledge from best practices. Within the three religious organisations studied, we 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. This paper invites religious organisations to review their potential for actively owning their shares in order 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.

Social Shareholder Engagement: The Dynamics of Voice and Exit.
Goodman, J., C. Louche, K.C. van Cranenburgh, D. Arenas (2013), Journal of Business Ethics, October 2013, Online First (DOI) 10.1007/s10551-013-1890-0.

ABSTRACT: Investors concerned about the social and environmental impact of the companies they invest in are increasingly choosing to use voice over exit as a strategy. This article
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addresses the question of how and why the voice and exit options (Hirschman 1970) are used in social shareholder engagement (SSE) by religious organisations. Using an inductive case study approach, we examine seven engagements by three religious organisations considered to be at the forefront of SSE. We analyse the full engagement process rather than focusing on particular tools or on outcomes. We map the key stages of the engagement processes and the influences on the decisions made at each stage to develop a model of the dynamics of voice and exit in SSE. This study finds that religious organisations divest for political rather than economic motives using exit as a form of voice. The silent exit option is not used by religious organisations in SSE, exit is not always the consequence of unsatisfactory voice outcomes, and voice can continue after exit. We discuss the implications of these dynamics and influences on decisions for further research in engagement.

From Preaching to Investing. Attitudes of religious organisations towards responsible investment. Louche, C., D. Arenas, K.C. van Cranenburgh (2012), Journal of Business Ethics, 2012, Volume 110, Issue 3, Page 301-320. (DOI) 10.1007/s10551-011-1155-8

ABSTRACT: Religious organisations are major investors with sometimes substantial investment volumes. An important question for them is how to make investments in, and to earn returns from, companies and activities that are consistent with their religious beliefs or that even support these beliefs. Religious organisations have pioneered responsible investment. Yet little is known about
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their investment attitudes. This article addresses this gap by studying faith consistent investing. Based on a survey complemented by interviews, we investigate religious organisations’ attitudes towards responsible investment including opinions, practices and the impediments for implementing faith consistent investing. Although our results cannot be generalised because of the non-random character of our sample, six main characteristics of faith consistent investing are drawn: investing is not perceived as being in contradiction with religious values, religious values are important drivers, there is a strong community around faith consistent investing, religious investors are pioneering impact investing, implementing faith consistent investing is not without difficulties, and practices vary across regions. The survey also reveals that faith consistent investing has many commonalities with secular responsible investors.

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