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Edited by Marilyn L. Taylor, Robert J. Strom and David O. Renz
Chapter 13: Exploring the transitions from entrepreneur to philanthropist – learning from Mr ‘K’ and Mr ‘M’
Entrepreneurs make significant contributions to our society. The contributions through the companies they initiate and run are highly visible. Many entrepreneurs also give generously towards the social issues with which our communities wrestle, for example, issues in education and homelessness. The current press has highlighted numerous philanthropic contributions by entrepreneurs as they account for more than half of the philanthropic giving in the world and thus have significant impact on how their societies approach social issues (Acs and Phillips, 2002). In spite of the impact, however, little academic management research has examined the entrepreneurs’ experiences in their transitions to philanthropic activities or sought to understand the motivation, logic or vision which elicited such behavior. Systematic study of entrepreneurs as philanthropists is critical to understanding their impact on the myriad social issues that confront society. The aim of this research is to explore the issues that may be significant in the emergence of philanthropic behavior in entrepreneurs. Given the striking successes of many entrepreneurs in the 1990s and on into the early twenty-first century, the study of entrepreneurs’ transition to philanthropy is most timely. Using a grounded theory approach, this chapter identifies factors that relate to the entrepreneurs’ origins, success in their companies, their philanthropic activities and their transitions.
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