Religiosity and Entrepreneurship Intentions among Pentecostal Christians

Religiosity and Entrepreneurship Intentions among Pentecostal Christians

Isaac Oluwajoba Abereijo (Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria) and Juliana Funmilayo Afolabi (Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria)
Copyright: © 2017 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-1991-1.ch014
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Abstract

Religion has been identified as an important determinant of economic behaviour because the event of enterprise creation is seen to be a consequence of the association between environmental conditions and the entrepreneurial behaviour of individuals determined by their socio-cultural background. Studies have examined how religious beliefs influence the entrepreneurial intention of the adherents, and to understand whether it is doctrine, practices, organisation or culture of religion that shapes this entrepreneurial propensity. This chapter examines the issue of religion-entrepreneurship link among the Pentecostal Christians in Nigeria and in Diaspora, by reviewing both theoretical and empirical literature. It looks at how Pentecostal theology has legitimised entrepreneurship and examines the mechanism through which is imparting entrepreneurial values and affecting patterns of thinking of the adherents. The chapter provides overview of what make them display psychological traits and attitudes consistent with entrepreneurship as a result of success-oriented theologies.
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Introduction

Religion, as an integral part of a cultural system, is widely believed to be important in promoting social solidarity and reinforces social norms and values (Wilson, 1982; Little, 2016). This is because it makes the adherents share common beliefs and value system. Religion has also been identified as an important determinant of economic behaviour. The relationship between religion and entrepreneurship dated back to as early as Adam Smith and Max Weber. According to Adam Smith, as quoted by Anderson (1988), participation in religious sects could provide reputation signal and extra-legal means of establishing trust. Also, Weber (1930) hypothesised that people with more protestant work ethic, which stresses the moral value of work, self-discipline, and individual responsibility, is likely to become and succeed as entrepreneurs. Weber (1930) therefore concluded that the event of enterprise creation, which is the essential activity in entrepreneurship, can be seen to be a consequence of congruence between environmental conditions and the entrepreneurial behaviour of individuals determined by their socio-cultural background.

Recent thoughts on the religion-entrepreneurship link also indicate that religion can provide the environmental munificence supportive of entrepreneurship (Drakopoulou, Dodd & Seaman, 1998). This, according to these authors, is because of its emphasis on honesty, perseverance, bravery, foresightedness, hard work and other general ethical standards. Religion, therefore, provides a legitimising and supportive atmosphere for entrepreneurship. According to Nikolova and Simroth (2013), adhering to religion and its practices exposes one to new behavioural patterns which can alter the lifestyle of adherents in all its ramifications. Hence, the teachings and precepts of religion serve as precursors to the development of traits, values and motivation for entrepreneurship. In the word of Weber (1930), religion ignites some characteristics in individuals which propel them into desiring to achieve more and as such become inquisitive, goal-driven and achievement-oriented. Therefore, by placing creativity or willingness to bear risk in a positive light, through teaching, the belief of adherents may be associated with greater productive entrepreneurship. While supporting this assertion, Parboteeah, Walter, & Block, (2015) opined that individuals are more likely to pursue entrepreneurial careers in highly religious environments because religion shapes an entrepreneurship-friendly atmosphere by valuing hard work and thrift, by helping to cope with the burden of uncertainty, and by providing access to critical resources and information.

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