chapter  14
21 Pages

Religious Influences on Social Enterprise in Asia

Observations in Cambodia, Malaysia and South Korea
WithIsaac Lyne, Jieun Ryu, Yong Yuan Teh, Tetsuya Morita

This chapter looks at the influence of religion on social enterprises (SE) in East Asia—the most religiously diverse region of the world. It analyses the influence of religion on international development discourse in recent decades, considering that major international development institutions have increasingly embraced SE as part of “sustainable development”. All religions encourage engagement in society, and this is recognised as a force for societal development because it harnesses moral imperatives, pro-social motives and shared values towards tackling poverty and social exclusion. The chapter describes the discussion to nuanced specificities by considering institutional perspectives, finding value in a text by James as the basis for a theoretical framework. It deals with a presentation of the research, and presents a summary of the methodology used. The chapter also describes three case studies that illustrate the influence of different religions on SEs: Christian Protestant influence, in South Korea; Islamic influence, in Malaysia; and Buddhist influence, in Cambodia.