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    Fengjun Liu, Lu Meng, Yijun Zhao, Shen Duan
    Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2020, 14(4): 426-447.

    This study focuses on the use of we-media by small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to disclose internal corporate social responsibility (ICSR) under the impact of the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Study 1 interprets the catalyst effect of COVID-19 on the externalization of SMEs’ ICSR. The fuzzy grading evaluation method is initially verified. Under the impact of COVID-19, SMEs fulfilling their ICSR can enhance consumer brand attitudes. Study 2 uses a structural equation model and empirical analysis of 946 effective samples and finds that consumers perceive the self-sacrifice of corporations during the coronavirus disease period. SMEs can fulfill their ICSR to enhance the internal explanation mechanism of consumer brand attitudes and the moderating role of enterprise losses.

    Hua Song, Yudong Yang, Zheng Tao
    Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2020, 14(4): 448-474.

    The 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has significantly impacted several aspects of the society and the economy. A problem that needs prompt attention in this situation is the increasing difficulties faced by small- and mediumsized enterprises (SMEs) in raising capital, which has aroused great concern from multiple stakeholders such as public administrations and regulators. As the major supply of capital, financial service providers (FSPs) play a critical role in financing SMEs. However, how FSPs deal with SME financing during shocks has not yet been fully researched. Accordingly, in this study, a theoretical framework based on expectancy theory is proposed to explore the expected strategic adjustments of FSPs in financing SMEs. Specifically, this study investigates 272 FSPs in China on their expectancy and attitude on financing to SMEs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Furthermore, this study has divided FSPs into three categories: commercial banks, non-bank financial institutions, and credit-enhanced FSPs. Differences among these categories are compared and analyzed.

    Jose C. Alves, Tan Cheng Lok, Yubo Luo, Wei Hao
    Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2020, 14(4): 403-425.

    This research develops a framework that combines crisis stages, stakeholder engagement, and crisis challenges. The framework is applied to small firms in Macao during the 2019 novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic crisis. We conduct a qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with the leaders of six small firms in Macao. The findings suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has turned into a “normal” context, which blurs the traditional crisis termination stage. We also find that participating firms engage more with internal stakeholders than external ones. The strategies adopted by small firms include flexible human resource (HR) practices, cost reduction, enhancing customer relations, and using government support schemes. These strategies are effective in the short term; firms need to pay attention to diversity and learning for the long term.

    Weida Kuang, Changyu Chen, Qilin Wang
    Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2020, 14(4): 519-539.

    It is ubiquitous for non-real estate firms to conduct real estate business in China. Home purchase restriction (HPR) affects corporate innovation by dampening the real estate investment of non-real estate firms. The extant literature has examined the impact of HPR on corporate innovation, but it has not focused on the expectation of HPR and the endogeneity problem. Employing a dataset of 1830 listed non-real estate firms over the period 2009–2016, this research explores the expectation of HPR on corporate innovation based on the motivations for real estate investment in non-real estate firms. We demonstrate that HPR facilitates the enhancement of research and development (R&D) investment in non-real estate listed firms by hindering real estate investment, particularly for non-high-tech firms. The effects of HPR arrive at the crest in the third implementation year and remain steady thereafter. The real estate investment of non-real estate firms rebounds and the R&D investment declines along with the cancellation of HPR. Tackling the selection bias and endogeneity problems, the baseline results are also robust. Hence, HPR should serve as a long-term vehicle to improving corporate innovation, in addition to preventing housing speculation.

    Shimiao Li, Nor Siah Jaharuddin
    Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2020, 14(4): 475-497.

    The current study primarily aims to identify the critical purchase factors that affect Chinese consumer purchase intention and purchase decision with regard to organic food consumption, in accordance with a modified theory of planned behavior and the alphabet theory. Specifically, this study builds a conceptual research framework by which to delve into the relationships between purchase factors and purchase intention, and elucidate the mediating roles of purchase factors in the relationships between purchase intention and purchase decision. Moreover, by leveraging a modified theory of planned behavior and the alphabet theory, the current study also determines the critical roles of subjective norms and reveals the information and knowledge that impact consumer attitude toward the purchase of organic food. The current study leverages the purposive sampling method and captures 310 records within Beijing, China. The results indicate that purchase attitude correlates positively with subjective norms and knowledge, while purchase intention correlates positively with purchase attitude, perceived behavior control, and food therapy culture. Furthermore, purchase intention can significantly mediate relationships between each of purchase attitude, perceived behavior control, food therapy culture, and purchase decision. Finally, we discuss the theoretical and practical significance of the framework, and propose subsequent research directions regarding organic food purchase behavior.

    Ting Ren, Youzhi Xiao, Xinguo Yu, Hongyan Yang, Jianmei Ge
    Frontiers of Business Research in China, 2020, 14(4): 498-518.

    In 2013, the Chinese government implemented Rule No. 18, which suspended the directorships of incumbent government officials and precluded those who retired within the past three years from serving as independent directors for listed firms. The surprise implementation of Rule No. 18 triggered a wave of resignations among official independent directors (OIDs). The event provided a unique opportunity to examine the impacts of the political connections of board members on firm performance. We applied a difference-in-difference technique to empirically investigate the effect of OID resignations on firm performance from the perspectives of resource dependence theory and social capital theory. The results indicate that the resignation of OIDs had a significantly negative effect on firm performance, as measured by Tobin’s Q and firm leverage. This also confirmed the importance of independent directors’ political connection on firm performance, as discovered in prior research. However, this influence varied across OIDs’ heterogeneity, external environment and firm ownership. The results indicate that political connections may not be necessary channels for firms to achieve success.