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Religious Affiliation and Wrongdoing: Evidence from U.S. Nursing Homes


Management Science


Strategy and Entrepreneurship

Authors / Editors

Mohliver A;Ody-Bresier A

Publication Year



We explore the relationship between organizational religious affiliation and wrongdoing using a unique data set on inspections in 16,101 nursing homes over five years. We find that violations of standards of care are more severe in religiously affiliated homes. We track this difference to a reduction in the likelihood that organizational members file complaints rather than poorer behaving caretakers or differential treatment by enforcement agents. Fewer complaints increase the time that religiously affiliated homes operate without monitoring, which allows violations to escalate before they are detected. Our findings highlight an understudied process in the literature on organizational wrongdoing: Although much attention has been devoted to how inspector bias can lead to incorrect conclusions about the true rates of wrongdoing across organizations, religious affiliation can lead to similarly incorrect conclusions—but through an internal organizational process.

Available on ECCH


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