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Abstract

What sorts of economic development activities do megachurches engage in, and what rationale do leaders give for this behavior? This study provides theoretical guidance for answering this research question through an investigation of megachurches’ extra-role behaviors (ERB) in economic development activities. ERB is a “behavior that attempts to benefit the organization and that goes beyond existing role expectations” (Organ, Podsakoff & MacKenzie, 2006, p. 33). This field study includes an online survey completed by 42 megachurch senior or executive pastors in the Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 23 follow-up telephone interviews. The researcher used these data to explore arguments based on self-interest as well as obligations with regard to megachurch involvement in economic development. The findings of this study indicate both theories hold some explanatory power. These findings have implications for megachurch partnerships with public and secular organizations that advance economic opportunities across communities.

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