Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Outcomes: Interrelations of External and Internal Orientations with Job Satisfaction and Organizational Commitment

Journal of Business Ethics 179 (3):795-817 (2022)
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We bring together social identity and social exchange perspectives to develop and test a moderated mediation model that sheds light on employees’ perceptions regarding the interrelations between an organization’s external and internal CSR initiatives and their job attitudes and work behaviours. This is important because employees’ sensemaking of CSR motives as being either self-focussed or others-focussed can produce meaningful variations in their job satisfaction and the dimensions of organizational commitment. Also, the consolidation of CSR’s underlying psychological mechanisms can advance our understanding of the processes, contingencies, and outcomes of employees’ perceptions of their employing organization’s CSR initiatives. Our findings indicate that of the two orientations, only external CSR is associated with increased levels of employee commitment through the enhancement of job satisfaction. In particular, job satisfaction was found to fully mediate the impact of external CSR on behavioural commitment and partially mediate its impact on attitudinal commitment. To our surprise, internal CSR has no significant association with job attitudes or work behaviours. We further reveal the complementarity of external and internal CSR orientations; the effect of external CSR on employee outcomes is stronger when employed in concert with internal CSR. Our results contribute to and have implications for both theory and practice.



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