The CSR Agenda: Part 3 of 5

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Editor’s note: Today we continue our series on corporate social responsibility with top-tier research that answers key questions in the debate. Have a paper of your own to submit? Business & Society is now accepting papers on corporate sustainability, CSR in China, sustainable development and financial markets, and more.

Part Three: How does CSR impact the individual?

W. Randy Evans of the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and Walter D. Davis of the University of Mississippi published “An Examination of Perceived Corporate Citizenship, Job Applicant Attraction, and CSR Work Role Definition” in the September 2011 issue of Business & Society. The abstract:

Recent perspectives on corporate social responsibility (CSR) have called for increased research on how CSR affects individuals. Research is needed to examine whether individual differences affect the relationship between CSR and individual reactions to CSR. In response, this experimental study examined how perceptions of corporate citizenship influence job applicant attraction and work role definitions. Personal values and education concerning CSR are considered as interactive factors affecting the influence of perceptions of corporate citizenship. Results indicate that perceived corporate citizenship had a greater impact on job applicant attraction for those individuals who received prior education regarding CSR and for those who were higher in other-regarding value orientation. Furthermore, perceived corporate citizenship had a positive impact on the extent to which participants defined CSR as a personal work role responsibility. The authors also discuss the practical implications of these results for job applicant attraction and employee socialization.

Click here to read on.

Tracy A. Jenkin, Lindsay McShane, and Jane Webster, all of Queen’s University, published “Green Information Technologies and Systems: Employees’ Perceptions of Organizational Practices” in the June 2011 issue of BAS. The abstract:

In this study, we examine the extent to which employees recognize the importance of information technologies and systems (IT/S) in developing and implementing environmental initiatives. To address this question, we first review past research on this topic and draw on a framework for examining environmental motivating forces, strategies, and employee environmental orientations. We then analyze qualitative data based on in-depth interviews with employees in financial services organizations. Our aim is to develop a richer understanding of how employees currently view IT/S issues in relation to environmental sustainability and if similarities exist between different types of financial institutions. We also assess the extent to which these employee perceptions align with both actual organizational practices, as captured in interviews with information technology managers, and practices espoused by organizations, as reflected on their corporate websites. Our findings suggest that organizations are still in the infancy stage of awareness and adoption of “Green” IT/S. As a result, we identify four types of gaps: knowledge gaps, practice gaps, opportunity gaps, and knowing–doing gaps. We suggest that future research should draw on absorptive capacity, organizational learning, and social marketing theories to help align employees’ attitudes, cognitions, and behaviors and to drive environmental changes.

Click here to read the article in Business & Society and here to learn more about the journal.

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Up next in the series: How are the current shifts in CSR strategy playing out?

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