Does the authenticity of corporate social responsibility affect employee commitment?

Soojung Lee1, Jeongkoo Yoon1
1School of Business Administration, Ewha Womans University, Republic of Korea
Cite this article:  Lee, S., & Yoon, J. (2018). Does the authenticity of corporate social responsibility affect employee commitment? Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 46(4), 617-632.

Volume 46 Issue 4 | e6475 | Published: April 2018 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.6475

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We investigated how employees’ perceptions of the internal (endorsed by the firm and in line with its mission and values) and external (driven by practical or instrumental benefits) legitimacy of their firm’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities influence their work orientations. Specifically, we believed that internal legitimacy would be considered more authentic than would external legitimacy, and that it would have a more positive influence on employees’ organizational identification and affective attachment. We conducted a field survey using employee data from 38 firms listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index Korea in 2009. As predicted, external legitimacy reduced employee’s perception of CSR authenticity whereas internal legitimacy increased it. Perceived CSR authenticity was also found to be an important mediator in the relationship between employees’ legitimacy perceptions and their work orientations. The results supported most of our hypotheses; implications of these findings are discussed.

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