Relating Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement: The Mediating Role of Perceived Organizational Support and Chinese Values

Relating Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement: The Mediating Role of Perceived Organizational Support and Chinese Values

Jennifer H. Gao
DOI: 10.4018/ijabim.2014040102
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Previous research suggested that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is positively related to organization's attractiveness to potential employees. This paper tries to explore the effective dimensions of CSR on employee engagement and the mediating factors that lay between the two constructs. The author proposes that CSR has a direct impact on employee engagement, and that perceived organizational support (POS) and Chinese values mediate this relationship, so CSR may also contribute indirectly to employee engagement. Results support the hypotheses, as the relationship between CSR and employee engagement is fully mediated by POS and Chinese values. Implications to theory and practice, with limitations and future research are presented.
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Businesses nowadays are striving to improve their performance. It is agreed that efficiency and productivity are demanded more than any other times in the history. Attracting and retaining talents thus become an important part of managers’ job. Promoting corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an effective way organizations use to attract and retain large numbers of potential equality employees (Greening & Turban, 2000). Employers realize that efficiency and productivity lie within employees’ ability and affective commitment. By focusing on employee engagement, they can expect more intrinsically motivated and competent workforce (Markos & Sridevi, 2010).

The purpose of this paper is, therefore, to enrich the CSR literature by addressing the question whether CSR can contribute to the engagement of human resources in organizations, and whether other organizational factors such as perceived organizational support (POS) and personal trait such as Chinese values affect the relationship and to what degree. Most CSR research has been conducted to measure the relationship between financial performance and social performance (Backhaus, Stone & Heiner, 2002). Greening and Turban (2000) and a few researchers have looked at another type of competitive advantage provided by CSR: the ability to attract and retain quality employees, but little research has investigated whether firms’ CSR influences employees’ engagement in the organization. New insights might be gained on how organizations can engage committed employees through different means of CSR initiatives, and other management styles that employees cherish.

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