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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Impacts on Human Resource Management Organisation

Info: 3870 words (15 pages) Dissertation
Published: 10th Dec 2019

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Tagged: Human ResourcesCSR

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Section 1: Description of the researchable topic:


This research topic encircles corporate social responsibility (CSR) repercussion on employees in an organisation involving human resource management (HRM) discipline. There have been separate studies on these topics without careful consideration of the overlap on one another. The focus here is to look at how micro level CSR activity outcomes affects the employees in an organisation. (Rupp et al. 2013) expresses that the debate about the effects of social concerns in an organisation is far from new development and sheds light on the prominent works of Bowen (1953), Davis (1960) and Dodd (1932). However, the understanding that CSR performance has a profound impact on respective employees is relatively a new field of importance for peers alike.

Section 2: Aims and Objectives

2.1 Background & issues

The objective is to develop an understanding through exploratory study of how an organisation’s interaction with CSR influences its employees holistically – personal and professional. Prime focus areas are recruiting, job security and performance, commitment, engagement. Current understanding and thinking of how employees perform analytically demanding tasks involves autonomy, mastery and purpose to develop intrinsic motivation (Pink, 2011). Employees sense of purpose in relation to CSR contribution is not extensively examined. By clear and comprehensive insight into CSR contribution to an employee’s sense of belief and purpose, human resource management could reap significant benefits. Upon completing this research, it is anticipated that various micro-level CSR issues are exhaustively studied and examined. Primarily, CSR potential in supporting various disciplines of HRM functions. Next, if there is any intrinsic motivation for employees in a firm towards CSR. Finally, if this cultivates and nurtures employee’s sense of wellbeing and intent in the organisation.

2.2 Justification for the research:

Existing literature needs transformation because there is One-dimensional examination of the relationship between CSR and the employee job performance and sense of purpose within the organisation. (Glavas and Kelley 2014). There have been recent studies by Jones, Willness and Madey (2014) and by Glavas and Kelley (2014) and Alexander Newman, Ingrid Nielsen and Qing Miao (2015) highlighting how corporate social performance and corporate social responsibility within an organisation fosters positive feeling amongst employees, but fails to dig deeper into the psychological demeanour of employees. Whether CSR delivers intrinsic value for its potential job seekers or existing employees, or if individual pressure on employees to comply with social norms impacts the organisations association with CSR are the question to be pondered for future research.

Mankelow (2008) stressed that CSR focussing employees in an organization is practically an unexplored field as various authors have pointed out that employees are the most significant stakeholders of the organization. Employee engagement and interaction is a shown to be a critical factor in determining organisational performance and gain competitive advantage. The extent to which CSR plays a role in Human resource functionality to realise it’s motives can be looked into in this research.

2.3 Business Discipline and Academic Areas

The business discipline that’s been discussed widely is the area surrounding CSR. The research in the topic is not new, but has been restored in the last 10 years due to its critical importance for the organisations reputation and performance. Corporations are not only liable to their main shareholders and investors, but are also increasingly concerned about the responsibility towards their external stakeholders like societal and community members and environmental sustainability. Another area focuses on how research findings affects the HRM discipline. This research also pins hope on how HRM activities hiring right people, training and retaining, engagement, motivation and development. Another aspect is how employees psychologically can be affected by initiatives of CSR practise and performance within the organisation.

Section 3: Literature Review

3.1 Introduction to Literature

CSR has been a keen interest of study in present day scenarios in competitive business world. Compilation of academic and analytical literature has proved to be influential not only in highlighting CSR importance but also created a platform for further studies and developments.Different arrays of CSR definitions have engulfed in recent times, but they all share a common cord in their attempts to conceptualise how organisations are shouldering greater social responsibilities towards their internal and external stakeholders alike.

The modified CSR definition by (Glavas and Kelley 2014) “Caring for the well-being of others and the environment with the purpose of also creating value for the business. CSR is manifested in the strategies and operating practices that a company develops in operationalizing its relationships with and impacts on the well-being of all of its key stakeholders and the natural environment” whereas  (Waldman, Siegel and Javidan 2004) have developed a concise definition that views CSR as “actions on the part of the firm that appear to advance, or acquiesce in the promotion of some social good, beyond the immediate interests of the firm and its shareholders and beyond that which is required by law”.

3.2 Existing Literature

There had been a clear connection between scholars and practitioners of CSR inclination towards summarising literature and research studies concentrating largely on macro-level or external stakeholders impacts and issues(Morgeson et al. 2013) (Aguinis and Glavas 2012)(Devinney 2009).

Moreover, even the existing literature encapsulates mainly the impact of CSR on employees using organizational-level focus intended towards external stakeholders(Aguinis and Glavas 2012). Nonetheless, (Glavas and Kelley 2014) combine different literature reviews to traverse through macro and micro level CSR theory.

3.3 Issues and debates in the Literature

The methods used to measure and monitor CSR performance may overlook micro level issues contained due to inherent bias in their academic research. Glavas and Kelly (2014) support this by stating current methods to measure CSR are hindrance to individual-level research. They also support this by substantiating to the fact that CSR performance is evaluated by third party rating agencies who may be unduly influenced by a firm’s efforts in symbolic CSR (philanthropy). Besides, they believe that the organisations performance is measured by assessing the activities coupling the mission of the firm or organisation and its operation internally throughout the organisation (Glavas and Kelley 2014).

3.4 Existing literature

Jones, Willness and Madey (2014) claim that although organisational corporate social performance clearly entices the employee interests in deciding to work in organisation. According to earlier studies, study methodology and processes used were concluded vaguely. The author has various hypothesis based on three signal systems mechanism that ultimately plays a role in organisational attractiveness: existing employees or potential employees satisfaction and sense of security when associated with an organisational, best value fit of the organisation perceived by job seekers, minimum expectations from the organisations treatment of their employees(Jones, Willness and Madey 2014). Signal based systems are strongly backed by their research analysis and hypothesis. This research signifies to broaden their research on micro/ Individual level CSR by inferring that an organisations CSR performance impact on HR department recruiting on potential employees.

Mirvis (2012) proposes a three-facet model of employee engagement through CSR: a transactional approach, a relational approach and a developmental approach. Transactional approach is mostly programmes undertaken to benefit employees like self-satisfaction and boost morale and justice; Relational approach encompasses how company and the employees work towards social responsibility or performance; Developmental model looks at how CSR practises can integrate and engage all its stakeholders in organisations habitat.

(Vlachos et al. 2014) takes this individual/ micro level CSR to predict how employees evaluate and reciprocate to CSR initiatives in 2 major corporations in Indian and Netherlands. The author claims that the role of HR in communicating with sales employees facing customers and meeting turnover targets.  The author also mentions the CSR effects on employee behaviour might vary depending on the type of outcome evaluated. Stay and positive recommendations outcomes in the study have different outcomes based on the managerial needs and goals. Employee retention evidence is found in the research than looking at hiring new employees.

There are other contemporary models and works which looks at this: (Newman, Nielsen and Miao 2015) looks how employee perception of CSR practises affects different stakeholder group on job performance and organisational practises in Chinese organisation. Various hypothesis was developed to support this. (Glavas and Kelley 2014) conducted research of 827 employees in 18 organizations show that employee perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) have implications on: firm commitment and perceived organizational support to employees; employee satisfaction using 4 pilot case studies.

3.5 Gaps in existing Literature

As mentioned previously, macro level CSR evaluation has been taken up by different authors while individual level has been ignored to a large extent indicating inherent bias. Increasingly the CSR literature are fragmented and inconclusive (Aguinis and Glavas 2012) and also 4% analysis on individual levels have been done since 2005 on CSR research and 5% focused on two or more levels(Aguinis and Glavas 2012). (Rupp et al. 2013)  agrees to this by mentioning that individual level CSR analysis is not much.

3.6 Conceptual frameworks

(Morgeson et al. 2013) after looking at different literary search claims that even if there is CSR domain has grown significantly in the last 15 years, critical analysis related to theoretical frameworks and conducive evidence still remains in transition among academics and professional practises. Rupp et al., (2013, p. 896) reconfirms this “as a consequence of the dearth of research, the theories underlying the potency of CSR perceptions lack integrative and systematic testing and refinement”. (Aguinis and Glavas 2012) also points in the same direction by affirming that a lot of research has been done on institution, organisational and industry levels without exploring individual/ multilevel approach

There are other HRM motivational theories which can play a part in understanding this shift. Hackman and Oldham model illustrates that task is the main priority in motivating employees. The psychological states experienced here can be used to motivate people through CSR role. The expectation theory says that if individual employees have personal goals and these expectations can be motivated accordingly. Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs, apart from the lowest level of satisfaction, clearly tells us about the organisations CSR influence on employees.


Section 4 – Appendix:  Critical Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Article


Morgeson, F.P., Aguinis, H., Waldman, D.A., Siegel, D.S. (2013). Extending Corporate Social Responsibility Research to the Human Resource Management and Organizational Behaviour Domains: A Look to the Future. Personnel Psychology, 66(4), 805-824.

1. What review question am I asking of this text?

My research question is to look at micro level CSR impacts on individual level employees of an organisation. This research perfectly dwells into and encircles aforementioned issues to support and provide for validation of the research. The authors focus and pinpoint clearly to pick key holes in the proposed literatures, not to forget the prejudice towards looking at macro level issues by academic and industry peers and practitioners. Critical examination of this text forecasts that deeper and broader arguments and questions for setting up further research will be answered.

2. What type of literature is this?

This article draws together four articles which was picked amongst 52 articles submitted on underlying issues received by the authors belonging of the Personal Psychology. The authors systematically synthesised these four articles highlighting their contribution in performing empirical analysis which aligns with the authors quest of justifying the special issue: “Future research of HR/OB on CSR”. The article mainly looked at four spheres

(1) application and implementation of micro-level theories to CSR and employee outcomes and considerations

(2) Its implications on practice and policy decision makers

(3) concepts and measurement of CSR

(4) Methodological measurement consideration to apply appropriate tools.

The Authors signifies the contemplation of emerging, appropriate suggestions for further research on this specific issue.

3. What is being claimed?

The author claims are made through empirical and theoretical studies of other articles chosen to develop understanding of their discussion.

They also hope that their article spurns relevant research in future to study the micro-level implications of CSR. CSR plays an important role in HR department recruiting potential job seekers and displaying recruiting messages for prospective employees related to CSR and vice-versa.

High degree of generalisations is found in the literary findings of this article. Their focus is not on national or organisational level

Degree of Certainty is not exclaimed in this article to support one particular structure or framework. HR/OB may not look at future implications that might revolve or any other potential discipline affected by it.

4. To what extent is there backing for claims?

Overall concept used by all sources to support and substantiate are perfectly chronicled. The authors have summarised the key aspects by observation and experience of the relevant authors. Authors own interpretation of the knowledge and insight of the topic, coupled with empirical research and theory from findings drawn from peer-reviewed articles to justify their claims.

Authors have drawn from works of 4 other authors to construct a literature considering the future research into Micro-level CSR impacts on HR AND OCB. These articles were subjected to blind review from industry experts to validate the contribution to their main research topic. Sample size and the data collected from their methods were consistent to back the claims in these 4 articles.

Degree of generalisation was clearly summed up by the 4 articles. There seems to be high degree of alignment with the article chosen and similar research topics. Since micro-level CSR research is in its development stage, there seems to be high degree of similarity in claims made by 4 referenced articles. Future research in the same discipline will be specific and have appropriate measurement tools.

5. How adequate is any theoretical orientation to back claims?

Authors have well documented claims and evidences combining the 4 articles have not arrived made separate research of their own. There are quite a few theoretical frameworks from these articles like strategic leadership, moral identity, corporate volunteerism, psychological and perceptual phenomenon, KLD measurement, employee measurement and engagement, organisational citizenship behaviour (OCB), neuroscience methodology.

These extensive conceptual based architectures were used as a platform for this article’s research which helped them in developing comprehensive outlook of the growing potential implications of CSR on HR/OB.

This article dwells into a lot of theoretical considerations and methodologies without focusing on specific frameworks. However, the 4-chosen peer-reviewed articles amalgamates and merges different conceptual and theoretical structures and allows the authors in this article to pose a series of questions on the research domains of each subject.

6. To what extent are claims supported or challenged by others’ work?

All the research findings seem to be in congruence with the authors claims and beliefs about CSR and its increasing importance on the HR activity of the organisation. There appears to be no indication of any contradictory views supported by the author while substantiating literature. Peer-reviewed journals and observational evidence shows that even secondary data research seem to be robust and the methodology and measurement used were conclusive.

7. What is my summary evaluation of the text in relation to my review question or issue?

This article summarises the works of other authors to answer a specific issue related to inclusion of multiple level like individuals, team, organisation and industry to accommodate HR and OB theories. The 4 articles related to the special issue integrates micro and macro level processes pertaining to CSR.

Authors could have made individual research based on observation and the literature could have been focused mainly on aspects best related to micro- level CSR.





Section 5: Bibliography:


Aguilera, R.V., Rupp, D.E., Williams, C.A. and Ganapathi, J. 2007. Putting the S back in corporate social responsibility: A multilevel theory of social change in organizations. Academy of management review, 32(3), pp.836–863.

Aguinis, H. and Glavas, A. 2012. What We Know and Don’t Know About Corporate Social Responsibility: A Review and Research Agenda. Journal of Management, 38(4), pp.932–968.

BARNEY, J. (1991), Firm Resources and Sustained Competitive Advantage, Journal of Management, 17, 99-120.

Devinney, T.M. 2009. Is the Socially Responsible Corporation a Myth? The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Corporate Social Responsibility. Academy of Management Perspectives, 23(2), pp.44–56.

Dhanesh, G.S. 2014. CSR as organization–employee relationship management strategy: A case study of socially responsible information technology companies in India. Management Communication Quarterly, 28(1), pp.130–149.

Garavan, T.N. and McGuire, D. 2010. Human resource development and society: Human resource development’s role in embedding corporate social responsibility, sustainability, and ethics in organizations. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12(5), pp.487–507.

Glavas, A. and Kelley, K. 2014. The Effects of Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility on Employee Attitudes. Business Ethics Quarterly, 24(2), pp.165–202.

Gupta, N. and Sharma, V. 2016. The Relationship Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Engagement and Its Linkage to Organizational Performance: A Conceptual Model. IUP Journal of Organizational Behavior, 15(3), pp.59–75.

Jones, D.A., Willness, C.R. and Madey, S. 2014. Why Are Job Seekers Attracted by Corporate Social Performance? Experimental and Field Tests of Three Signal-Based Mechanisms. Academy of Management Journal, 57(2), pp.383–404.

Mirvis, P. 2012. Employee Engagement and CSR: Transactional, Relational, and Developmental Approaches.

Morgeson, F.P., Aguinis, H., Waldman, D.A. and Siegel, D.S. 2013. Extending Corporate Social Responsibility Research to the Human Resource Management and Organizational Behavior Domains: A Look to the Future. Personnel Psychology, 66(4), pp.805–824.

Newman, A., Nielsen, I. and Miao, Q. 2015. The impact of employee perceptions of organizational corporate social responsibility practices on job performance and organizational citizenship behavior: evidence from the Chinese private sector. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(9), pp.1226–1242.

Rupp, D.E., Shao, R., Thornton, M.A. and Skarlicki, D.P. 2013. Applicants’ and Employees’ Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility: The Moderating Effects of First-Party Justice Perceptions and Moral Identity. Personnel Psychology, 66(4), pp.895–933.

Santhosh, M. and Baral, R. 2015. A Conceptual Framework for Exploring the Impacts of Corporate Social Responsibility on Employee Attitudes and Behaviour. Journal of Human Values, 21(2), pp.127–136.

Sharma, E. and Tewari, R. 2018. Engaging Employee Perception for Effective Corporate Social Responsibility: Role of Human Resource Professionals. Global Business Review, 19(1), pp.111–130.

Story, J. and Neves, P. 2015. When corporate social responsibility ( CSR) increases performance: exploring the role of intrinsic and extrinsic CSR attribution. Business Ethics: A European Review, 24(2), pp.111–124.

Vlachos, P.A., Panagopoulos, N.G., Theotokis, A., Singh, R. and Singh, R.K. 2014. When do corporate social responsibility initiatives impact on customer-facing employees? Evidence from India and the Netherlands. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 25(22), pp.3086–3112.

Waldman, D.A., Siegel, D.S. and Javidan, M. 2004. CEO transformational leadership and corporate social responsibility.







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Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a concept of self-regulation where businesses make positive contributions to society or communities. CSR can include donations, voluntary work, environmentally friendly commitments, and more.

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