Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Performance
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Corporate Social Responsibility and Business Performance

Theories and Evidence about Organizational Responsibility

Tobias Gössling

Does it pay for businesses to act morally? This book attempts to answer this question. Taking a positive approach, it demonstrates that, under certain conditions, organizations can act responsibly and profitably at the same time. It elaborates on these conditions and provides evidence for the assumed positive relation between responsibility and profitability.
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Chapter 7: CSR and Organizational Commitment: An Empirical Study About Consequences of CSR on Motivation and Commitment

Tobias Gössling


Introduction CSR, for many organizations, has become a standard that they adopt. The idea behind a strategic approach towards CSR is often related to the general idea of a balance between economic concerns and social concerns, the latter consisting in a healthy environment, a just society and the economic prosperity of the respective society. Organizations implement CSR because of different reasons, for example because of expected legitimacy and reputation gains. CSR activities may have an effect on consumers’ attitudes towards the organizations and could indirectly increase the profit of the organization. On the other hand, there might be motivational aspects related to the CSR policy of an organization. Even though most authors relate legitimacy to external perceptions of organizations, the relationship between employees and the respective organization is influenced by its CSR policy. We therefore speak of internal legitimacy which eventually is related with identification, commitment, motivation, absenteeism and the way that employees talk about their organization in their leisure time (e.g. Brammer et al., 2005; Dutton et al., 1994; Peterson, 2004). Organizations with a good social reputation may attract better employees and increase the current employees’ motivation, commitment and loyalty to the organization (Castelo Branco and Rodriques, 2006; Brammer et al., 2005). Some research has focused on motivational aspects related to CSR; however, the relationship between CSR policies and attitudes is rather underexplored, even though attitude is of crucial importance to the functioning of employees (Erwin, 2001). A positive attitude will improve employee performance, since employees are willing to...

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