Corporate social responsibility and employee outcomes: considering employee perspectives on the role of business

Kaitlyn DeGhetto, Zachary A. Russell, Charn P. McAllister

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to investigate how employee perspectives on the role of business, specifically capitalist beliefs, affect the corporate social responsibility (CSR)–reputation–employee behavior relationship. Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual model was developed, and to test the model empirically, survey data were collected over two phases from 192 working professionals. Data were analyzed in SAS using Hayes’s PROCESS approach. Findings: Results of this study reveal that the positive employee outcomes (i.e. affective commitment and reduced turnover intentions), resulting from CSR, through perceived employer reputation (i.e. an employee’s perception of how others view their firm), are diminished when employees have strong capitalist beliefs. Research limitations/implications: Building on the signaling and person–organization fit literatures, this study highlights the theoretical and managerial importance of recognizing employees’ ideological differences as well as the value of considering employee perceptions of reputation. Although many stakeholders value social responsibility, not all do, and a firm’s intended outcomes will vary depending on employees’ beliefs. Originality/value: This study demonstrates that CSR not only affects institutional-level corporate reputation, as previously studied, but also affects employees’ behaviors through “perceived employer reputation”, or employee beliefs about how other stakeholders perceive the firm. Moreover, this study highlights the importance of understanding employee differences, including ideological differences, prior to engaging in certain types of CSR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)266-285
Number of pages20
JournalSociety and Business Review
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 12 2024
Externally publishedYes


  • Affective commitment
  • Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
  • Person–organization fit
  • Reputation
  • Signaling theory
  • Turnover intentions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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