Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management




School of Business and Law / Centre for People, Place and Planet / Centre for Work + Wellbeing




Nejati, M., & Shafaei, A. (2023). Why do employees respond differently to corporate social responsibility? A study of substantive and symbolic corporate social responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 30(4), 2066-2080.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) plays an increasingly significant role in business and can impact organizational performance and sustainability. However, the degree to which stakeholders see the organization as legitimate may depend on the perceived authenticity of CSR processes and practices. As internal stakeholders, employees have a strong influence on organizational outcomes. CSR, in turn, has been found to positively influence several employee outcomes. To examine the mechanisms of this relationship, this study questioned when and how CSR enhances employees' perceptions and results in affective commitment. Drawing on a time-lagged sample of 317 full-time employees in Australia, we found that substantive CSR is positively associated with affective commitment mediated by meaningfulness through work and strengthened with embeddedness, while symbolic CSR is not. Through assessing and controlling for endogeneity threats in analysis, this study provides more accurate empirical insights into the importance of CSR authenticity, offers theoretical contributions to the field, and presents practical implications for organizations in enhancing their CSR planning and practice.



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License