Self Construal and Positioning of CSR Initiatives: Key Factors Influencing Employee Perceptions and Participation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives impact a number of key stakeholder groups, including customers, shareholders, governmental organizations, and employees. Businesses should design CSR strategies to meet stakeholder needs. In this paper, we focus on the individual employee. Employees are a particularly important audience for CSR strategies and initiatives because they are often active participants in their employers’ CSR efforts. Corporations seek to involve employees in CSR programs in order to bolster the strength of their efforts, tie CSR initiatives to financial results, and position themselves as responsible and desirable employers. Likewise, actively engaged employees benefit from participation through increased job satisfaction, pride, learning, and in some cases, social and environmental responsibility that translates into their personal lives. Because of the pivotal role of employees in the success of CSR initiatives, it is critical that employers understand how to best communicate and position their plans to their diverse employee populations.

Using survey findings gathered from 139 non-executive-level employees at a global chemical company we sought to understand how 1) independent versus interdependent self-construal and 2) strategic versus moral motivation impact the employees’ a) perception of the firm's CSR efforts/practices and b) willingness to participate in/contribute to CSR efforts. We found that independent self-construal and strategic motivation had the greatest positive impact on CSR perception and participation. There was no conclusive evidence of a significant interaction between self-construal and motivation.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)211-226
Number of pages16
JournalThe International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2010


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