Effects of Internal and External CSR on Supportive and Harmful Employee Attitudes

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Cornell Hospitality Quarterly


Prior studies have suggested that corporate social responsibility (CSR) contributes to a hospitality organization’s competitive advantage by influencing employee attitudes. However, the mechanisms driving employees’ responses to different types of CSR activities remain largely unexplored. Based on social exchange and social identity theories, we examined the mechanisms through which external and internal CSR activities influence employees’ perceived organizational justice and identification, and their subsequent outcomes (i.e., organizational commitment and turnover intention). We collected data from the employees of a hospitality company operating in the United States and used confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling for data analysis. The results showed that internal CSR activities had significant sequential effects on organizational justice, organizational identification, and organizational commitment as well as turnover intention. External CSR activities had significant indirect effects on organizational commitment via organizational identification. These findings reinforce the notion that external and internal CSR operate through different mediating mechanisms. We discussed the main findings of this study in terms of their theoretical implications for our understanding of the psychology behind CSR, as well as social exchange and social identity theories. The results suggest that both external and internal CSR have particular importance as a means of supporting a hospitality company’s efforts to foster employee identification with the company, and thereby improve employee attitudes at work. We closed by discussing the practical implications of our results, including recommendations for hospitality operators.


External corporate social responsibility (Csr); Internal csr; Organizational commitment; Organizational identification (Oi); Organizational justice (Oj); Turnover intention


Business and Corporate Communications | Hospitality Administration and Management

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