How different CSR dimensions impact organization-employee relationships: The moderating role of CSR-culture fit

Zifei Fay Chen, Cheng Hong, Aurora Occa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Purpose: Drawing on interdisciplinary insights from stakeholder theory, relationship management and organizational justice, the purpose of this paper is to examine corporate social responsibility (CSR) from an internal and relational perspective. Specifically, it examines the effects of CSR in overall as well as the discretionary, ethical, legal and economic CSR dimensions on organization–employee relationships, respectively. The moderating role of employees’ perceived CSR-culture fit on these effects was also explored. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted with 303 participants from the USA who were full-time employees at for-profit organizations. Findings: Results indicate that CSR performance in overall positively influences organization–employee relationships, and such effect is amplified as employees’ perceived CSR-culture fit increases. Discretionary and ethical CSR positively influence organization–employee relationships, but perceived CSR-culture fit only amplifies the influence from ethical CSR. For legal and economic CSR, the effects on organization–employee relationships are only significant when perceived CSR-culture fit is high. Research limitations/implications: This study extends the body of knowledge of CSR and internal relationship management. However, the limitations regarding the factors from culture, business sectors and organizational setting should be addressed in future studies through both quantitative and qualitative approaches. Originality/value: This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the effects from four different CSR dimensions on organization–employee relationships as well as how such effects were moderated by employees’ perceived CSR-culture fit. Integrating interdisciplinary theoretical frameworks, this study offers insights for corporate communications and public relations professionals on how to effectively build and cultivate relationships with employees through different dimensions of CSR.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-78
Number of pages16
JournalCorporate Communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 4 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • CSR-culture fit
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Organization-employee relationships

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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