Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 91, Supplement 1, pp 111–121

Employee Orientation and Performance: An Exploration of the Mediating Role of Customer Orientation


DOI: 10.1007/s10551-010-0570-6

Cite this article as:
Zhang, J. J Bus Ethics (2010) 91(Suppl 1): 111. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0570-6


Managing stakeholders is an important managerial aspect of corporate social responsibility. Employee stakeholder is one of the primary stakeholders that are critical to a company. Previous studies have shown inconclusive findings regarding the performance impact of managing this stakeholder, with some identifying little impact while others finding a positive association. This study further explores this issue in the context of foreign companies’ subsidiaries in China. A potential mediating mechanism (i.e., customer orientation) between employee stakeholder orientation and performance (both financial performance and innovation performance) was proposed; a sample of 103 Chinese subsidiaries of foreign companies which have new product development responsibilities was used to test hypotheses. A subsidiary’s employee orientation was found to show a significant positive relationship with its product innovation performance, but no significant relationship with its financial results. Moreover, employee orientation showed a significant indirect relationship with both performance outcomes through customer orientation.


Chinacustomer orientationemployee orientationinnovationperformancesubsidiaries



corporate social responsibility

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Hong Kong Baptist UniversityKowloonHong Kong