, Volume 26, Issue 3, pp 153-175

Measuring Corporate Social Responsibility as a Psychosocial Construct: A New Multidimensional Scale

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Abstract

To date, the discussion of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has consistently addressed organizational activities, which are the focus of measures that are able to evaluate CSR in enterprises. However, the psychosocial characteristics of CSR have remained relatively unexplored. Indeed, some scholars have recently proposed that both the perspective-taking (as a cognitive dimension of CSR) and propensity to take care (as an affective dimension of CSR) of different stakeholders are related to sustainable and socially responsible organizational behaviors (as the behavioral dimension of CSR), thus fostering the development of CSR within enterprises that take a multi-stakeholder approach. According to this psychosocial perspective, we propose and test a multidimensional Psychosocial CSR (P-CSR) scale to measure organizational engagement in corporate social responsibility with regard to multiple stakeholders. By linking the cognitive, affective, and behavioral dimensions of CSR to the propensity of business professionals to enhance their environmental and social ethics, we offer a more complete description of how CSR involving multiple stakeholders arises in enterprises. A survey of 345 business professionals—including both employers and employees—of Italian Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) completed a self-reported questionnaire. Based on the psychosocial perspective, we found that multi-stakeholder-oriented perspective-taking, propensity to take care, and socially responsible behaviors are part of the same construct, leading to an exhaustive explanation of CSR at the organizational level. Moreover, we developed both theoretical and practical implications for the promotion of CSR in organizational contexts, especially among SMEs.