Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 85, Supplement 2, pp 387–398 | Cite as

Company Support for Employee Volunteering: A National Survey of Companies in Canada

  • Debra Z. Basil
  • Mary S. Runte
  • M. Easwaramoorthy
  • Cathy Barr


Company support for employee volunteerism (CSEV) benefits companies, employees, and society while helping companies meet the expectations of corporate social responsibility (CSR). A nationally representative telephone survey of 990 Canadian companies examined CSEV through the lens of Porter and Kramer’s (2006, ‘Strategy and society: the link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility’, Harvard Business Review, 78–92.) CSR model. The results demonstrated that Canadian companies passively support employee volunteerism in a variety of ways, such as allowing employees to take time off without pay (71%) or adjusting their work schedules (78%). These Responsive CSR efforts contribute to the company’s value chain by enhancing employee morale, a perceived CSEV benefit. More active forms of support requiring company time or money are less common; for example, 29% allow time off with pay. Companies perceive that support for employee volunteering enhances their public image, a Responsive CSR strategy when employed to ameliorate a damaged reputation or a Strategic CSR strategy when contributing to a competitive position. A minority perceive challenges like covering the workload. Many companies target and/or exclude particular causes and link CSEV efforts with other philanthropic donations, suggesting a Strategic CSR application of CSEV. Where programs exist, they frequently are neither tracked nor evaluated, suggesting that companies are not using these programs as strategically as they might.


Canada corporate social responsibility employee support philanthropy volunteer volunteerism 



Company support for employee volunteerism


Corporate social responsibility


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This research was supported by Imagine Canada’s Knowledge Development Centre, which is funded as part of the Canada Volunteerism Initiative through the Community Participation Directorate of the Department of Canadian Heritage.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debra Z. Basil
    • 1
  • Mary S. Runte
    • 2
  • M. Easwaramoorthy
    • 3
  • Cathy Barr
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Socially Responsible MarketingUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  2. 2.Faculty of ManagementUniversity of LethbridgeLethbridgeCanada
  3. 3.Imagine Canada TorontoCanada

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