How Co-creation Increases Employee Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Engagement: The Moderating Role of Self-Construal

  • Bonnie SimpsonEmail author
  • Jennifer L. Robertson
  • Katherine White
Original Paper


This research merges literature from organizational behavior and marketing to garner insight into how organizations can maximize the benefits of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for enhanced CSR and organizational engagement of employees. Across two field experiments, the authors demonstrate that the effectiveness of employee co-creation activities in increasing employees’ positive CSR perceptions is moderated by self-construal (i.e., whether an individual views the self as relatively independent from or interdependent with others). In particular, the positive effect of co-creation on CSR perceptions emerges only for employees with a salient interdependent self-construal (either measured as an individual difference or experimentally manipulated). Moreover, the results demonstrate that increased positive CSR perceptions then predict increased CSR engagement and organizational engagement. The research thus highlights the need to consider self-construal when trying to utilize co-creation to predict CSR engagement and organizational engagement, via CSR perceptions.


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) Co-creation Sustainability Engagement Self-construal 



The authors are grateful for funding from the Dancap Private Equity Research Award in the DAN Department of Management and Organizational Studies, Western University.


The research was funded by an internal departmental faculty research grant from the institution of the first and second authors for which no grant number is provided.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committees and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in Study 1. Informed consent was waived with institutional ethics approval for Study 2 on the basis that participants were not asked to participate in tasks that were unusual compared to their daily workplace activity on MTurk, and no identifiable or demographic data were collected. All participants were debriefed following the data collection and offered the opportunity to withdraw their participation.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bonnie Simpson
    • 1
    Email author
  • Jennifer L. Robertson
    • 1
  • Katherine White
    • 2
  1. 1.DAN Department of Management and Organizational StudiesWestern UniversityLondonCanada
  2. 2.Marketing and Behavioural Science, Sauder School of BusinessUniversity of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

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