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Evaluating a Socially Responsible Employment Program: Beneficiary Impacts and Stakeholder Perceptions

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Abstract

Although many organizations around the world have engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) programing, there is little evidence of social impact. This is a problematic omission since many programs carry the stigma of marketing ploys used to bolster organizational image or reduce consumer skepticism. To address this issue and build on existing scholarship, the purpose of this study was to evaluate a socially responsible youth employability program in the United Kingdom. The program was developed through the foundation of a professional British soccer team to bolster employability and life skills for marginalized London youth. Program funding was provided by a large multinational bank as part of their CSR agenda. This evaluation was undertaken to understand the beneficiary impacts associated with program deployment. Results from the pre-intervention/post-intervention, sequential mixed-method evaluation show statistically significant differences among several “soft” beneficiary outcomes (e.g., self-esteem, self-efficacy, and perceived marketability). However, results are mixed regarding whether the “hard” outcome of employment was achieved by program participants. Qualitative findings buttress these results, indicating a high level of motivation for work, attitude enhancement, and satisfaction with program delivery.

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Walker, M., Hills, S. & Heere, B. Evaluating a Socially Responsible Employment Program: Beneficiary Impacts and Stakeholder Perceptions. J Bus Ethics 143, 53–70 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-015-2801-3

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