People and Profits: The Impact of Corporate Objectives on Employees’ Need Satisfaction at Work

  • Bidhan L. Parmar
  • Adrian Keevil
  • Andrew C. Wicks
Original Paper

Abstract

For decades, scholars have debated the corporate objective. Scholars have either advocated a corporate objective focused on generating value for shareholders or creating value for multiple groups of stakeholders. Although it has been established that the corporate objective can shape many aspects of the corporation—including culture, compensation, and decision making—to date, scholars have not yet explored its psychological impact; particularly, how the corporate objective might influence employee well-being. In this article, we explore how two views of the corporate objective affect employee self-determination, a key component of overall psychological need satisfaction and well-being. We hypothesize that a corporate objective based on creating value for multiple stakeholders will increase employee psychological need satisfaction as compared to one focused on creating value for only shareholders. Across four experimental studies and one field survey, we find consistent support for our hypotheses and test three facets of a stakeholder-focused corporate objective. Theoretical implications and future research directions are discussed.

Keywords

Self-determination theory Stakeholder theory Corporate objective Business ethics 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bidhan L. Parmar
    • 1
  • Adrian Keevil
    • 1
  • Andrew C. Wicks
    • 1
  1. 1.The Darden School of BusinessUniversity of VirginiaCharlottesvilleUSA

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