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.
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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.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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 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.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Appendix 1: Study 1, Co-creation Manipulation
Green Office Information (given to all conditions):
Study 1 Control task:
In this task, we would like you to take a few moments and think about an item you bought while grocery shopping this past week. We would then specifically like you to write about why you like your item.
Study 1 Co-creation task:
In this task, we would like you to take a few moments and brainstorm a new idea for the Green Office Program. We would then specifically like you to write about how your idea expresses what [organization] means to you and why you like your idea.
Appendix 2: Study 2 Materials
Study 2 Control task:
No further information provided; participants moved directly to measures.
Study 2 Co-creation task:
In this task, we would like your help to brainstorm ways to encourage and incentivize transportation options for the Green Office Program ‘Smart Commute’ initiative. We would specifically like you to write about how your idea expresses what Transcription Inc. might mean to employees and why you like your idea.
Appendix 3: Self-construal Manipulation
(Interdependent Condition was Identical with Plural Pronouns)
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Simpson, B., Robertson, J.L. & White, K. How Co-creation Increases Employee Corporate Social Responsibility and Organizational Engagement: The Moderating Role of Self-Construal. J Bus Ethics 166, 331–350 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-019-04138-3