Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 33, Issue 5, pp 661–673 | Cite as

Corporate social responsibility and work engagement: testing a moderated mediation model

  • Yongqiang GaoEmail author
  • Dan Zhang
  • Yuanyuan Huo
Original Paper


The purpose of this study is to examine the mediating role of collective self-esteem in the relationship between employees’ perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) and their work engagement. We also explore the moderating role of employees’ concern for face in the linkage between their perceived CSR and collective self-esteem. A two-wave panel data from a final sample of 217 employees in six companies in Wuhan, China, completed the questionnaire survey. Employees’ perceived CSR has a direct and positive effect on their work engagement, which is partially mediated by their collective self-esteem. Furthermore, employees’ concern for face moderates the relationship between their perceived CSR and collective self-esteem. CSR has a stronger effect on collective self-esteem for employees who concern more for face than for those who concern less for face. Understanding the outcomes, the mediating mechanisms, as well as the boundary conditions of perceived CSR on work engagement, help firms to better formulate their CSR strategy. First, we introduce collective self-esteem as an important mediating mechanism in the relationship between CSR and employees’ work engagement. Second, we identify concern for face as an important limiting condition in the linkage between CSR and employees’ collective self-esteem. Finally, previous research investigating employees’ reactions to CSR has predominantly been conducted in the West. We conduct our study in the Chinese or Confucian context to provide some new and complementary insights.


Perceived corporate social responsibility Work engagement Collective self-esteem Concern for face 



The authors are grateful to the financial support of the ‘National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC)’ (No. 71372131).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of ManagementHuazhong University of Science and TechnologyWuhan CityPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Surrey Business SchoolUniversity of SurreyGuildfordUK

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