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Internal CSR Support: From Bystanders to Ambassadors

Thier, Christin LU and Rading Heyman, Ebba LU (2017) BUSN39 20171
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how employees understand and support their employer’s internal CSR agenda and communication. In order to do this, we answer three research questions: How can employees be segmented into different groups regarding CSR support? How do employees who are supportive of a company’s CSR agenda differ from less supportive employees? How can an understanding of differences in employees’ CSR support be used to improve internal CSR support?
Design/Methodology/Approach: This cross-sectional study collected primary data through a survey, targeting employees of a chosen retail company. The data is analysed with a non- hierarchical cluster analysis using the K-means method. Employees are segmented... (More)
Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how employees understand and support their employer’s internal CSR agenda and communication. In order to do this, we answer three research questions: How can employees be segmented into different groups regarding CSR support? How do employees who are supportive of a company’s CSR agenda differ from less supportive employees? How can an understanding of differences in employees’ CSR support be used to improve internal CSR support?
Design/Methodology/Approach: This cross-sectional study collected primary data through a survey, targeting employees of a chosen retail company. The data is analysed with a non- hierarchical cluster analysis using the K-means method. Employees are segmented according to their level of active and passive CSR support. The clusters are analysed on a set of profiling and categorical variables, which have been found to be connected to CSR perceptions in previous literature; Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, Personal Relevance, Job Satisfaction, Gender and Training.
Findings: This study finds three clusters with differing levels of CSR support, predominantly in active support: The Affirmative Ambassadors, who represent the most supportive employees and show more active support, The Reserved Believers, who are supportive but lack active engagement, and The Silent Bystanders, who represent the least supportive group both actively and non-actively. Between the clusters, higher levels of Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, Personal Relevance, Job Satisfaction, Age, Years in the Company, and times of received Training, are positively connected to CSR support. The biggest differences between the most supportive and the least supportive groups are found in training and awareness. We argue that in order to raise awareness it is important for companies to communicate about its CSR agenda and training is an effective method to involve employees.
Managerial Implications: This study argues that companies should aim to build or maintain high levels of Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, and Job Satisfaction. In order to do this, companies must communicate continuously and frequently about their CSR agenda. The findings indicate that it is essential for companies who strive to increase internal CSR support, to provide employees with related training preferably shortly after employment. Besides from the general managerial implications, this study draws more specific conclusions for the studied company in terms of effective channels of communication.
Originality/Value: This study demonstrates that employees can be segmented according to their support of the employer’s CSR. We argue that it is important to include active support and thereby distinguish between passive support and employees’ active engagement. This study demonstrates the applicability of findings from consumer-focused research on studies focusing on internal stakeholders. It combines constructs from different studies and streams of literature, thereby providing a more extensive overview. (Less)
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author
Thier, Christin LU and Rading Heyman, Ebba LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
A Cluster Analysis of Employees in the Retail Industry
course
BUSN39 20171
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), CSR Support, Employee Support, Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, Personal Relevance, Job Satisfaction, CSR Training
language
English
id
8918402
date added to LUP
2017-06-28 16:14:36
date last changed
2017-06-28 16:14:36
@misc{8918402,
  abstract     = {Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate how employees understand and support their employer’s internal CSR agenda and communication. In order to do this, we answer three research questions: How can employees be segmented into different groups regarding CSR support? How do employees who are supportive of a company’s CSR agenda differ from less supportive employees? How can an understanding of differences in employees’ CSR support be used to improve internal CSR support?
Design/Methodology/Approach: This cross-sectional study collected primary data through a survey, targeting employees of a chosen retail company. The data is analysed with a non- hierarchical cluster analysis using the K-means method. Employees are segmented according to their level of active and passive CSR support. The clusters are analysed on a set of profiling and categorical variables, which have been found to be connected to CSR perceptions in previous literature; Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, Personal Relevance, Job Satisfaction, Gender and Training.
Findings: This study finds three clusters with differing levels of CSR support, predominantly in active support: The Affirmative Ambassadors, who represent the most supportive employees and show more active support, The Reserved Believers, who are supportive but lack active engagement, and The Silent Bystanders, who represent the least supportive group both actively and non-actively. Between the clusters, higher levels of Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, Personal Relevance, Job Satisfaction, Age, Years in the Company, and times of received Training, are positively connected to CSR support. The biggest differences between the most supportive and the least supportive groups are found in training and awareness. We argue that in order to raise awareness it is important for companies to communicate about its CSR agenda and training is an effective method to involve employees.
Managerial Implications: This study argues that companies should aim to build or maintain high levels of Awareness, Perceived Fit, Organizational Identification, and Job Satisfaction. In order to do this, companies must communicate continuously and frequently about their CSR agenda. The findings indicate that it is essential for companies who strive to increase internal CSR support, to provide employees with related training preferably shortly after employment. Besides from the general managerial implications, this study draws more specific conclusions for the studied company in terms of effective channels of communication.
Originality/Value: This study demonstrates that employees can be segmented according to their support of the employer’s CSR. We argue that it is important to include active support and thereby distinguish between passive support and employees’ active engagement. This study demonstrates the applicability of findings from consumer-focused research on studies focusing on internal stakeholders. It combines constructs from different studies and streams of literature, thereby providing a more extensive overview.},
  author       = {Thier, Christin and Rading Heyman, Ebba},
  keyword      = {Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR),CSR Support,Employee Support,Awareness,Perceived Fit,Organizational Identification,Personal Relevance,Job Satisfaction,CSR Training},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Internal CSR Support: From Bystanders to Ambassadors},
  year         = {2017},
}