Psychological Antecedents to Socially Responsible Behavior

16 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2011

See all articles by Donal Crilly

Donal Crilly

London Business School

Susan C. Schneider

University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI); INSEAD - Organisational Behavior

Maurizio Zollo

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology

Date Written: January 17, 2011

Abstract

To date, the discussion regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR) has primarily addressed organizational rationale and activities. Little has been said about the individual characteristics and behaviors that promote the development of CSR within organizations. In this paper, we propose and test a model to explain individual differences in the propensity to engage in socially responsible behavior (SRB). By linking values, affect and reasoning to managers' propensity to do good and do no harm, we provide a more complete picture of how SRB arises in organizations. A survey of 643 middle managers in five multinational corporations supports our contention that values, affect and reasoning matter for SRB. In particular, self-transcendence values (universalism and benevolence) and positive affect increase the propensity to engage in SRB, as do moral and reputation-based reasoning styles. Moreover, we find that values and affect shape more controlled processes such as moral reasoning. We develop implications for the interaction between the individual and the organization in promoting SRB.

Keywords: socially responsible behavior, corporate social responsibility, moral psychology, affect, values

Suggested Citation

Crilly, Donal and Schneider, Susan C. and Zollo, Maurizio, Psychological Antecedents to Socially Responsible Behavior (January 17, 2011). European Management Review, Vol. 5, Issue 3, pp. 175-190, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1745742 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1057/emr.2008.15

Donal Crilly

London Business School ( email )

Sussex Place
Regent's Park
London, London NW1 4SA
United Kingdom

Susan C. Schneider

University of Geneva - Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI) ( email )

40 Boulevard du Pont d'Arve
Geneva 4, Geneva 1211
Switzerland

INSEAD - Organisational Behavior ( email )

Finance area, Boulevard de Constance
Fontainebleau 77305
France
(33) (0)1 60 72 41 89 (Phone)
(33) (0)1 60 74 55 00/01 (Fax)

Maurizio Zollo

Bocconi University - Department of Management and Technology ( email )

Via Roentgen 1
Milan, MI 20136
Italy

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