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Employees' reactions to CSR perception and disclosure in the presence of multilevel contingencies

Faisal Mahmood (Superior University, Faisalabad, Pakistan)
Maria Saleem (Superior University, Faisalabad, Pakistan)
Faisal Qadeer (University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Antonio Ariza-Montes (Universidad Loyola Andalucia, Sevilla, Spain)
Heesup Han (Sejong University, Seoul, Republic of Korea)

Cross Cultural & Strategic Management

ISSN: 2059-5794

Article publication date: 6 December 2022




Primarily, this research aims to examine how and when firm-level corporate social responsibility (CSR) translates into individual-level attitudes and behaviors of employees under cross-level boundary conditions of firm-level family ownership (FO) and group-level ethical leadership.


Philosophically, the present research comes under the post-positivist paradigm, with a deductive approach. The multilevel, multisource and multimethod data for this research were collected by employing a time-lagged design through the survey strategy and from annual reports of 60 manufacturing firms in Pakistan. The multilevel path analysis was conducted using MPlus.


The authors found that organizational identification (OID) statistically and significantly mediates the impact of firms' CSR disclosure on employees' innovative job performance (EIJP). However, the partial mediation of OID between firm-level CSR perception and EIJP was noticed. Moreover, a firm-level contingency of FO and group-level ethical leadership further intensifies the impact of CSR disclosure and perception on EIJP through OID.

Research limitations/implications

Theoretically, this research widens the current understanding of employees' reactions to firms' CSR disclosure and perception by investigating the contingencies of firm-level FO and group-level ethical leadership. Practically, the managers can consider the underlying framework presented in this research in defining CSR as the antecedent of the OID and EIJP. For example, organizations must deliberately concentrate on not only their CSR initiatives and engagements but also immense attentiveness should be given to CSR disclosure because disclosing CSR will assist the top management in achieving the desired workplace attitudes and behaviors of employees. This research will also help business leaders to understand the integration of CSR and ethical leadership while making CSR-related strategic decisions.


Existing research on CSR still needs advancement due to competing explanations, inconsistencies in the findings, and a lack of multilevel studies. Although few studies on CSR have considered multilevel aspects by devising and testing multilevel mechanisms but largely remained deficient concerning cross-level boundary conditions. Furthermore, the authors also noticed that the academic literature predominantly analyses the impact of perceived CSR either at the individual level or the firm aggregated level on employee attitudes and behaviors. However, research on the effect of organizational CSR disclosure on the behaviors and attitudes of employees remains scarce.



Mahmood, F., Saleem, M., Qadeer, F., Ariza-Montes, A. and Han, H. (2022), "Employees' reactions to CSR perception and disclosure in the presence of multilevel contingencies", Cross Cultural & Strategic Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.



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