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Corporate social responsibility and firm performance through the mediating effect of organizational trust in Chinese firms

Yanni Yu (School of Business Administration, Jiangxi University of Finance and Economics, Nanchang, China, and)
Yongrok Choi (Department of International Trade, Inha University, Incheon, South Korea)

Chinese Management Studies

ISSN: 1750-614X

Article publication date: 28 October 2014




The purpose of this paper is to investigate the mediating effect of organizational trust on the relationship between perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and firm performance.


A total of 674 questionnaires were sent randomly to Chinese firms to obtain a total of 168 reliable responses. A confirmatory factor analysis was conducted for a validity test, and structural equation modeling was employed to test the mediating effect of organizational trust.


The empirical results show that perceived CSR practices of firms had significant direct effects on employee well-being and organizational performance and that organizational trust partially mediated the relationships of CSR practices to employee well-being as well as to organizational performance.

Research limitations/implications

The data may not fully represent a generalized survey of all industries with CSR management. In this regard, future research should focus on a specific Chinese industry. The results suggest that firms should more actively promote the role of employees in CSR strategies to better build organizational trust.


Previous CSR studies have generally focused on customers’ perceptions, paying little attention to employees’ viewpoints. This study provides the first empirical analysis of the relationship between CSR and firm performance from the perspective of employees in Chinese firms. In addition, the study examines the mediating role of trust in CSR, which has been rarely considered in the context of Chinese firms.



Yu, Y. and Choi, Y. (2014), "Corporate social responsibility and firm performance through the mediating effect of organizational trust in Chinese firms", Chinese Management Studies, Vol. 8 No. 4, pp. 577-592.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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