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The nexus of corporate social responsibility (CSR), affective commitment and organisational citizenship behaviour in academia: A model of trust

Rashid Ahmad (COMSATS Institute of Information Technology – Lahore Campus, Lahore, Pakistan)
Saima Ahmad (Graduate School of Business and Law, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Talat Islam (Institute of Business Administration, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan)
Ahmad Kaleem (School of Business and Law, Central Queensland University, Melbourne, Australia)

Employee Relations

ISSN: 0142-5455

Article publication date: 6 January 2020




The purpose of this paper is to advance knowledge on the implications of perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) on employee levels of commitment and citizenship behaviour (OCB) by investigating a trust-based mediational process in the context of academia.


The research data are collected from a sample of 736 academics through a questionnaire based survey administered in different Pakistani universities. The nature of trust-based mechanism underlying the relationships between CSR, affective commitment and OCB is determined through structural equation modelling of the research data.


The findings suggest that the perceived CSR is an important predictor of academics’ attitudes and behaviour in universities. Whilst the findings implicate the mediating role of trust in the process by which perceived CSR influences academics’ commitment, trust does not appear to mediate the perceived CSR’s relationship with OCB.

Research limitations/implications

This study utilises single-sourced and cross-sectional data, which may have resulted in common method bias.

Practical implications

By furnishing evidence of the beneficial effects of perceived CSR on academics’ levels of trust, commitment and citizenship behaviour, this study provides a business case for universities’ involvement in CSR. The findings are particularly useful to academic administrators and managers who are interested in nurturing positive attitudes and behaviours amongst academic staff.


There is a paucity of research on CSR in the academic work settings of developing countries. This is the first study to examine the trust-based microfoundation of CSR in the context of academia in Pakistan.



Ahmad, R., Ahmad, S., Islam, T. and Kaleem, A. (2020), "The nexus of corporate social responsibility (CSR), affective commitment and organisational citizenship behaviour in academia: A model of trust", Employee Relations, Vol. 42 No. 1, pp. 232-247.



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