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EEO/AA and “doing good”: an exploratory study

Treena Gillespie Finney (Department of Management, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
R. Zachary Finney (Department of Marketing, University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama, USA)
Richard O. Parry (Department of Management, California State University - Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA)

International Journal of Law and Management

ISSN: 1754-243X

Article publication date: 4 November 2014




The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between students’ perceptions of equal employment opportunity/affirmative action (EEO/AA) ideals and their perceptions of companies’ ability to meet goals using their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. The paper also examined the extent to which students’ support of EEO/AA relates to their community mindedness and attitudes toward volunteerism.


The paper obtained data by surveying 895 students from a medium-sized university in the southern USA.


Individuals generally supported EEO/AA, but differentiated between the two, with AA receiving less support. Those supporting EEO/AA were less likely to view a company’s CSR as instrumental in achieving the firm’s goals or its customers’ goals. EEO supporters reported more positive attitudes toward volunteering and tended to see more constraints to volunteering; however, EEO/AA attitudes mostly were unrelated to community mindedness or volunteering behavior.

Practical implications

Potential applicants perceived EEO and AA statements differently. Rather than perceiving EEO/AA as instrumental in achieving outcomes via CSR, individuals viewed EEO/AA as compliance activities, distinct from CSR. We suggest that companies consider using broader diversity initiatives (e.g. recruitment, promotion and training) as part of CSR, rather than focusing on compliance issues.


Research has not explored the relationship among EEO/AA perceptions and “doing good” as a company (CSR), as well as “doing good” individually (volunteerism). This study provides the basis for additional research to better understand these relationships.



Gillespie Finney, T., Zachary Finney, R. and O. Parry, R. (2014), "EEO/AA and “doing good”: an exploratory study", International Journal of Law and Management, Vol. 56 No. 6, pp. 443-458.



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Copyright © 2014, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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