Yours ethically: The role of corporate social responsibility and employee engagement in shoplifting prevention

Balkrushna Potdar (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
John Guthrie (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Juergen Gnoth (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)
Tony Garry (Department of Marketing, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand)

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management

ISSN: 0959-0552

Publication date: 10 September 2018

Abstract

Purpose

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly considered a central tenant of marketing strategy and a source of competitive advantage within the retail sector. As such, it may affect a supermarket’s customer, employee, and other stakeholder attitudes and behaviours. This research explores how a supermarket’s involvement in CSR activities may influence employee engagement and how this may manifest itself in positive employee behaviours. Specifically, the purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the role of CSR and its impact on employee engagement and consequently, employee propensity to exhibit intervention behaviours to prevent in-store retail crime.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a phenomenological approach through semi-structured in-depth interviews with shop-floor employees of a national supermarket chain.

Findings

Findings suggest that external and internal CSR practices of supermarkets are important in shaping organisational engagement behaviours among employees. Additionally, heightened employee engagement may have a significant impact on employee propensity to engage in shoplifting prevention behaviours. A conceptual model is developed based on these findings.

Practical implications

Retail managers should fully communicate CSR practices to employees to increase employee engagement and consequential shoplifting intervention prevention behaviours.

Originality/value

The contribution of this paper is twofold. First and from a theoretical perspective, it offers both a conceptual foundation and empirical-based evaluation of CSR and its impact on employee engagement and specifically, shoplifting prevention behaviours. Second and from a pragmatic perspective, the conceptual model derived from this research may aid retailers in developing and communicating CSR strategies that engage employees and consequently lead to shoplifting prevention behaviours.

Keywords

Citation

Potdar, B., Guthrie, J., Gnoth, J. and Garry, T. (2018), "Yours ethically: The role of corporate social responsibility and employee engagement in shoplifting prevention", International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, Vol. 46 No. 9, pp. 835-849. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJRDM-02-2018-0029

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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