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The role of trust in corporate social responsibility and worker relationships

Pedro Gaudencio (Management for Sustainability Research Center, Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal)
Arnaldo Coelho (Faculdade de Economia, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal)
Neuza Ribeiro (Management for Sustainability Research Center, School of Technology and Management, Polytechnic Institute of Leiria, Leiria, Portugal)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 8 May 2017




The purpose of this paper is to show how organizational corporate social responsibility (CSR) can influence workers’ attitudes and behaviors, especially in terms of affective commitment (AC), job satisfaction (JS), and turnover intention (TI). A second aim is to explore the social exchange process that may underlie this relationship, by examining the mediating role of organizational trust (OT).


The authors employ structural equation modeling based on survey data obtained from 315 Portuguese individuals.


The findings show that perceptions of CSR predict workers’ attitudes and behaviors directly through the mediating role of OT. They suggest that managers should implement CSR practices because these can contribute toward fostering OT, improving workers’ AC and JS, and reducing TI.


This study enriches the existing knowledge about social exchange relationships in organizational contexts, and responds to the need to understand underlying mechanisms linking CSR with workers’ organizational outcomes, by analyzing CSR practices in a holistic stakeholder perspective.



Gaudencio, P., Coelho, A. and Ribeiro, N. (2017), "The role of trust in corporate social responsibility and worker relationships", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 36 No. 4, pp. 478-492.



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Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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