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The influence of corporate social responsibility on employee satisfaction

Simone R. Barakat (School of Economics, Management and Accounting, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
Giuliana Isabella (Insper – Institute of Education and Research, São Paulo, Brazil)
João Maurício Gama Boaventura (School of Economics, Management and Accounting, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)
José Afonso Mazzon (School of Economics, Management and Accounting, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 17 October 2016




The purpose of this paper is to examine the association between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee satisfaction. The study proposes and empirically tests two hypotheses: that CSR is positively associated with employee satisfaction, and that organizational image mediates the relationship between CSR and employee satisfaction.


The hypotheses were tested through regression analyses, using data from 85,167 questionnaires completed by employees at 381 Brazilian companies, as well as data pertaining to the “breadth” of CSR engagement of those same companies.


The results of this study provide evidence that CSR-oriented actions undertaken by companies will lead to a better organizational image, and this, in turn, will lead to greater employee satisfaction.

Practical implications

Because employee behaviour influences organizational outcomes and higher job satisfaction may lead to greater employee commitment to organizational goals and values, understanding the impact of CSR on employee satisfaction is relevant to corporate performance.


The study contributes to the body of empirical research on CSR by investigating the underlying mechanisms linking CSR with employee behaviour. Scholars in the area of CSR regularly explore the outcomes and impacts of CSR actions on internal and external stakeholders. However, the impacts of CSR for a critical group of stakeholders – namely, employees – and its underlying mechanisms are understudied in the CSR literature.



This study was made possible with the support of Studies in Human Resource Management Program (Programa de Estudos em Gestão de Pessoas (PROGEP)) of the Institute of Administration Foundation (Fundação Instituto de Administração (FIA)). Special thanks are given to all the collaborators and organizers of the survey for their kind support and consideration in this study. The authors also thank CNPq and CAPES for the financial support.


Barakat, S.R., Isabella, G., Boaventura, J.M.G. and Mazzon, J.A. (2016), "The influence of corporate social responsibility on employee satisfaction", Management Decision, Vol. 54 No. 9, pp. 2325-2339.



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Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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