Does CSR lead to employee work addiction?
Recent research highlights the positive effects of organisational CSR engagement on employee outcomes, such as job and life satisfaction, performance, and trust. The authors argue that the current debate fails to recognise the potential risks associated with CSR.
In this study, the authors focus on the risk of work addiction. The authors hypothesise that CSR has per se a positive effect on employees and can be classified as a resource. However, the authors also suggest the existence of an array of unintended negative effects of CSR. Since CSR positively influences an employee’s organisational identification, as well as his or her perception of engaging in meaningful work, which in turn motivates them to work harder while neglecting other spheres of their lives such as private relationships or health, CSR indirectly increases work addiction.
Accordingly, organisational identification and work meaningfulness both act as buffering variables in the relationship, thus suppressing the negative effect of CSR on work addiction, which weakens the positive role of CSR in the workplace. Drawing on a sample of 565 Swiss employees taken from the 2017 Swiss Public Value Atlas dataset, the results provide support for the rationale.
The results also provide evidence that the positive indirect effects of organisational CSR engagement on work addiction, via organisational identification and work meaningfulness, become even stronger when employees care for the welfare of the wider public (i.e., the community, nation, or world). Implications for research and practice are discussed.
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Steven A. Brieger, Stefan Anderer, Andreas Fröhlich, Anne Bäro & Timo Meynhardt. 2020. Too Much of a Good Thing? On the Relationship Between CSR and Employee Work Addiction.