What about personal social responsibility? See this week’s research tidbits to find out how it impacts on corporate social responsibility.

Employees’ reactions to CSR 
Research on employees’ responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) has recently accelerated and begun appearing in top-tier academic journals. However, existing findings are still largely fragmented, and this stream of research lacks theoretical consolidation. This article integrates the diffuse and multi-disciplinary literature on CSR micro-level influences in a theoretically driven conceptual framework that contributes to explain and predict when, why, and how employees might react to CSR activity in a way that influences organisations’ economic and social performance.

Drawing on social identity theory and social exchange theory, the authors delineate the different but interdependent psychological mechanisms that explain how CSR can strengthen the employee–organisation relationship and subsequently foster employee-related, micro-level outcomes. Contributions of this framework to extant literature and potential extensions for future research are then discussed.

Kenneth De Roeck and François Maon. 2018. Building the Theoretical Puzzle of Employees’ Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility: An Integrative Conceptual Framework and Research Agenda.
Journal of Business Ethics, 149(3), 609–625.


Group effects on individual attitudes toward social responsibility 
This study uses a quasi-experimental design to investigate what happens to individual socially responsible attitudes when they are exposed to group dynamics. Findings show that group engagement increases individual attitudes toward social responsibility.

The authors also found that individuals with low attitudes toward social responsibility are more likely to change their opinions when group members show more positive attitudes toward social responsibility.
Conversely, individuals with high attitudes do not change much, independent of group characteristics. To better analyse the effect of group dynamics, the study proposes to split social responsibility into relative and absolute components.

Findings show that relative social responsibility is correlated with but different from absolute social responsibility although the latter is more susceptible than the former to group dynamics.

Read this Open Access paper online for free.

Davide Secchi and Hong T. M. Bui. 2018. Group Effects on Individual Attitudes Toward Social Responsibility.
Journal of Business Ethics, 149(3), 725–746.


Introducing Personal Social Responsibility to CSR  
Corporate Social Responsibility has emerged as a response to the increasing demand of societies to have more responsible, ethical, transparent and respectable public and private organisations. However, these corporate strategies cannot be a reality without a parallel evolution on individual responsible behaviours, aligned with the claimed premises and values that are gaining space in the social and economic fields.

Although literature on consumer behaviour has correctly addressed new tendencies of ethical consumption during the last decades, citizens should be responsible not only of their purchasing choices, but also of the influence that their daily acts and decisions will have on the economic, social and environmental spheres of life.

This article introduces Personal Social Responsibility as a new concept, based on the concepts of Corporate and Consumer Social Responsibility, providing a theoretical framework as a starting point for future empirical research.

Read this Open Access paper online for free.

S. López Davis, L. Marín Rives and S. Ruiz de Maya. 2018. Introducing Personal Social Responsibility as a key element to upgrade CSR. Introducción de la responsabilidad social personal como elemento clave de mejora de la RSC.
Spanish Journal of Marketing – ESIC, 21(2), 146-163.


Prosocial citizens without a moral compass?
Research in the organisational sciences has tended to portray prosocial behaviour as an unqualified positive outcome that should be encouraged in organisations. However, only recently, have researchers begun to acknowledge prosocial behaviours that help maintain an organisation’s positive image in ways that violate ethical norms (e.g., misrepresenting or exaggerating the truth, concealing damaging information about the firm).

Recent scandals, including Volkswagen’s emissions scandal and Penn State’s child sex abuse scandal, point to the need for research on the individual factors and situational conditions that shape the emergence of these unethical pro-organisational behaviours (UPB). Drawing on trait activation theory, the authors argue that the “dark” trait of Machiavellianism should make individuals more willing to engage in UPB.

Further, the authors argue that this willingness will be augmented when Machiavellians hold bottom-line-mentality climate perceptions (BLMCPs), or the perception that ethical standards matter less than organisational performance. Using data from 170 U.S. employees, results suggested that Machiavellians are more willing to engage in UPB, but that BLMCPs may not affect their motivation to engage in UPB.
The authors discuss the study’s theoretical and practical implications, as well as avenues for research.

Christopher M. Castille, John E. Buckner V and Christian N. Thoroughgood. 2018. Prosocial Citizens Without a Moral Compass? Examining the Relationship Between Machiavellianism and Unethical Pro-Organizational Behavior.
Journal of Business Ethics, 149(4), 919–930.


What does online talk among taxpayers tell us?
These authors present an analysis of over 400 comments about complying with tax obligations extracted from online discussion forums for freelancers. While the topics investigated by much of the literature on taxpayer behaviour are theory driven, the authors aimed to explore the universe of online discussions about tax in order to extract those topics that are most relevant to taxpayers.

The forum discussions were subjected to a qualitative thematic analysis, and the authors present a model of the ‘universe’ of tax as reflected in taxpayer discussions. The model comprises several main actors (tax laws, tax authority, tax practitioners, and the taxpayer’s social network) and describes the multiple ways in which they relate to taxpayers’ behaviour.

The authors also conduct a more focused analysis to show that the majority of taxpayers seem unconcerned with many of the variables that have been the focus of tax behaviour research (e.g. audits, penalties, etc.), and that most people are motivated to be compliant and are more concerned with how to comply than whether to comply. Moreover, the authors discuss how these ‘real-world’ tax discussions question common assumptions in the study of tax behaviour and how they inform our understanding of business ethics more generally.

Read this Open Access paper online for free.

Diana Onu and Lynne Oats. 2018. Tax Talk: An Exploration of Online Discussions Among Taxpayers.
Journal of Business Ethics, 149(4), 931–944. 


Crossover of work–life balance perceptions 
This research contributes to an improved understanding of authentic leadership at the work–life interface. The authors build on conservation of resources theory to develop a leader–follower crossover model of the impact of authentic leadership on followers’ job satisfaction through leaders’ and followers’ work–life balance.

The model integrates authentic leadership and crossover literatures to suggest that followers perceive authentic leaders to better balance their professional and private lives, which in turn enables followers to achieve a positive work–life balance, and ultimately makes them more satisfied in their jobs.

Data from working adults collected in a correlational field study (N = 121) and an experimental study (N = 154) generally supported indirect effects linking authentic leadership to job satisfaction through work–life balance perceptions. However, both studies highlighted the relevance of followers’ own work–life balance as a mediator more so than the sequence of leaders’ and followers’ work–life balance.

The authors discuss theoretical implications of these findings from a conservation of resources perspective, and emphasise how authentic leadership represents an organisational resource at the work–life interface. The authors also suggest practical implications of developing authentic leadership in organisations to promote employees’ well-being as well as avenues for future research.

Susanne Braun and Claudia Peus. 2018. Crossover of Work–Life Balance Perceptions: Does Authentic Leadership Matter?
Journal of Business Ethics, 149(4), 875–893.