n SA Journal of Industrial Psychology - The experiences of employees participating in organisational corporate social responsibility initiatives - original research

Volume 44 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0258-5200
  • E-ISSN: 2071-0763



Orientation: This article is about the experiences of employees who actively participate in organisational corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. 

Research purpose: The general aim of this study was to explore the experiences of employees who participate in CSR initiatives within an organisation where a well-developed framework exists. 

Motivation for the study: Whilst an emergent number of studies have considered the various dimensions of CSR initiatives, the focus appears to be on stakeholders such as the recipients of CSR, organisations, consumers and shareholders but not the perspective of the employees who actively participate in CSR initiatives. 

Research design, approach and method: A qualitative research approach was employed with the intent of exploring the experiences of employees participating in organisational CSR initiatives. Data were collected and analysed from a purposive sample of 12 employees, by means of interactive qualitative analysis. 

Main findings: The study revealed that the primary driver that motivates employees to participate in CSR is love. Love sparks a sense of compassion. Compassion, coupled with an enabling environment, stimulates generosity. By being generous, a feeling of hope and inspiration is induced in both the givers and receivers of generosity. A secondary outcome of generosity and hope and inspiration is bringing about change to others, and whilst going through this journey and making a difference in the lives of others, participants experience a progressive change within themselves. This change evokes a feeling of fulfilment, and ultimately a feeling of complete joy. 

Contributions or value-add: This research complements existing CSR literature by focussing and reporting on the experiences of the employee as an important stakeholder.

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