To commit or not commit
Abstract: Title: To commit or not commit: An examination of employee commitment towards organizational CSR initiatives Course: BUSN39 Business Administration: Global Marketing Authors: Luis Ibbeken & Oliver Åkerman Key Words: Employee´s CSR commitment; employee´s CSR communication; organizational culture; internal CSR; internal communication; training & education; leadership; IKEA; home furnishing retailer. Purpose: The purpose of this study is to examine how sales employees who are working in an organization that defines CSR as part of their corporate strategy commit towards CSR and how they communicate CSR messages in the customer interaction on the sales floor. Furthermore, this study intends to explore which particular drivers and barriers affect employee´s CSR commitment and their communication with the customers. Methodology: This study incorporated a social constructionist epistemology and a relativist ontology that allowed a more subjective and interpretative approach, which was needed to gain deeper understanding how and why employees are committed towards CSR and how they communicate CSR on the sales floor. Moreover, this study followed an iterative research approach and a qualitative research strategy as this study is based upon words and understanding rather than numbers and measurements. Finally, the study used a single case study design to answer the research questions. Theoretical perspective: In order to answer the purpose and research question this study takes into consideration essential theoretical concepts dealing with employee commitment and CSR. More precisely, this study focuses on reviewing literature dealing with internal marketing and particular drivers of employee CSR commitment. Empirical Data: As this study is based upon a single case study design and follows a subjectivist ontology and interpretative epistemology, semi structured qualitative interviews with 19 sales employees and two managers were used to explore employee´s CSR commitment among sales employees and how they communicate CSR in the customer interaction on the sales floor. Conclusion: The analysis of the empirical data has shown that the chosen drivers have different impact on employee´s CSR commitment and how employees incorporate CSR actively in their daily work. Furthermore, this study highlights the importance to separate employee´s CSR commitment from employees CSR communication on the sales floor. More precisely, this means that a great level of CSR identification and internalization, which indicates a great level of CSR commitment, not automatically implicates that employees communicate CSR to the customer on the sales floor. The research also identified the recruitment process as a potential additional driver of employee´s CSR commitment.
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