Aguinis and Glavas’ call for a deeper understanding of the microfoundations of corporate social responsibility has spurred a growing number of empirical micro-CSR (corporate social responsibility) studies. Micro-CSR scholars share the common goal of developing a clear picture of the microfoundations of CSR—a holistic theoretical and empirical understanding of how individual actions and interactions drive CSR-related activity—but pursue this objective from a variety of angles. Our research suggests that although many scholars work under the same ‘micro-CSR’ banner, they approach their goal from a wide range of disciplines, use different methodologies, and study different phenomena. In this critical essay, we show that most micro-CSR research can be classified in one of two distinct sub-fields: ‘psychological micro-CSR’ and ‘sociological micro-CSR.’ We compare the differences between these orientations (including their distinct empirical approaches, and contributions of both fields of micro-CSR) and explore possible opportunities for cross-fertilization between the psychological and sociological approaches. Finally, we suggest ways in which micro-CSR scholars could exploit the complementarities and eliminate the blind spots common to the two dominant micro-CSR approaches.
- Corporate Social Responsibility
- organizational behavior
- organizational theory
- Corporate social responsibility