Critical Essay: The reconciliation of fraternal twins: Integrating the psychological and sociological approaches to ‘micro’ corporate social responsibility

J.-P. Gond, C. Moser

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Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-40
Number of pages36
JournalHuman Relations
Volume74
Issue number1
Early online date21 Oct 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • CSR
  • micro-CSR
  • microfoundations
  • organizational behavior
  • organizational theory
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • individuals

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