This article investigates the relationship between perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee cynicism and the role of trust. Through organizational trust, Carroll’s four distinct CSR dimensions (economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary) are indirectly linked to employee cynicism. This article assists business leaders in comprehending employees’ counterproductive responses to an organization, the significance of CSR for internal stakeholders, and the need to engage in trust recovery.
- The public has a desire for businesses to endow funds or other assets for the betterment of society, but a business is not judged as unethical if it does not act accordingly.
- Perceived CSR on organizational trust shows that CSR has a clear corporate-level benefit.
- Organizational trust plays a fully-fledged mediating role between perceptions of CSR (in all four dimensions) and cynical behavior at work.
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), or a company’s commitment to enhancing the well-being of society through non-profit business practices and resource contributions, communicates positive values and may positively influence employees’ perceptions of company leaders (Laghouag et al., 2021). This concept is structured around the question posed by Bowen (1953): “To what extent do the long-term interests of business and society converge?” (p. 5), to which he responds that businesspeople are expected to advance their companies in accordance with societal norms and conventions. In recent years, CSR has received increasing attention in academic literature. Carroll’s (1979) definition of CSR is one of the most inclusive and widely accepted of the past several decades. By incorporating economic responsibility as one level of CSR, Carroll’s model of CSP reconciles the debate between some economists’ narrow view of social involvement (e.g., Friedman, 1970) and the proponents of corporate social responsibility.