The Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility on Incumbent Employees: A Meta-Analytic Investigation of the Mediating and Moderating Mechanisms

Xiaoping Zhao, Chuang Wu, Chao C. Chen, Zucheng Zhou

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This article reviews 86 studies and uses meta-analytical methods to investigate how perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) impacts employee attitudes and behaviors and to identify the mediating mechanisms and boundary conditions. An initial review of this body of research finds a multitude of mediators but a limited focus on CSR typology as a potential moderator. Drawing upon social exchange theory, we develop and test two multivariate mediation models to integrate and synthesize three most-studied mediating mechanisms: organizational justice, organizational trust, and organizational identification. Meta-analyses find that while all three mechanisms within the parallel mediation model are equally significant in mediating the effect of perceived CSR on organizational commitment and job satisfaction, organizational identification is superior to organizational justice and organizational trust in mediating the effect of CSR perceptions on organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) and turnover intention. It is also found that although both mediation models adequately represent the accumulated empirical data, the sequential model is statistically superior to the parallel model. Although meta–structural equation modeling analyses reveal minimal differences between the broadly defined internal and external CSR perceptions, significant heterogeneity exists between perceived CSR and the outcome variables. The additional analyses suggest that significant differences exist between more specific stakeholder CSR types. In summary, this article extends our understanding of how employees perceive and respond to CSR through multiple sociopsychological mechanisms in additive and sequential fashions and how such responses could differ depending on the specific stakeholder subgroups targeted by CSR. Theoretical contributions and future research directions are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Management
StateAccepted/In press - 2020
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management


  • meta-analysis
  • micro-CSR
  • parallel mediation
  • psychological foundations of CSR
  • sequential mediation


Dive into the research topics of 'The Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility on Incumbent Employees: A Meta-Analytic Investigation of the Mediating and Moderating Mechanisms'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this