University of Modena and Reggio Emilia and Bocconi University
INSEAD and Bocconi University
Whereas CSR Scholars generally identify two kinds of motivation for engaging in CSR, namely instrumental and normative motivation, we argue that this framework does not provide a comprehensive picture of reasons leading individual people and companies to engage in CSR and, even more important, does not shed enough light on implications that motivations have both on how CSR is integrated in strategy and business operations as well as on impact of social responsible behaviours on firm performance. Therefore, drawing on Lindenberg (2001) theory on motivation, we contend that activities and behaviours aiming at improving all stakeholders’ wellbeing can be a source of enjoyment, which “can be conceptualized as an emotion tied to improvement of one’s condition” (Lindenberg, 2001: 331). In such a case, motivation for CSR can be defined hedonic, in the sense that what motivates individuals to behave responsibly are the desirable intrinsic characteristics of those behaviours. After a comparison of the four motivations for CSR we have identified, we hypothesize that motivations affect the relationships between CSR and corporate strategy, the way CSR is spread within an organization, and the link between corporate social performance and corporate financial performance. Finally, we discuss the concept of sustainability of motivations.
Keywords: motivation, hedonic, corporate social responsibility, stakeholders.
Drawing on the Lindenberg (2001) theoretical framework on intrinsic motivation, recently used to develop a comprehensive theory of competitive advantage (Gottschalg & Zollo, 2007a) and to highlight the role of firms as devices through which individuals can satisfy fundamental learning and self-enhancement needs (Gottschalg & Zollo, 2007b), we aim at advancing theory on
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