Title: How, why, and to what end? Corporate volunteering as corporate social performance

Authors: Christian Lorenz, Gian-Claudio Gentile, Theo Wehner

Addresses: Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, Kreuzplatz 5, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland. ' Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, Kreuzplatz 5, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland. ' Center for Organizational and Occupational Sciences, Kreuzplatz 5, CH-8032 Zurich, Switzerland

Abstract: This paper systematically explores the current corporate volunteering (CV) practice in Switzerland and offers a work-psychological evaluation scenario to assess employees| CV experiences. A nationwide sample of organisations delivered data on the extent and causes of Swiss CV activities via an online survey (Study 1). In a mini-longitudinal comparison group design Study 2 proposes an approach to evaluate CV programs based on a work-psychological framework. The results show: CV is not uncommon in Switzerland, but its practice is implicit and tacit in nature. Larger companies tend to exploit CV strategically to a greater degree. CV is motivated mainly by philanthropic attitudes. A comprehensive evaluation of CV must take into account specific work-psychological antecedents, processes and outcomes. Clear-cut corporate objectives are likely to be achieved only by precisely tailored rather than non-specific CV measures. The common demand to engage in CV is premature. However, CV may be a promising way of promoting an extended concept of organisational citizenship behaviour.

Keywords: corporate social performance; Switzerland; motives; modes of conduct; evaluation; personnel development; corporate citizenship; work psychology; human resource development; HRD; psychological evaluation; employee experiences; mini-longitudinal comparisons; comparison groups; philanthropic attitudes; philanthropy; strategic considerations; antecedents; processes; outcomes; corporate objectives; tailored measures; non-specific measures; organisational behaviour; business environment; corporate volunteering; volunteers; conceptual embedment; empirical research; future perspectives.

DOI: 10.1504/IJBE.2011.040174

International Journal of Business Environment, 2011 Vol.4 No.2, pp.183 - 205

Available online: 19 May 2011 *

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