Open Journal Systems

Yearning the Moon with Sixpence in Hand: Exploring the Relationship between External Corporate Social Responsibility, Employee Commitment, and Design Thinking

Weiwen Cai(University of Stirling)


Prior studies have emphasized the positive relationship between corporate social responsibility (CSR) and employee organizational identification, with the argument that external CSR acts could enhance employee commitment, work engagement, and loyalty via perceived prestige. Despite such emphasis, minimal suggestion has been given in terms of how to design and execute a moderate, structural, and sustainable CSR program to bond with employees on a deeper level of emotional connection. The aim of the present study was to highlight the benefits of adopting the design thinking method for investing and practicing external CSR, so as to realize a positive link between employee commitment, financial performance, and social recognition.


External CSR; Organizational identification; Work engagement; Design thinking; Sustainability

Full Text:



Bolton, B., 2020. Internal vs. External Corporate Social Responsibility at U.S. Banks. International Journal of Financial Studies. 8(4), 65.

Brammer, S., Millington, A., Rayton, B., 2007. The contribution of corporate social responsibility to organizational commitment. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. 18(10), 1701-

Brown, T., 2008. Design thinking. Harvard business review. 86(6), 84.

Cankurtaran, P., Beverland, M., 2020. Using design thinking to respond to crises: B2B lessons from the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic. Industrial Marketing Management. 88, 255-260.

Conklin, A., 2020. Airlines offer free flights to coronavirus-fighting health care workers. Fox Business. Available at: (Accessed 11 December 2021).

Curtis, A., Whitehead, J., 1997. W. Somerset Maugham: the critical heritage. London; New York: Routledge. pp.10.

Deng, X., Long, X., Schuler, D., et al., 2019. External corporate social responsibility and labor productivity: A S‐curve relationship and the moderating role of internal CSR and government subsidy. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. 27(1), 393-408.

El Akremi, A., Gond, J., Swaen, V., et al., 2015. How Do Employees Perceive Corporate Responsibility? Development and Validation of a Multidimensional Corporate Stakeholder Responsibility Scale. Journal of Management. 44(2), 619-657.

Farooq, O., Merunka, D., Valette-Florence, P., 2013. Employees’ Response to Corporate Social Responsibility: An Application of a Non Linear Mixture REBUS Approach. Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics. pp.257-268.

Farooq, O., Rupp, D., Farooq, M., 2017. The Multiple Pathways through which Internal and External Corporate Social Responsibility Influence Organizational Identification and Multifoci Outcomes: The

Moderating Role of Cultural and Social Orientations. Academy of Management Journal. 60(3), 954-985.

Hirschman, A.O., 1970. Exit, voice, and loyalty; responses to decline in firms, organizations, and States. Cambridge, Mass, Harvard University Press.

Hur, W., Moon, T., Choi, W., 2019. When are internal and external corporate social responsibility initiatives amplified? Employee engagement in corporate social responsibility initiatives on prosocial and proactive behaviors. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. 26(4), 849-858.

Hur, W., Moon, T., Ko, S., 2016. How Employees’ Perceptions of CSR Increase Employee Creativity: Mediating Mechanisms of Compassion at Work and Intrinsic Motivation. Journal of Business Ethics. 153(3), 629-644.

IDEO, 2021. IDEO Design Thinking. Available at: (Accessed 9 December 2021).

LVMH, 2021. 2020 Social and Environmental Responsibility Report - LVMH. Paris, pp.4. Available at: (Accessed 11 December 2021).

Margolis, J., Walsh, J., 2003. Misery Loves Companies: Rethinking Social Initiatives by Business. Administrative Science Quarterly. 48(2), 268-305.

Onkila, T., 2013. Pride or Embarrassment? Employees’ Emotions and Corporate Social Responsibility. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management. 22(4), 222-236.

Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F., Rynes, S., 2003. Corporate Social and Financial Performance: A Meta-Analysis. Organization Studies. 24(3), 403-441.

Osborne, C., 2013. One Laptop per Child: Disappointing results? ZDNet. Available at: 10 December 2021).

Robertson, A., 2018. OLPC’s $100 laptop was going to change the world — then it all went wrong. The Verge. Available at: (Accessed 10 December 2021).

Simon, H., 1979. The sciences of the artificial. Cambridge (Mass.): the MIT press.

Turker, D., 2008. How Corporate Social Responsibility Influences Organizational Commitment. Journal of Business Ethics. 89(2), 189-204.

UN Environment, 2019. Chinese initiative Ant Forest wins UN Champions of the Earth award. Available at: initiative-ant-forest-wins-un-champions-earth-award. (Accessed 10 December 2021)., n.d. Alipay Ant Forest: Using Digital Technologies to Scale up Climate Action. Available at:

(Accessed 10 December 2021).

Watters, A., 2012. The Failure of One Laptop Per Child. Hack Education. Available at: (Accessed 10 December 2021).

Werther, W., Chandler, D., 2010. Strategic corporate social responsibility: Stakeholders in a global environment. Los Angeles: Sage Publications.

Williams, K., O’Reilly, C., 1998. Demography and diversity in organizations: A review of 40 years of research. 20, 77-140.

Willness, C.R., Jones, D.A., Strah, N., et al., 2020. Corporate social responsibility at the individual level of analysis: research findings that inform responsible management in the wild. Research Handbook of Responsible Management. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Zulfiqar, S., Sadaf, R., Popp, J., et al., 2019. An Examination of Corporate Social Responsibility and Employee Behavior: The Case of Pakistan. Sustainability. 11(13), 3515.



  • There are currently no refbacks.
Copyright © 2023 wen wei cai Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
  • :+65-62233778 QQ:2249355960