Corporate social responsibility and meaningful work: Examining the interactions between calling and job design
Prior research in the fields of micro-Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and meaningful work has put forward that CSR serves as an important organizational source of meaningful work. Yet, empirical research aimed at understanding the CSR-meaningful work relationship remains scarce. In response to calls to focus on the interactions between person-related and contextual factors to advance the knowledge about how CSR affects meaningful work, we examine the interactions of CSR, an individual sense of calling, and job design on meaningful work. Conducting two empirical studies – Study 1, which draws on multilevel data, and Study 2, which draws on an experiment – we find that individuals with a sense of calling experience greater meaningful work when they work in organizations that engage in CSR. Moreover, they experience it to the fullest when their job either enables them to have the necessary autonomy to connect to CSR in a way that aligns with their calling or when their job directly embeds CSR in their daily work activities (CSR in work). CSR in work is even found to be more important for experiences of meaningful work of the called individuals than organizational level CSR (CSR at work). Our findings have important implications for micro-CSR and meaningful work research such as highlighting the need to examine CSR not only at the organizational level but also at the job level as well as practical implications for the implementation and embeddedness of CSR in organizations.