Investing in small businesses to stimulate economic growth across the African continent; allowing employees to take paid time off to volunteer in their communities; providing scholarships to students who are the first in their families to go to college; setting corporate goals to reduce carbon emissions; these are just a few examples of how a number of companies (big and small) in Africa are demonstrating their commitment to corporate social responsibility.

There is also some evidence that CSR is beneficial because – as with customers – CSR improves employees’ perceptions of the company. When a company has CSR initiatives, employees are more proud of and committed to the organization. This is because our personal identities are partly tied up in the companies we work for. If my company is saving the world, I am too, so my association with the company reflects positively on me and makes me feel good about the work I do for the company.

Research conducted in Africa using CCL’s World Leadership Survey also supports this finding: employees’ perceptions of their organizations’ concern for community and environment is linked to their level of organizational commitment. That is, the higher an employee rates their organization’s corporate citizenship, the more committed they are to the organization. Figure 1 shows one sample item from the CSR scale, “my organization behaves as a good corporate citizen” and its relationship to organizational commitment. Organizational commitment has previously been linked to favorable outcomes for companies including increased job satisfaction, reduced intentions to turnover and increased job involvement.

Additional Contributing Author: Simon Rweyongoza

Published: February 2011
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