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Company support for employee volunteerism: Does size matter?


  • Basil, Debra
  • Runte, Mary
  • Basil, Michael
  • Usher, John


This article examines the relationship between company size and support for employee volunteering. Based on organizational ecology and organizational stages theory, the study hypothesizes that larger versus smaller companies demonstrate greater formalization and codification of their support for employee volunteering. Similarly, larger versus smaller companies use employee volunteering efforts more strategically; this finding is consistent with a need to justify decisions. These outcomes in turn impact the nature of volunteering and the organizations benefiting from such programs. Survey data from a size-stratified sample of 990 randomly selected Canadian businesses indicates that large companies support employee volunteerism in a more formalized and strategic manner than small companies. This behavior includes having formal policies and programs, as well as exercising greater influence over the causes which benefit from employee volunteering. Additionally, large companies are more likely to tie other forms of charitable support to employee volunteering. The article discusses how the more formalized approach of large companies may impact society.

Suggested Citation

  • Basil, Debra & Runte, Mary & Basil, Michael & Usher, John, 2011. "Company support for employee volunteerism: Does size matter?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 61-66, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:64:y:2011:i:1:p:61-66

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Isabelle Maignan & David A Ralston, 2002. "Corporate Social Responsibility in Europe and the U.S.: Insights from Businesses' Self-presentations," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 33(3), pages 497-514, September.
    2. Robert E. Quinn & Kim Cameron, 1983. "Organizational Life Cycles and Shifting Criteria of Effectiveness: Some Preliminary Evidence," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, January.
    3. Ballantine, John W & Cleveland, Frederick W & Koeller, C Timothy, 1993. "Profitability, Uncertainty, and Firm Size," Small Business Economics, Springer, vol. 5(2), pages 87-100, June.
    4. Laroche, Michel & Kim, Chankon & Zhou, Lianxi, 1996. "Brand familiarity and confidence as determinants of purchase intention: An empirical test in a multiple brand context," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 115-120, October.
    5. Glen Dowell & Stuart Hart & Bernard Yeung, 2000. "Do Corporate Global Environmental Standards Create or Destroy Market Value?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(8), pages 1059-1074, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Saxena Siddhartha & Premapuri Priyanka, 2012. "Employee Volunteerism : Organisation Oriented Corporate Social Responsibility," Working papers 2012-1-5, Voice of Research.
    2. Lin-Hi, Nick & Müller, Karsten, 2013. "The CSR bottom line: Preventing corporate social irresponsibility," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1928-1936.
    3. Gordon Liu & Wai-Wai Ko, 2011. "Social Alliance and Employee Voluntary Activities: A Resource-Based Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(2), pages 251-268, December.
    4. Blanca de-Miguel-Molina & Vicente Chirivella-González & Beatriz García-Ortega, 2016. "Corporate philanthropy and community involvement. Analysing companies from France, Germany, the Netherlands and Spain," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 50(6), pages 2741-2766, November.
    5. Carolin Plewa & Jodie Conduit & Pascale Quester & Claire Johnson, 2015. "The Impact of Corporate Volunteering on CSR Image: A Consumer Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 643-659, March.
    6. Groening, Christopher & Kanuri, Vamsi Krishna, 2013. "Investor reaction to positive and negative corporate social events," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1852-1860.
    7. Gatignon-Turnau, Anne-Laure & Mignonac, Karim, 2015. "(Mis)Using employee volunteering for public relations: Implications for corporate volunteers' organizational commitment," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 7-18.
    8. Meike Eilert & Kristen Walker & Jenny Dogan, 2017. "Can Ivory Towers be Green? The Impact of Organization Size on Organizational Social Performance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 537-549, February.
    9. Rodell, Jessica B. & Booth, Jonathan E. & Lynch, John W. & Zipay, Kate P., 2017. "Corporate volunteering climate: mobilizing employee passion for societal causes and inspiring future charitable action," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 69524, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.


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