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Organizational culture and CSR: an exploratory study of Estonian service organizations

  • Krista Jaakson
  • Maaja Vadi
  • Katrin Tamm

Purpose – This paper sets out to investigate the effect of organizational culture on corporate social responsibility (CSR) in service companies in Estonia. CSR is defined here as a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis. Design/methodology/approach – In order to develop hypotheses, studies that relate culture at the organizational and societal level and social responsibility were analyzed, leading the authors to the hypotheses that the more extensively an organization engaged in CSR activities, the less likely would task-orientation exceed relationship-orientation in this organization, and second, organizational culture in general would be stronger. An empirical study was conducted in 17 service organizations operating in Estonia. It used task- and relationship-orientation as characteristics of organizational culture. These data were obtained from an Organizational Culture Questionnaire completed by the randomly selected employees of respective organizations. Organizational culture data were supplemented by data on CSR, provided by top managers or appropriate persons in all organizations as a response to a questionnaire. Findings – Results could not statistically confirm the hypothesis that strong organizational culture characterizes higher CSR performers, but results are inconclusive in this respect. On the other hand, there was no evidence that organizations with higher CSR are more relationship- than task-oriented; however, relationship orientation was more strongly correlated with most CSR elements. The specific nature of services in the light of this result is discussed. Originality/value – The current paper is the first attempt to systematically relate organizational culture with its CSR behavior. Based on literature review, the main contribution to the existing literature is the outlining of possible relationships between the two phenomena.

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Article provided by Emerald Group Publishing in its journal Social Responsibility Journal.

Volume (Year): 5 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 6-18

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Handle: RePEc:eme:srjpps:v:5:y:2009:i:1:p:6-18
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