Work in Progress

“One size does not fit all- an investigation of the effectiveness of inclusive and skills-based employee volunteering programs”

Most large companies have implemented corporate volunteering programs, offering their employees the possibility to volunteer for social causes during their regular work-hours. Extant research has revealed that employee volunteering has beneficial effects not only for the employee volunteer herself, but that it also boosts employee’s motivation and work engagement and thus benefits the employing company. Although the corporate volunteering programs that can be observed in practice take various different forms, including “inclusive” and “skills-based” volunteering programs (specific work-related skills are needed for the volunteering task in the latter form), and although there are good reasons to expect that one type of program does not fit all employees or contexts, no previous studies have attempted to empirically investigate this issue. We intend to answer the question whether varying forms of employee volunteering programs lead to different benefits for the employee volunteers themselves as well as for the employing company.

“Is Sharing up for Sale? A Field-Experimental Study on the Erosion of Social Norms of Sharing through Market-Pricing Business Models of the Sharing Economy”

The so-called “sharing economy”, meaning peer-to-peer based sharing of resources, is growing at an ever increasing pace. Interestingly, the business models within the sharing economy are everything but homogeneous, covering exchange mechanisms that range from classical market exchanges involving negotiated prices to exchanges that do not rely on monetary payments. Past research has neglected the question whether different exchange mechanisms in the sharing economy may lead to varying outcomes. Based on social exchange and relational models theory, we propose that the success of market-pricing business models in the sharing economy in terms of motivating users to participate depends on whether the exchange relationship is perceived as a social or economic exchange. Further, we propose that market exchanges in the sharing economy may cause a crowding-out of prosocial behaviors of sharing. We test our hypothesized framework in two experimental studies (N1=440; N2=60). Results of these studies support the developed theorizing and have important implications for the design of sharing economy business models as well as their potential societal consequences. “Not Guilty? The Many Faces of Corporate Social Irresponsibility and the Role of Consumers’ Perceived Culpability as a Determinant of Boycotting”

“Partners in Crime? The Impact of Consumers’ Culpability for and Consumer Benefits from Corporate Social Irresponsibility on their Boycott Attitude”

Corporate social irresponsibility (CSI) covers a diversity of wrongdoings from tax evasion to bad working conditions in supply chains. A typical consumer reaction to CSI is to boycott. Recently, claims have grown louder that not only companies but also consumers are to be blamed for CSI because their consumption demands provide the grounds for some of these events to occur. To date, no research has investigated how perceptions of consumer culpability affect consumers’ boycott attitude. This study provides insights by using consumers’ (N= 5,662) unaided recall of CSI incidents and thereby adds a consumer culpability path to the corporate culpability path to boycott. The study categorizes over 500 unique CSI incidents of 460 companies, providing a stakeholder-based typology of CSI cases. The authors further investigate how attribution processes  affect consumers’ boycott attitudes via consumer versus corporate culpability and reveal how CSI types that entail potential benefits for consumers (e.g., cheap prices stemming from bad working conditions) impact the consumer culpability path to boycott.

“Listen to the Voice of the Customer - First Steps towards Stakeholder Democracy”

Recently, calls have grown louder for more stakeholder democracy and empowerment, especially in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Despite the relevance of the subject, the impact of customer involvement in CSR on their company-related attitudes and behaviors still represents a major research void. The paper at hand develops a conceptual framework of consumer involvement in CSR based on theories of stakeholder democracy and organizational boundaries as well as drawing from qualitative focus group interviews. The framework is tested in a large scale, two time point field-experimental study (N=3,397). More specifically, consumer reactions to three different degrees of customer involvement (i.e., information, feedback, involvement based on Morsing and Schultz 2006) are tested in two different CSR domains (i.e., business process versus philanthropic CSR). Results indicate that customer involvement in CSR has a beneficial effect in terms of strengthening customers’ identification with the company and loyalty in domains that directly affect external stakeholders of the company (i.e., philanthropic CSR). However, this effect is negative for CSR domains that mainly concern company-internal stakeholders (i.e., business process CSR).