Corporate Social Responsibility and Individual Outcomes: The Mediating Role of Gratitude and Compassion at Work

Renata F. Guzzo, Xingyu Wang, JéAnna Abbott

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and activities are aimed at, executed for, and witnessed by individuals, yet CSR literature has long overlooked assessing CSR outcomes at the individual level. Previous CSR research has focused primarily on macro- and institutional-level outcomes. The current paper addresses this issue by analyzing the influence of CSR on a crucial stakeholder for hospitality organizations: their employees. Specifically, gratitude and compassion at work were tested as parallel mediators between employees’ perceptions of CSR and their well-being and organizational citizenship behavior directed toward the organization (OCBO). Drawing from the affect theory of social exchange and moral emotions, this article aims to understand how CSR leads to improving employees’ well-being and OCBO through the underlying emotional mechanisms of gratitude and compassion. Survey data from two independent samples were gathered to test the hypotheses. The findings revealed that employees’ perceptions of CSR activities had a significant positive direct effect on eudaimonic well-being but not on hedonic well-being. Gratitude mediated the relationship between perceived CSR and OCBO as well as hedonic well-being. Compassion mediated the relationship between perceived CSR and hedonic well-being as well as OCBO. Besides theoretical contributions of testing these mechanisms together in a hospitality context and evaluating the influence of CSR efforts on certain dimensions of well-being, this research will be particularly relevant to hospitality managers when formulating CSR strategies and promoting a CSR culture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)350-368
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2022


  • compassion
  • corporate social responsibility
  • gratitude
  • well-being

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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