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The impact of corporate social responsibility on intrinsic and extrinsic employee motivation : A mixed-method study of Sodexo

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a subject that has gained more attention over the last two decades, and it is seen today as an integral part of the core strategy of many companies. The subject often involves a balancing act between many stakeholder interests, where employees often are mentioned as a main stakeholder group. The primary purpose of this degree project is to get a deeper understanding of managers’ perceptions of CSR’s impact on intrinsic and extrinsic employee motivation. Furthermore, this study fills the purpose of investigating perceptions about the effect of different CSR activities on intrinsic and extrinsic motivation. The study was conducted with the Swedish branch of Sodexo. Sodexo is globally considered a world leader in the service industry with over 419 000 employees in 80 countries, known for their well-developed and effective CSRwork. Current literature regarding CSR on the micro level (individual level and employee level) is still in an early stage which helped us to recognize a research gap. Similar studies to ours have not been concerned with getting a deeper understanding of the manager’s perceptions of CSR’s impact on employee motivation. This study was conducted using a mixed-method, which means that it consists of a qualitative part and a quantitative part where we discover how CSR activities towards employees, suppliers, the community, shareholders and customers affects employees’ extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. In the qualitative study, we conducted eight semi-structured interviews with managers from different departments and different hierarchical levels of Sodexo. These interviews helped us to gain a better understanding of how managers perceive the impact of CSR on employee motivation, and how they value the effect of different CSR activities on employee motivation. We used a thematic network analysis in order to interpret the results, which generated five themes: communication, strategic planning, diversity, working environment, and stakeholders. Our results demonstrated that managers perceived CSR activities towards the employees, the local community, and customers as intrinsic motivators. Also, Sodexo’s managers considered CSR activities towards employees and the local community as extrinsic motivators. However, interviewees disregarded CSR activities towards shareholders as a motivator towards the employees. Lastly, we received mixed-results regarding their perceptions of how CSR activities towards suppliers affected their employees’ motivation. For the quantitative part of our study, we surveyed employees at Sodexo in order to understand what motivates them. We used a multiple regression analysis which showed that CSR activities towards employees, shareholders, and customers positively impacts the intrinsic motivation of employees. Also, we discovered that CSR activities towards employees positively impacts the extrinsic motivation amongst employees. We argue that our findings indicate that CSR is a useful tool for increasing employee motivation, and thereby can lead to long-term competitive advantage. When comparing the results of our quantitative and qualitative studies through triangulation, one can see that there is perceptional differences and similarities between managers and employees. Our findings suggest that managers have the same perceptions as their employees regarding the effect of CSR activities conducted towards customers and employees on employee motivation. Also, our findings reveal a perceptual mismatch between managers and employees regarding the effects of employee motivation in regards to CSR activities conducted towards the community and shareholders
Date January 2015
CreatorsForsgren, Alexander, Haskell, Lucas
PublisherUmeå universitet, Företagsekonomi, Umeå universitet, Företagsekonomi
Source SetsDiVA Archive at Upsalla University
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeStudent thesis, info:eu-repo/semantics/bachelorThesis, text

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