Pride or Embarrassment? Employees’ Emotions and Corporate Social Responsibility


  • Tiina Onkila

    Corresponding author
    1. School of Business and Economics, University of Jyväskylä, Finland
    • Correspondence to: Tiina Onkila, PhD, Postdoctoral researcher, School of Business and Economics, PO Box 35, 40014 University of Jyväskylä, Finland. E-mail:

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This study explores how the employees of a financial firm use emotional arguments to construct different views of their employer's corporate social responsibility (CSR). It is theoretically based on the recent literature regarding employee perspectives of CSR, and especially on the role of emotions in CSR. Furthermore, the study utilizes rhetorical theory as a framework for data analysis. A qualitative study, based on face-to-face interviews, was conducted among 27 employees in a Finnish financial firm. The study identifies six categories of emotional arguments the employees used to construct views of where their employing organization's CSR is derived from. These categories relate positive emotions to satisfaction with the employing organization's CSR and negative emotions to dissatisfaction. The results show that employees also experience external pressures for CSR, but only implicitly, because they do not wish be embarrassed by their employer. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd and ERP Environment