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Drawing on stakeholder theory and the evolutionary approach to institutions, this paper investigates the channels through which corporate social responsibility (CSR) is developed in post-communist economies by focusing on the employee background factors that shape the employees' expectations with regard to corporate socially responsible behaviour. We identify three channels through which exogenous and endogenous CSR are developed: employees with work experience in multinational enterprises (MNEs) (leading to exogenous CSR), employees with CSR knowledge (leading to exogenous CSR) and employees with experience of the socialist system (leading to endogenous CSR). Furthermore, we argue that the interactions between these channels lead to hybrid CSR in transition economies. We use a questionnaire-based survey with employees of domestic and MNEs in Romania and we conduct regression analysis. We find that employees with work experience in MNEs act as channels for exogenous CSR, while employees with experience of the socialist system act as channels for endogenous CSR. Furthermore, employees with experience of the socialist system and CSR knowledge or work experience in an MNE act as channels for hybrid CSR in transition economies. Based on our results, we put forward implications for theory, managers and policy makers.