Publication Details

Basil, D. Z., Runte, M. S., Easwaramoorthy, M. & Barr, C. (2009). Company Support for Employee Volunteering: A National Survey of Companies in Canada. Journal of Business Ethics, 85 (supp. 2), 387-398.


Company support for employee volunteerism (CSEV) benefits companies, employees, and society while helping companies meet the expectations of corporate social responsibility (CSR). A nationally representative telephone survey of 990 Canadian companies examined CSEV through the lens of Porter and Kramer’s (2006, ‘Strategy and society: the link between competitive advantage and corporate social responsibility’, Harvard Business Review, 78–92.) CSR model. The results demonstrated that Canadian companies passively support employee volunteerism in a variety of ways, such as allowing employees to take time off without pay (71%) or adjusting their work schedules (78%). These Responsive CSR efforts contribute to the company’s value chain by enhancing employee morale, a perceived CSEV benefit. More active forms of support requiring company time or money are less common; for example, 29% allow time off with pay. Companies perceive that support for employee volunteering enhances their public image, a Responsive CSR strategy when employed to ameliorate a damaged reputation or a Strategic CSR strategy when contributing to a competitive position. A minority perceive challenges like covering the workload. Many companies target and/or exclude particular causes and link CSEV efforts with other philanthropic donations, suggesting a Strategic CSR application of CSEV. Where programs exist, they frequently are neither tracked nor evaluated, suggesting that companies are not using these programs as strategically as they might.



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