The Roles of HRM in CSR: Strategic Partnership or Operational Support?

Journal of Business Ethics 153 (3):825-837 (2018)
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As the implementation of corporate social responsibility strategy requires promoting employee participation and initiating meaningful changes in organisational culture, the involvement of the human resource management function in policy formulation and implementation is highly desirable. The relationship between the HRM and CSR functions is, however, under-investigated than other areas. Hence, there is a lack of clarity concerning HRM roles and the conditions under which they may be strategic or operational in nature. By drawing on data from interviews with 29 CSR and HRM professionals of large organisations in New Zealand, this paper argues that the role and contribution of the HR function in CSR is contingent on organisational variables such as the CSR structure, the scope and application of CSR and the nature of the HR functions. It concludes that in such contexts HRM is more likely to offer operational support in executing CSR rather than strategic input.



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