All Hands on Deck Special Session: How CSR and Servant Leadership Climate Affect Employee Cynicism and Work Meaning? An Abstract

Elisa Chan*, Frederick Yim

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent marketing management research, such as internal marketing (e.g., Berry et al. 1976), the service-dominant logic (Vargo and Lusch 2008), and the service-profit chain (e.g., Homburg et al. 2009), has acknowledged the value employees have to a company either as an operant resource (Constanin and Lusch 1994) or even as an internal customer (Wieseke et al. 2009). This suggests that consumers are not the only target for company’s marketing efforts and that more attention should be paid to understanding employees in order to achieve desirable outcomes. 

Cynicism is often examined as consumer resistance against company’s initiatives and actions out of the mistrust for its motives (Kanter 1988). Cynical consumers may become angry and bitter at companies (Helm 2004), and these negative affects may escalate to the detrimental actions such as spreading negative word of mouth and boycotts (DeCarlo 2005; Laczniak et al. 2001). In any case, consumer cynicism would have undesirable impacts on the company and its brand image (Odou and de Pechpeyrou 2011). Consequently, the impacts of employee cynicism towards the company cannot be overlooked. For this reason, the current research examines employee cynicism, in particular, how specific organizational climates (i.e., corporate social responsibility and servant leadership) can help reduce cynicism towards the company. 

Extant consumer research has long established that consumer make purchases not just based on functionality and utility, products are also purchased for more personal reasons such as symbolic meaning of status and achievement as well as a sense of social belonging (e.g., Ferraro et al. 2011). By the same token, employees view their work as a means to earn a living, but it also gives individuals a sense of achievement and a sense of communitas through exchanges with their supervisors, peers, and colleagues. That is to say, work would also serve as a means to earn respect and to demonstrate self-worth to others (Fineman 1983). Work meaning is conceptualized as the individuals’ understanding of the purpose of their work or what they believe is achieved in their work (Wrzesniewski and Dutton 2001). The current research proposes that work meaning can be cultivated via specific organizational climates (i.e., corporate social responsibility and servant leadership) and can increase perceived work meaning. 

Taken together, this study will investigate the chain effects of CSR climate, servant leadership climate, employee cynicism, and work meaning on an important marketing outcome—brand citizenship behaviors (i.e., extra-role behaviors congruent with the company’s brand values to strengthen brand identity; Burmann and Zeplin 2005; Burmann et al. 2008). In order to test the proposed theoretical model, a multilevel research design is deployed. CSR climate and servant leadership climate are team-level constructs, and work meaning and employee cynicism are individual-level constructs.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMarketing Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing Global Marketplace
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 2019 Academy of Marketing Science (AMS) Annual Conference
EditorsShuang Wu, Felipe Pantoja, Nina Krey
PublisherSpringer Cham
Pages23-24
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9783030391652
ISBN (Print)9783030391645
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Jun 2020
EventMarketing Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing Global Marketplace - Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Vancouver, Canada
Duration: 29 May 201931 May 2019

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science (DMSPAMS)
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

Conference

ConferenceMarketing Opportunities and Challenges in a Changing Global Marketplace
Country/TerritoryCanada
CityVancouver
Period29/05/1931/05/19

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management

User-Defined Keywords

  • CSR
  • Servant leadership
  • Work meaning
  • Cynicism
  • Team

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