It's no surprise that more firms might be investing in CSR. But our research shows that firms should not pursue CSR simply for benefits like greater productivity. We found that if employees think their company is using CSR initiatives instrumentally — trying to engage in prosocial activities only to benefit from it — then they'll react negatively and put in less effort. In other words, while these initiatives will benefit society, they will backfire for companies if people think they're being used for the wrong reasons.
Meier, Stephan, and Lea Cassar. "Stop Talking About How CSR Helps Your Bottom Line." Harvard Business Review, January 31, 2018.
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