Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and leadership: validation of a multi-factor framework in the United Kingdom (UK)

    Shoukat Iqbal Khattak   Affiliation
    ; Qingquan Jiang Affiliation
    ; Hui Li Affiliation
    ; Xiaosan Zhang Affiliation


Global surveys indicate that employee engagement costs nearly £70 billion per year in the UK alone with nascent improvement from 2011 to this date. Recognising employee disengagement as a threat to global socio-economic sustainability, experts and scholars offer CSR and employee-centric leadership as practical solutions. Visionary and servant leadership incite superior employee efforts through fair and ethical work values, but past theory and research show limited research on micro-processes that link CSR to employee outcomes. This study tested a value-centered model to examine if the two leadership styles and overall fairness can explain the positive relationship between CSR and extra effort. Data analysis of 512 employee self-reports using the structural equation modelling (SEM), the PROCESS approach and other techniques showed that executive’s CSR values cue to employee visionary and servant leadership, which influence extra effort both directly and indirectly (through overall fairness). Even though employees strongly endorsed the positive influence of universal visionary prototype, overall fairness was more strongly perceived in servant leadership. The paper offers practical implications for organizational theorists and practitioners.

Keyword : corporate social responsibility, visionary leadership, servant leadership, overall fairness, employee citizenship behaviour, extra effort, micro-CSR theory

How to Cite
Khattak, S. I., Jiang, Q., Li, H., & Zhang, X. (2019). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and leadership: validation of a multi-factor framework in the United Kingdom (UK). Journal of Business Economics and Management, 20(4), 754-776.
Published in Issue
Jun 12, 2019
Abstract Views
PDF Downloads
Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


Adams, J. S. (1965). Inequity in social exchange. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 2, 267-299.

Aguilera, R. V., Rupp, D. E., Williams, C. A., & Ganapathi, J. (2007). Putting the S back in corporate social responsibility: A multilevel theory of social change in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 32(3), 836-863.

Aguinis, H. (2011). Organizational responsibility: Doing good and doing well. APA Handbook of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, Vol 3: Maintaining, Expanding, and Contracting the Organization, 3, 855-879.

Aguinis, H., & Glavas, A. (2012). What we know and don’t know about corporate social responsibility. Journal of Management, 38(4), 932-968.

Ambrose, M. L., & Schminke, M. (2009). The role of overall justice judgments in organizational justice research: A test of mediation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94(2), 491-500.

Austin, J. E. (1997). Social enterprise series No. 2: Making business sense of community service (Harvard Business School Working Paper, No. 98-020).

Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current theories, research, and future directions. Annual Review of Psychology, 60(1), 421-449.

Bacha, E., & Walker, S. (2013). The relationship between transformational leadership and followers’ perceptions of fairness. Journal of Business Ethics, 116(3), 667-680.

Bansal, P. (2003). From issues to actions: The importance of individual concerns and organizational values in responding to natural environmental issues. Organization Science, 14(5), 510-527.

Barbuto, J. E., & Wheeler, D. W. (2006). Scale development and construct clarification of servant leadership. Group and Organization Management, 31(3), 300-326.

Bass, B. M. (1985). Leadership and performance beyond expectations. New York: The Free Press.

Bass, B. M., & Avolio, B. J. (1997). Full range leadership development: Manual for the multifactor leadership questionnaire. Mind Garden. Retrieved from

Bass, B. M., & Steidlmeier, P. (1999). Ethics, character, and authentic transformational leadership behavior. Leadership Quarterly, 10(2), 181-217.

Bies, R. J., & Moag, J. S. (1986). Interactional justice: communication criteria of fairness. In R. J. Lewicki, B. H. Sheppard, & M. H. Bazerman (Eds.), Research in negotiations in organizations (pp. 43-55). Greenwich: JAI Press.

Carmeli, A., Gilat, G., & Waldman, D. A. (2007). The role of perceived organizational performance in organizational identification, adjustment and job performance. Journal of Management Studies, 44(6), 972-992.

Carter, S. M., & Greer, C. R. (2013). Strategic leadership: Values, styles, and organizational performance. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 20(4), 375-393.

Cho, J., & Dansereau, F. (2010). Are transformational leaders fair? A multi-level study of transformational leadership, justice perceptions, and organizational citizenship behaviors. Leadership Quarterly, 21(3), 409-421.

Choi, J. (2008). Event justice perceptions and employees’ reactions: Perceptions of social entity justice as a moderator. Journal of Applied Psychology, 93(3), 513-528.

Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Earlbaum.

Colquitt, J. A. (2001). On the dimensionality of organizational justice: A construct validation of a measure. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(3), 386-400.

Colquitt, J. A., & Zipay, K. P. (2015). Justice, fairness, and employee reactions. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 2(1), 75-99.

Conger, J. A., & Kanungo, R. N. (1998). Charismatic leadership in organizations. SAGE Publications.

Cropanzano, R., & Rupp, D. E. (2008). Social exchange theory and organizational justice job performance, citizenship behaviors, multiple foci, and a historical integration of two literatures. In S. W. Gilliland, D. D. Steiner, & D. P. Skarlicki (Eds.), Justice, morality, and social responsibility (pp. 63-99). Information Age Publishing.

Davis, J. H., Schoorman, F. D., Donaldson, L., Academy, T., & Jan, N. (2008). Toward a stewardship theory of management toward a stewardship theory of management. Academy of Management Review, 22(1), 20-47.

De Cremer, D., & Van Knippenberg, D. (2002). How do leaders promote cooperation? The effects of charisma and procedural fairness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 87(5), 858-866.

de Luque, M. S., Washburn, N. T., Waldman, D. A., & House, R. J. (2008). Unrequited profit: how stakeholder and economic values relate to subordinates’ perceptions of leadership and firm performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 53(4), 626-654.

Ehrhart, M. G. (2004). Leadership and procedural justice climate as antecedents of unit-level organizational citizenship behavior. Personnel Psychology.

Flynn, C. B., Smither, J. W., & Walker, A. G. (2016). Exploring the relationship between leaders’ core self-evaluations and subordinates’ perceptions of servant leadership: A field study. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 23(3), 260-271.

Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Evaluating structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(1), 39-50.

Gallup Consulting. (2017). State of the Global Workplace. Executive Summary (pp. 1-122). Retrieved from

Gallup Inc. (2013). State of the Global Workplace: Employee engagement insights for business leaders worldwide. Gallup Business Journal, 117. Retrieved from

Ghoshal, S. (2005). Bad management theories are destroying good management practices. Academy of Management Learning and Education, 4(1), 75-91.

Ghoshal, S., & Bartlett, C. A. (1999). A new manifesto for management. International Journal of Conflict Management, 10(2), 130-153.

Ghoshal, S., & Moran, P. (1996). Bad for practice: A critique of the transaction cost theory. Academy Management Review, 21(1), 13-47.

Glavas, A. (2016a). Corporate social responsibility and employee engagement: Enabling employees employ more of their whole selves at work. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 1-10.

Glavas, A. (2016b). Corporate social responsibility and organizational psychology: An integrative review. Frontiers in Psychology, 7.

Glavas, A. (2017). Corporate social responsibility viewed from above: a review of macro-csr research, concepts and controversies, and stakeholder-targeted practices. Retrieved from

Glavas, A., & Kelley, K. (2014). The effects of perceived corporate social responsibility on employee attitudes. Business Ethics Quarterly, 24(02), 165-202.

Glavas, A., & Piderit, S. K. (2009). How does doing good matter? Effects of corporate citizenship on employees. Journal of Corporate Citizenship, (36), 51-70.

Gotsis, G., & Grimani, K. (2016). The role of servant leadership in fostering inclusive organizations. Journal of Management Development, 35(8), 985-1010.

Greenleaf, R. K. (1977). Servant Leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Paulist Press.

Groves, K. S. (2014). Examiningleader–follower congruence of social responsibility values in transformational leadership. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 21(3), 227-243.

Hay. (2007). East meets West Bridging two great business cultures. Hay Group.

Hayes, A. F. (2013). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis. The Guildford Press.

Hillman, A. J., & Keim, G. D. (2001). Shareholder Value, stakeholder management, and social issues: What’s the bottom line? Strategic Management Journal, 22, 125-139.<125::AID-SMJ150>3.0.CO;2-H

Hoch, J. E., Bommer, W. H., Dulebohn, J. H., & Wu, D. (2018). Do ethical, authentic, and servant leadership explain variance above and beyond transformational leadership? A meta-analysis. Journal of Management, 44(2), 501-529.

House, R. J., & Aditya, R. N. (1997). The social scientific study of leadership: Quo vadis? Journal of Management, 23(3), 409-473.

House, R. J., Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. (2004). Culture, leadership, and organizations. The GLOBE Study of 62 Societies. SAGE Publications. Retrieved from

House, R. J., & Shamir, B. (1993). Toward the integration of transformational, charismatic, and visionary thories. In M. M. Chemers, & R. Ayman (Eds.), Leadership theory and research: perspectives and directions (pp. 81-108). Academic Press.

Hu, L. T., & Bentler, P. M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6(1), 1-55.

Jaiswal, N. K., & Dhar, R. L. (2017). The influence of servant leadership, trust in leader and thriving on employee creativity. Leadership and Organization Development Journal, 38(1), 2-21.

James, L. R., Mulaik, S. A., & Brett, J. M. (2006). A tale of two methods. Organizational Research Methods, 9(2), 233-244.

Janson, A., Levy, L., Sitkin, S. B., & Lind, E. A. (2008). Fairness and other leadership heuristics: A fournation study. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 17(2), 251-272.

Jones, D. A. (2010). Does serving the community also serve the company? Using organizational identification and social exchange theories to understand employee responses to a volunteerism programme. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(4), 857-878.

Jones, D. A., & Martens, M. L. (2008). The mediating role of overall fairness and the moderating role of trust certainty in justice-criteria relationships: the formation and use of fairness heuristics in the workplace. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(8), 1025-1051.

Jones, T. M., & Wicks, A. C. (1999). Convergent stakeholder theory. Academy of Management Review, 24(2), 206-221.

Judge, T. A., & Piccol, R. F. (2004). Transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(5), 755-768.

Kantabutra, S., & Avery, G. C. (2011). Follower effects in the visionary leadership process. Journal of Business & Economics Research, 4(5).

Kline, R. B. (1998). Principles and practice of structural equation modeling. The Guilford Press. Retrieved from

Krafft, P., Engelbrecht, A. S., & Theron, C. C. (2004). The influence of transformational and transactional leadership on dyadic trust relationships through perceptions of fairness. SA Journal of Industrial Psychology, 30(1), 10-18.

Lapointe, É., & Vandenberghe, C. (2018). Examination of the relationships between servant leadership, organizational commitment, and voice and antisocial behaviors. Journal of Business Ethics, 148(1), 99-115.

Laub, J. A. (1999). Assessing the servant organization: Development of the Organizational Leadership Assessment (OLA) model (doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from Dissertation Abstracts International, 60(2), 308A (UMI No. 9921922).

Levering, R., & Moskowitz, M. (1998). The 100 best companies to work for in America. Fortune, 137(1), 84-95.

Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., Liao, C., & Meuser, J. D. (2014). Servant leadership and serving culture: Influence on individual and unit performance. Academy of Management Journal, 57(5), 1434-1452.

Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., Zhao, H., & Henderson, D. (2008). Servant leadership: Development of a multidimensional measure and multi-level assessment. The Leadership Quarterly, 19(2), 161-177.

Lin, C.-P., Lyau, N.-M., Tsai, Y.-H., Chen, W.-Y., & Chiu, C.-K. (2010). Modelingcorporate citizenship and its relationship with organizational citizenship behaviors. Journal of Business Ethics, 95(3), 357-372.

Lind, E. A. (2001). Fairness heuristic theory: Justice judgments as pivotal cognitions in organizational relations. In J. Greenberg & R. Cropanzano (Eds.), Advances in Organizational Justice (pp. 56-88). Stanford University Press.

Lindell, M. K., & Whitney, D. J. (2001). Accounting for common method variance in cross-sectional research designs. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86(1), 114-121.

LinkedIn Learning. (2018). 2018 workplace learning report: the rise and responsibility of talent development in the new labor market. Retrieved from

Linuesa-Langreo, J., Ruiz-Palomino, P., & Elche-Hortelano, D. (2017). New strategies in the new millennium: Servant leadership as enhancer of service climate and customer service performance. Frontiers in Psychology, 8, 786.

Lord, R. G., & Brown, D. J. (2001). Leadership, values, and subordinate self-concepts. Leadership Quarterly, 12(2), 133-152.

Lowe, K. B., Kroeck, K. G., & Sivasubramaniam, N. (1996). Effectiveness correlates of transformational and transactional leadership: A meta-analytic review of the mlq literature. Leadership Quarterly, 7(3), 385-425.

Maignan, I., Ferrell, O. C., & Hult, G. T. M. (1999). Corporate citizenship: Cultural antecedents and business benefits. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 27(4), 455-469.

Margolis, J. D., & Walsh, J. P. (2003). Misery loves companies: Rethinking social initiatives by business. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(2), 268.

Mayer, D. M., Bardes, M., & Piccolo, R. F. (2008). Do servant-leaders help satisfy follower needs? An organizational justice perspective. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 17(2), 180-197.

McGee-Cooper, A., & Looper, G. (2001). The essentials of servant-leadership: Principles in practice. Innovations in Management Series. Pegasus Communications.

Moorman, R. H. (1991). Relationship between organizational justice and organizational citizenship behaviors: Do fairness perceptions influence employee citizenship? Journal of Applied Psychology, 76(6), 845-855.

Mudrack, P. (2007). Individual personality factors that affect normative beliefs about the rightness of corporate social responsibility. Business & Society, 46(1), 33-62.

Muller, A., & Kolk, A. (2010). Extrinsic and intrinsic drivers of corporate social performance: Evidence from foreign and domestic firms in Mexico. Journal of Management Studies, 47(1), 1-26.

Newman, A., Schwarz, G., Cooper, B., & Sendjaya, S. (2017). How servant leadership influences organizational citizenship behavior: The roles of LMX, empowerment, and proactive personality. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(1), 49-62.

Organ, D. W., & Konovsky, M. (1989). Cognitive versus affective determinants of organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(1), 157-164.

Panaccio, A., Henderson, D. J., Liden, R. C., Wayne, S. J., & Cao, X. (2015). Toward an understanding of when and why servant leadership accounts for employee extra-role behaviors. Journal of Business and Psychology, 30(4), 657-675.

Parry, K. W., & Proctor-Thomson, S. B. (2002). Perceived integrity of transformational leaders in organisational settings. Journal of Business Ethics.

Patrnchak, J. M. (2015). Implementing servant leadership at cleveland clinic: A case study in organizational change. Servant Leadership: Theory and Practice, 2(1), 36-48.

Pillai, R., Scandura, T. A., & Williams, E. A. (1999). Leadership and organizational justice: and across similarities differences cultures Rajnandini Pillai. Journal of International Business Studies, 30(4), 763-779.

Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J.-Y. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: a critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(5), 879-903.

Ramus, C. A., & Steger, U. (2000). The roles of supervisory support behaviors and environmental policy in employee “ecoinitiatives” at leading-edge European companies. Academy of Management Journal, 43(4), 605-626.

Rasool, I., & Rajput, A. (2017). The impact of perceived internal corporate social responsibility on organizational citizenship behavior: A micro-perspective analysis. Business & Economic Review, 9(1), 181-201.

Rupp, D., E. (2011). An employee-centered model of organizational justice and social responsibility.Organizational Psychology Review, 1(1), 72-94.

Rupp, D. E., Ganapathi, J., Aguilera, R. V., & Williams, C. A. (2006). Employee reactions to corporate social responsibility: an organizational justice framework. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 27(4), 537-543.

Sashkin, M., & Sashkin, M. G. (2003). Leadership that matters. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.

Searle, T. P., & Barbuto, J. E. (2011). Servant leadership, hope, and organizational virtuousness: A framework exploring positive micro and macro behaviors and performance impact. Journal of Leadership and Organizational Studies, 18(1), 107-117.

Shen, J., & Benson, J. (2016). When CSR is a social norm: How socially responsible human resource management affects employee work behavior. Journal of Management, 42(6), 1723-1746.

Smith, B. N., Montagno, R. V., & Kuzmenko, T. N. (2004). Transformational and servant leadership: content and contextual comparisons. Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, 10(4), 80-91.

Sousa, M., & van Dierendonck, D. (2017). Servant leadership and the effect of the interaction between humility, action, and hierarchical power on follower engagement. Journal of Business Ethics, 141(1), 13-25.

Thibaut, J. W., & Walker, L. (1975). Procedural justice: A psychological analysis. L. Erlbaum Associates.

Trueman, D. (2013). The effectiveness of servant leadership in bringing about change. Senior Honors Thesis. 366. Retrieved from

Tuzzolino, F., & Armandi, B. R. (1981). A need-hierarchy framework for assessing corporate social responsibility. Academy of Management Review, 6(1), 21-28.

van Dierendonck, D. (2011). Servant leadership: A review and synthesis. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1228-1261.

van Dierendonck, D., & Nuijten, I. (2011). The servant leadership survey: development and validation of a multidimensional measure. Journal of Business and Psychology, 26(3), 249-267.

van Knippenberg, D., De Cremer, D., & van Knippenberg, B. (2007). Leadership and fairness: The state of the art. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 126(2), 113-140.

Walumbwa, F. O., Hartnell, C. A., & Oke, A. (2010). Servant leadership, procedural justice climate, service climate, employee attitudes, and organizational citizenship behavior: A cross-level investigation. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(3), 517-529.

Weaver, G. R., Treviño, L. K., & Cochran, P. L. (1999). Integrated and decoupled corporate social performance: Management commitments, external pressures, and corporate ethics practices. Academy of Management Journal, 42(5), 539-552.

Weston, R., & Gore, P. A. (2006). A brief guide to structural equation modeling. The Counseling Psychologist.

Winston, B., & Fields, D. (2015). Seeking and measuring the essential behaviors of servant leadership. Leadership & Organization Development Journal, 36(4).

Wu, X., Sturman, M. C., & Wang, C. (2013). The motivational effects of pay fairness: A longitudinal study in Chinese star-level hotels. Cornell Hospitality Quarterly, 54(2), 185-198.

Yoshida, D. T., Sendjaya, S., Hirst, G., & Cooper, B. (2014). Does servant leadership foster creativity and innovation? A multi-level mediation study of identification and prototypicality. Journal of Business Research, 67(7), 1395-1404.

Yukl, G. (2010). Leadership in organizations. Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Yukl, G. (2006). Leadership in organizations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.

Zhao, X., Lynch, J. G., & Chen, Q. (2010). Reconsidering Baron and Kenny: myths and truths about mediation analysis. Journal of Consumer Research, 37(2), 197-206.