Chapter 2: Literature Review
2.8 Internal CSR
CSR initiatives can be divided into external and internal. External CSR initiatives encompass relationships with stakeholders and the environment (Jia et al., 2019; Wampole, 2022).
External CSR initiatives may include protecting customers' interests, supporting charity, managing natural resources, community development, and maintaining stakeholder transparency and trust (Cheng, 2021; Kacprzak et al., 2021; Zhang et al., 2017). On the other hand, internal CSR initiatives refer to programmes directed towards the organisation's workforce and encompass a range of practices to enhance employees' working conditions, job satisfaction, and overall well- being (Beglari, 2022; Wampole, 2022). These practices can include policies and regulations that ensure employees are provided with healthy and safe working environments, equal opportunities, promoting work-life balance, and support for work-family relationships (Macassa et al., 2021).
Moreover, internal CSR programmes can also offer employees personal and professional development opportunities, such as training programmes, mentoring, coaching, and career planning (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2021; Lu et al., 2019). These initiatives are critical for enhancing employee skills, knowledge, and competencies, leading to higher job satisfaction, better employee engagement, and increased productivity (Al-Ghazali et al., 2021; Low, 2016). Research suggests that the success of organisations is significantly reliant on qualified, motivated, and satisfied employees who can meet clients' needs and give the organisation a competitive advantage (Low, 2016; Wampole, 2022). Providing appropriate internal CSR programmes can significantly influence employees' attitudes and behaviour towards organisational commitment, positively
impacting the organisation's sustainability (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2021). Thus, implementing internal CSR programmes along with positive effects on employees ultimately contributes to an organisation’s sustainability and competitive advantage.
2.8.1 Relationship Between CSR and Human Resource Management
Human resource management (HRM) refers to the strategic approach to the effective management of the workforce that helps the organisation obtain a competitive advantage (Santana et al., 2020). Considering the vast scope of internal CSR, there has been uncertainty about whether conventional HRM practices are part of internal CSR programmes (Essanoussi, 2022; Low, 2016).
Scholars claimed that CSR extensions include but are not limited to traditional HRM practices (Low, 2016; Santana et al., 2020). For organisations to succeed in promoting sustainable practices and optimising their human resources, both internal CSR and HRM are crucial (Essanoussi, 2022;
Voegtlin & Greenwood, 2016). They are commonly considered as two inextricably linked components that complement each other, where CSR is a driver to go beyond conventional HRM (Siddiqi et al., 2021; Wampole, 2022).
On the one hand, HRM practices can contribute to the organisation's CSR goals. For instance, inclusive hiring practices, fair labour policies, fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment, and promoting employee development align with the principles of ethical and philanthropic responsibilities in Carroll's CSR Pyramid (Carroll, 1979). In this way, HRM practices can extend beyond traditional roles and incorporate elements of CSR, thus blurring the boundaries between the two (Essanoussi, 2022; Low, 2016).
On the other hand, a strong commitment to CSR can influence HRM policies, creating a work environment that motivates employees, fosters their satisfaction, and enhances organisational loyalty. CSR programmes, such as flexible work arrangements and efforts to maintain work-life
balance, can contribute to a positive workplace culture and a more satisfied workforce (Voegtlin
& Greenwood, 2016). Telework, an HRM strategy increasingly embraced by organisations, also embodies CSR principles by offering flexibility, promoting employee well-being, and contributing to reduced environmental impact (Mayo et al., 2016; Campo et al., 2021).
According to Siddiqi et al.( 2021), CSR and HRM can work together to create a positive work environment for employees and promote sustainable practices. Organisations with a robust CSR programme can provide employees with better job satisfaction and motivation (Santana et al., 2020). From this context, the implementation of telework can align with the goals of both CSR and HRM by providing employees with greater flexibility and control over their work-life balance (Mayo et al., 2016). Moreover, telework can also be a strategic HRM tool for organisations looking to attract and retain top talent (Campo et al., 2021). In today's highly competitive job market, employees are increasingly seeking flexible work arrangements that allow them to balance their professional and personal lives (Johnson et al., 2020). By integrating CSR into HRM policies and practices, organisations can attract and retain talent and promote a positive organisational culture that values social responsibility and ethical behaviour (Mayo et al., 2016). Thus, internal CSR and HRM are two components that complement each other, and by integrating CSR into HRM policies and practices, organisations can create a positive work environment, promote sustainable practices, and attract and retain talent.
The interest in OHS from the context of CSR has grown significantly in recent years, with many organisations placing particular emphasis on including OHS assessments and measurements in their CSR reports (Parker & Narayanan, 2022; Kuhn et al., 2021). OHS promotion has become an essential part of an organisations CSR strategies that impact employees' well-being and the
organisation's sustainable development (Macassa et al., 2021). It is a multidimensional concept that focuses on the recognition, evaluation, prediction, and prevention of risks associated with the workplace that may harm employees’ health and safety and well-being (Evangelinos et al., 2018).
It includes the employees' physical, mental, and emotional well-being and covers an essential issue of internal stakeholders' interests, positively impacting the organisation’s goals achievement (Macassa et al., 2017).
The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the importance of telework, which can significantly contribute to OHS and CSR efforts (Metwally et al., 2022; Parker & Narayanan, 2022). Telework can reduce the risk of occupational accidents and injuries, reduce the risk of exposure to infectious diseases in the workplace (Parker, 2020), and contribute to lowering psychosocial risks associated with the workplace (Juchnowicz & Kinowska, 2021). It can also reduce commuting time, which can improve employees' work-life balance and reduce stress levels (Macassa et al., 2021; Górny, 2019). Overall, incorporating telework into an organisation’s OHS and CSR strategies can significantly and positively impact employees' well-being, work-life balance, and environmental sustainability and should be considered as part of a comprehensive approach to OHS.
2.8.3 Job Satisfaction
Research suggests CSR initiatives have a significant impact on employee job satisfaction (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2021; Obeidat et al., 2018). In turn, job satisfaction has been found to be a crucial factor in productivity, employee retention, engagement, and commitment to the organisation (Chatzopoulou et al., 2022; Esmaeelinezhad et al., 2015; Kautonen et al., 2012; Loor- Zambrano et al., 2020). Several studies have shown that internal CSR initiatives have a positive correlation with job satisfaction and can increase employee well-being and motivation (Adu-
Gyamfi et al., 2021; Chan & Hasan, 2019; Hossen et al., 2020; Kunda et al., 2019). Conversely, job dissatisfaction has negative consequences, such as increased turnover and absenteeism levels, degradation of organisational commitment, and adverse health outcomes, such as depression, melancholy, and sadness (Hossen et al., 2020; Macassa et al., 2021). Therefore, it is crucial for organisations to maintain the job satisfaction of their employees, and internal CSR initiatives can assist in achieving this.
Telework can be considered an extension of CSR initiatives for organisations that promote employee well-being (Mayo et al., 2016; Metwally et al., 2022). The provision of telework arrangements can enhance employee well-being and job satisfaction by allowing employees to work in a flexible and comfortable environment, reducing stress related to commuting and improving work-life balance (Chatzopoulou et al., 2022; Loor-Zambrano et al., 2020; Schall, 2019). However, telework can also lead to feelings of isolation, blurred boundaries between work and personal life, and increased workload, which may negatively impact job satisfaction (Beauregard et al., 2019; Elbaz et al., 2022; Gajendran & Harrison, 2007). Still, internal CSR initiatives that focus on employee support can significantly mitigate the potential adverse effects of telework (Núñez-Sánchez et al., 2021; Shao et al., 2021). By providing social support, organisations can increase employees' sense of reciprocity and commitment to the organisation and its goals (Hossen et al., 2020).
The relationship between internal CSR initiatives and telework is a two-way dependency.
From one side, telework can be considered an extension of internal CSR initiatives, as it supports employee well-being and work-life balance, which are essential components of a socially responsible organisation. On the other hand, internal CSR initiatives can play a critical role in mitigating the challenges and risks associated with telework. Therefore, internal CSR initiatives
and telework can complement each other and create a more supportive and sustainable work environment.
2.8.4 Work-life Balance
Another component of internal CSR is employees' work-life balance. CSR programmes related to work-life balance are described as organisational initiatives which focus on improving employee experience in work and non-work roles aimed to fit them together considering employees' personal values, goals, and system of life (Story et al., 2016). Brough et al. (2020) suggest that work-life balance is an issue which has a great capacity to affect organisational outcomes such as employee work engagement, turnover intentions, and job performance.
Moreover, the balance between work and private life reduces employees' stress and sadness, which can cause psychological and physical health problems (Adu-Gyamfi et al., 2021). Therefore, the implementation of initiatives regarding work-life balance is one of the crucial aspects of internal CSR policies and is essential for creating a healthy, sustainable, and supportive work environment for employees.
Telework has become a popular topic of discussion as a means to improve work-life balance (Beauregard et al., 2019; Shieh, 2019; Uzun, 2021). Therefore, it can be considered a tool for internal CSR programmes. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant shift in employees' attitudes towards telework, resulting in high demand for telework options (Vyas, 2022). The lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic have established a "new normal" where employees want the opportunity to telework, at least part-time (Karako et al., 2020). As employees are essential internal stakeholders (Wampole, 2022), organisations committed to CSR cannot ignore employees' growing demand for telework. To meet this demand, organisations must adopt flexible work arrangements that accommodate telework. Promoting a culture that values and
respects employees' personal time and well-being is also essential for demonstrating adherence to CSR (Brough et al., 2020). By implementing work-life balance initiatives, organisations provide benefits for employees and foster a more positive work environment, increasing productivity, employee engagement, and overall well-being for individuals, their families, and communities (Shieh, 2019). Therefore, the implementation of telework as a component of internal CSR policies can create a healthy, sustainable, and supportive work environment for employees and benefit both employees and organisations.