The effects of corporate social responsibility and corporate culture on securing frontline service employee support during a product-harm crisis



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Firms are vulnerable to the effects of product harm-crises which can impact their brand image, reputation, and credibility. This empirical paper looks at antecedents and factors that can lead to frontline service employee support when firms are faced with a product-harm crisis. Social exchange theory, with its focus on reciprocal exchanges, is used to enlighten how firms can provide employees with conducive working conditions, empowerment, job support, and task-variety, and in turn employees reciprocate through demonstrating unanimity and unflinching support during difficult situations. Through data collected from 332 frontline service employees, it is found that job satisfaction and organizational citizenship behavior, fully mediate the link between perceived organizational support and employee support during a product-harm crisis. Additionally, it is found that employee association with substantive corporate social responsibility policies leads to greater support during a product-harm crisis. Implications for researchers and practitioners that will enable organizations to identify loyal employees, reduce work ambiguity in their work environments resulting in lower turnover, and focus on the type of cause-related initiatives to implement, are presented.



Product-harm crisis, Corporate social responsibility, Social exchange theory