There is growing interest among scholars concerning the managerial implications of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and related areas such as firm sustainability. Because of the rise in consumer, investor, supplier, and worker demands for CSR, managers have begun to ask important questions regarding how to manage these activities and how to allocate resources to them. All of this has led to a strong organizational and community demand for research on CSR-related topics such as environmental responsibility, sustainability, and the appropriate management of stakeholders (including employee relations issues). In addition, practitioners seek knowledge that can be used to better manage employees in organizational settings vis-à-vis CSR.

Despite increasing attention, CSR research is still in an embryonic stage, with critical issues regarding frameworks and empirical methods yet to be resolved. Furthermore, much of the research to date has largely involved a macro level of analysis, focusing on such issues as understanding the relationship between CSR and the financial performance of firms. To achieve a more complete perspective on CSR, however, theory and research will need to address more micro-level human resource management and organizational behavior issues. As such, the primary goal of this special issue is to serve as a catalyst for scholarly work on CSR that expands the domain from an exclusive focus on the macro level of analysis to an inclusive focus that incorporates issues more directly related to human resource management and organizational behavior.

Original empirical research, theory development, meta-analytic reviews, and narrative literature reviews are all potentially appropriate for inclusion in the special issue. A number of topic areas that are commonly addressed by Personnel Psychology are potentially relevant to CSR issues. Some research questions that might be addressed in this special issue include (but are not limited to):

  • How is CSR related to leadership and the characteristics of top executives?
  • Can human resource management or organizational behavior offer innovative approaches to the study or measurement of CSR?
  • How are ethical decision-making processes related to CSR endeavors?
  • What implications do traditional human resource systems (e.g., selection, training, performance management, work design) have for effective adoption or implementation of CSR?
  • What is the relationship between organizational culture/climate and CSR?
  • Can CSR have an effect on employee identity?
  • Is it appropriate for job analysis, recruitment, selection, appraisal, reward, and training processes to take into account CSR, and if so, how might such processes be designed?
  • How does CSR affect employee-based indicators of effectiveness, such as absenteeism or turnover rates?
  • What is the relationship between CSR and international human resource management?
  • What are the effects of programs whereby employees engage in community service activities while receiving compensation from their firms?
  • Is there a relationship between diversity and CSR?
  • What are the implications of CSR for strategic human resource management?
  • How do CSR policies or practices relate to employee work attitudes or morale?

Submission Process and Timeline
To be considered for the special issue, manuscripts must be submitted no later than December 31, 2011, U.S. Eastern Standard Time. Papers may be submitted prior to this deadline as well. Submitted papers will undergo a double-blind review process and will be evaluated by at least two reviewers and a special issue editor. Final acceptance is contingent on the review team’s judgments of the paper’s contribution on four key dimensions:

  1. Theoretical contribution: Does the article offer new and innovative ideas and insights or meaningfully extend existing theory?
  2. Empirical contribution: Does the article offer new and unique findings and is the study design, data analysis, and results rigorous and appropriate in testing the hypotheses or research questions?
  3. Practical contribution: Does the article contribute to the improved management of people in organizations?
  4. Contribution to the special issue topic.

Authors should prepare their manuscripts for blind review according to the directions provided in the 2010 Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (6th ed.). Be sure to remove any information that may potentially reveal the identity of the authors to the review team.

Manuscripts should be submitted electronically at: