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Erschienen in: Service Business 1/2024

Open Access 06.03.2024 | Empirical Article

The impact of internal social responsibility on service employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement

verfasst von: Loan Thi-Hong Van, Le Dang Lang, Trong Liem-Phuoc Ngo, João Ferreira

Erschienen in: Service Business | Ausgabe 1/2024

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Abstract

This study investigates the influence of internal corporate social responsibility (iCSR) aspects on employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement through the lenses of social identity and social exchange theories. Based on a survey collected from 368 employees in 25 banks in Vietnam, the findings show the importance of each iCSR aspect in driving employee job satisfaction and organizational engagement. Job satisfaction is also found to be an antecedent of organizational engagement. The result adds a profound understanding of iCSR to the existing literature and helps bank managers have appropriate solutions to strengthen their employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement.
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1 Introduction

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has increasingly been paid attention (Dung and Giang 2021; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022; Tang et al. 2023), especially micro-level CSR (Jone et al. 2019). The internal CSR (i.e., iCSR) aspect has been recognized as a source of organizational development (Lee and Chen 2018). Firms benefit more from adopting iCSR than external CSR in influencing employees' attitudes and behaviors (Hur et al. 2019; Story and Castanheira 2019). Competitors also find it more challenging to imitate iCSR than external CSR (Jamali et al. 2015; Dung and Giang 2021). As a result, iCSR has increasingly been paid more attention (Gambetta et al. 2017; Hossen et al. 2020; Dung and Giang 2021). Nevertheless, its role in motivating individual performance or in determining employee attitudes and behaviors need to have further investigations (Guzzo et al. 2020; Farooq and Salam 2020), particularly in service organizations (Kunda et al. 2020) due to the fragmentation of the origins and consequences of iCSR in the literature (Dung and Giang 2021). Thus, there is a need for a better understanding of the micro-foundations of CSR (Shen and Zhang 2019) by providing theoretically based and more complete models or detailed empirical models to investigate possible contingencies and processes affecting the association between CSR motive attributions of employees and their effects (George et al. 2020).
The literature also shows that the CSR perspective varies across contexts (Munro et al. 2018; De Stefano et al. 2018), particularly cultural factors (Latif et al. 2019). However, while research on comparing differences in CSR has mainly been undertaken in Western Europe and North America, research on CSR in Asia has still not been widely explored (Lim et al. 2018), particularly in emerging countries (Munro et al. 2018). CSR research has also been considered an emerging research field in developing countries because CSR is “invariably contextualized and locally shaped by multi-level factors and actors embedded within wider formal and informal governance systems” (Jamali and Karam 2018, p. 32). Therefore, many scholars have suggested further investigation of CSR in Asian countries (e.g., Nguyen and Truong 2016; Xiao et al. 2020) and particularly in Southeast Asia countries (e.g., Senasu and Virakul 2015; Munro et al. 2018; Hossen et al. 2020).
Furthermore, most micro-level CSR applications consider CSR to be a unitary construct while it is a multidimensional construct (El Akremi et al. 2018). Many previous empirical studies have also mainly assumed direct relationships between CSR and employee outcomes (Glavas 2016), although CSR has two dimensions (i.e., external and internal), in which the internal dimension (i.e., iCSR) has some specific subaspects (Papasolomou-Doukakis et al. 2005; Turker 2009; Diaz-Carrion et al. 2019; Dung and Giang 2021; Tang et al. 2023). Therefore, a direct relationship investigation between these subaspects and employee outcomes—e.g., employee satisfaction and/or engagement is essential. In sum, although there are significant contributions to the CSR literature, adopting a narrow perspective in previous works (i.e., consider iCSR as a unitary construct and then investigate direct effects on employee outcomes or only investigate few dimensions of iCSR) can result in literature replicating (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022) or fragmented findings. Therefore, a more comprehensive investigation to provide a deeper understanding of processes explaining how employees respond to iCSR initiatives is necessary (De Roeck et al. 2016), particularly in Southeast Asia.
Job satisfaction, representing “the positive or negative internal feeling of an employee reflected in the employee's attitude toward his or her job” (Yadav et al. 2022, p. 513), has increasingly been paid attention. Many past studies found benefits in strengthening employees' satisfaction with the job (e.g., Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Job satisfaction is especially emphasized in the service sector, where the organization– or customer–employee relationships are critical (Thang and Fassin 2017). Thus, many organizations proactively maintain a system to strengthen employee job satisfaction and retention (Lee et al. 2012), particularly in the banking sector (Bravo et al. 2016).
Employee engagement at work is also an increasingly noted topic, particularly since the COVID-19 pandemic began (Malik et al. 2022). This phenomenon helps an organization become robust with engaged employees (Yadav et al. 2022). However, COVID-19 has caused an uncertain context. It seriously impacts employees' perceptions, attitudes, and behaviors, and thus, how firms drive employee engagement has recently been particularly noted by both scholars and practitioners. Parallelly, while the literature shows that employee experience is an antecedent of employee engagement, these terms have often been used interchangeably, causing a misrepresentation of employee engagement in human resource management practices (Malik et al. 2022). Therefore, further research on employee engagement in the ongoing global challenging context is essential. Besides, while there has been a debate on aspects of employee engagement (Yadav et al. 2022), the approach with two factors—i.e., job engagement and organizational engagement is popular and widely adopted (Saks 2006). Furthermore, due to the organization-centric nature of employee engagement (Malik et al. 2022), an investigation emphasizing organizational engagement is considered for this study.
In sum, employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement are considerable topics in the uncertain context. Although many previous empirical studies indicated the significantly positive influence of iCSR on organizational commitment (e.g., Farooq et al. 2017; Story and Castanheira 2019; Golob and Podnar 2021), some others did not find similar results. For example, Chatzopoulou et al. (2022) did not find the significant effects of general iCSR on employees' job satisfaction and organizational commitment. This difference could derive from investigations with only one or few aspects of iCSR, such as legal and ethical aspects (Lee et al. 2012). It also came from investigations considering iCSR as a unitary construct (Edinger-Schons et al. 2019). In order to provide a more profound understanding of the iCSR literature, our study not only introduces a more comprehensive model of aspects of iCSR but also evaluates the intervening role of job satisfaction in the relationship of iCSR aspects with employees' organizational engagement. This approach involves an individual-level and task-oriented response construct shaped by employee attitudes toward jobs and derived from daily procedural functions (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Therefore, our study also aims to respond to recent calls to pursue an emerging research stream identifying alternative underlying mechanisms explaining the relationship between CSR (or iCSR) and commitment (e.g., George et al. 2020) by investigating five aspects of iCSR in the service sector (e.g., Rahman et al. 2016; Thang and Fassin 2017; Macassa et al. 2021).
On the other hand, further investigation of how employees react differently to CSR orientations is crucial (Aguinis and Glavas 2019). It is crucial to integrate psychological interpretative mechanisms that form employees' sensemaking and organize their perceptions (Maon et al. 2019). While iCSR is seen as an organizational phenomenon, the social identity theory (SIT) and the social exchange theory (SET) are considered interdependent underlying mechanisms. They are two of the most powerful frameworks to explain how underlying conditions and processes translate employees' evaluation of CSR (or iCSR) motives into positive outcomes or explicate how CSR (or iCSR) initiatives can influence the relationship between employees and organizations (Jone et al. 2019). Specifically, SIT emphasizes the effect of individual perceptions on job attitudes and working behaviors (Cinnirella 1998). SIT indicates that employees' social identity is improved when they work for a legitimate and reputable organization, positively affecting their work outcomes (Farooq et al. 2014), such as increased employee commitment due to the overall self-concept and self-worth reinforced (Dutton et al. 1994).
Nevertheless, SIT only explains how identification and membership contribute to strengthening organizational commitment without the integration of reciprocity, while this phenomenon is crucial to help understand two-way and intra-organizational relationships between employers and employees (De Roeck and Maon 2018). Thus, SET (Blau 1964) is essential for the current study. It explains the relationships among iCSR aspects, job satisfaction, and organizational engagement. More specifically, employees may be more satisfied with their jobs and feel obligated to respond in kind and repay their banks when they receive economic and socio-emotional benefits from their organization derived from iCSR initiatives. This response is compatible with the description of engagement as a two‐way relationship between the employee and employer based on the employee engagement literature (Kahn 1990). Therefore, SET is considered an appropriate theoretical foundation to explain why a bank employee chooses to engage in their banks through iCSR initiatives based on trust and value exchange foundations between an individual and their workplace practices (Malik et al. 2022).
Besides, some scholars state that these two frameworks are typically separately investigated (e.g., De Roeck and Maon 2018) or are hardly considered in the same research (e.g., Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Based on exchange- and identity-related mechanisms in forming employees' perceptions, providing cues of an organization with iCSR initiatives will enhance employees' identification with the organization to gain more favorable work outcomes. Our study, thus, focuses on an individual analysis level to thoroughly examine the relationship among iCSR aspects, job satisfaction, and organizational engagement under the SIT and SET lenses. The result helps deepen the theoretical integration of these two theoretical frameworks in explaining the psychological relationship established between individuals and organizations within the micro-level CSR research.
Our research context is banking, where employees directly affect the quality of customer service, and their well-being leads to job performance (Lee et al. 2012). iCSR has become an increasingly attention-paid issue (Chan et al. 2014; Gambetta et al. 2017; Dung and Giang 2021), especially in the crisis context and for financial organizations (Gambetta et al. 2017). The study adopted established theoretical lenses and a survey from 368 bank employees in Vietnam to analyze using structural equation modeling (SEM). The result helps make an abundance of the existing literature on iCSR and employee engagement by an investigation using the sample from an understudied geographic area (Southeast Asia), as well as providing a detailed but more comprehensive understanding of the role of five iCSR aspects instead of a general iCSR construct, in motivating employee outcomes—i.e., job satisfaction and organizational engagement in the bank sector. Some managerial implications are also suggested to improve the efficiency of banks' human resource management (HRM). The next part will present the literature review and hypotheses development, followed by the method, results, and discussions. Finally, implications, limitations, and potential research directions are shown.

2 Literature review and hypotheses development

2.1 Literature review

2.1.1 Corporate social responsibility and internal corporate social responsibility

Papasolomou-Doukakis et al. (2005) proposed that “CSR is the continuing commitment by business to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as of the local community and society at large”. The fact shows that corporate activities are multidimensional. Thus, the perception of CSR activities is typically based on these multiple dimensions. Particularly, the CSR notion is context-specific (De Stefano et al. 2018). It argues that organizations need to reduce negative impacts and enhance benefits for their stakeholders to get stakeholder satisfaction. The literature also shows two CSR types—i.e., internal and external CSR (e.g., Shen and Zhang 2019; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). It implies that CSR is also conceptualized as how the organization responds to stakeholders (Story and Castanheira 2019).
Specifically, while the external CSR aspect refers to those activities aimed at sustainability, environmental protection, community development, and corporate volunteerism and philanthropy in involvement with stakeholders, the iCSR aspect involves employees' psychological and physical working environment (Turker 2009). It is the relationship issue between the employee and the organization. It thus seems there is an overlap between iCSR and HRM, although overall, they are not the same (Cooke and He 2010). Remarkably, the existing literature shows that the relationship between CSR and HRM is connected in a two-way direction, reflecting an organization–employee relationship (Shen and Zhu 2011). One direction is from CSR to HRM through socially responsible HRM practices. Therefore, HRM is the outcome of CSR actions. The second is from HRM to CSR through CSR-facilitation HRM practices. It contributes to obtaining organizations' CSR goals, in which CSR goals are the expected outcome, while CSR-oriented HRM practices are the means. With any association or causality directions, employee involvement in CSR brings multiple benefits for both organizations and employees, ultimately leading to better organizational performance, in which an employee-oriented approach to CSR can bring more sustainable effects (Xiao et al. 2020). Thus, the literature also suggests merging the CSR and HRM functions (e.g., De Stefano et al. 2018).
While HRM and CSR can have joint goals and responsible employment practices concerns (Fenwick and Bierema 2008) in which skills and competencies between CSR and HRM overlap (De Stefano et al. 2018), in order to implement iCSR, the traditional HRM needs to integrate extra aspects and have more capabilities (Jamali et al. 2015). The existing HRM literature also shows that socially responsible HRM practices influence employee attitudes and behaviors to facilitate the implementation of external CSR initiatives (Shen and Benson 2016) through increasing employee support (Orlitzky and Swanson 2006; Shen and Zhang 2019). Thus, iCSR initiatives are closely associated with and mutually support socially responsible HRM practices—i.e., labor law-related legal compliance HRM practices and employee-oriented HRM practices beyond legal compliance (Shen and Zhu 2011). They positively affect employee satisfaction, commitment, and knowledge-sharing activities (Chaudhary and Akhouri 2018), driving organizational creativity (Hur et al. 2018).
Even though there are various definitions of iCSR, there is still a perspective focusing on physical and psychological working conditions, employment relationships, human development, and human rights (Turker 2009; Luu 2020). In the context of many debates, many dimensions of iCSR and measurement scales have also been proposed by scholars (e.g., Papasolomou-Doukakis et al. 2005; Turker 2009; Thang and Fassin 2017; Diaz-Carrion et al. 2019; Hossen et al. 2020; Dung and Giang 2021; Tang et al. 2023). Based on an extensive review of the CSR literature, and particularly with the explanations of specific iCSR practices from scholars (e.g., Luu 2020), we contend that there is a relative intersection among the classification approaches of iCSR's aspects, with five dimensions which are directly or indirectly frequently mentioned, including health and safety (HAS), work–life balance (WLB), employee training and development (ETD), social dialogue (SOD), and labor relations (LAR). They are also considered as or described in aspects of socially responsible HRM practices proposed by Barrena‐Martinez et al. (2019). Thus, iCSR initiatives can also be considered socially responsible HRM practices. This study adopted them as iCSR's main aspects.
Wherein WLB refers to “the individual perception that work and non-work activities are compatible and promote growth in accordance with an individual's current life priorities” (Kalliath and Brough 2008). HAS refers to employees' freedom from emotional and physical illness and injuries caused by work-related accidents (Mondy et al. 1999). SOD refers to the exchange of information and views, consultation, and negotiation to reach agreements on issues concerned by representatives of workers, employers, and government (Kenworthy and Kittel 2003). The term LAR was adapted from some scholars' definitions of employee relation climate (e.g., Riordan et al. 2005; Ngo et al. 2008). It refers to high interpersonal relationships among employees and is closely linked with task performance and the organization's climate through the trade union. ETD was also adapted from the definition of investment in employee development, with an emphasis on training. It implies the equipment of new knowledge and skills for employees, which are used and enable people to anticipate and be ready for the requirements of new jobs or tasks (Rothwell and Kazanas 1989). It also refers to organized learning experiences to strengthen the performance and personal growth of employees and developed through employees' evaluation of the organization's commitment that helps them to identify and gain new skills and competencies, enabling them to move to new positions, within or outside the current organization (Lee and Bruvold 2003). Our approach to iCSR's aspects is based on the observation that a firm's internal social responsibilities are multidimensional, as implied by Lee et al. (2012). Therefore, the perception amalgamation of these five different iCSR aspects will help form individuals' relatively entire perceptions of the organization's iCSR activities.

2.1.2 Employee engagement and organizational engagement

There are various definitions involving employee engagement. For example, Kahn (1990) defined personal engagement as “the harnessing of organization members' selves to their work roles; in engagement, people employ and express themselves physically, cognitively, and emotionally during role performances” (p. 694). Following that, employee engagement is conceptualized as the psychological conditions of an employee's engagement or disengagement in the organization, which express employees' cognitive, emotional, and physical aspects in their task roles when engaged. Thus, as stated by Cole et al. (2012), it emphasizes the implementation of rational choice and individual representation on the part of employees. Schaufeli et al. (2002) also proposed engagement “as a positive, fulfilling, work‐related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption”, which is also “a more persistent and pervasive affective‐cognitive state that is not focused on any particular object, event, individual, or behavior” (p. 74). Recently, Kaur and Randhawa (2021) stated that employee engagement is the positive motivational state of an employee, in which enthusiasm and vigor contribute to the organization's growth and help remove employees' job turnover intentions. Yadav et al. (2022, p. 514) also defined employee engagement as “the cognitive state of an employee in which the employee directs his or her actions with passion, commitment, and dedication toward organizational goals”.
Nevertheless, there is a lack of standard definitions and measurability for employee engagement in the literature, resulting in the debate on aspects of employee engagement (Yadav et al. 2022) and creating a hitch for developing innovative solutions to help employee engagement better. For example, while Saks (2006) proposed two employee engagement types, Macey and Schneider (2008) implied three distinct types. This lack of unification results from conceptualizing engagement related to role (Kahn 1990). Nevertheless, in order to strictly examine antecedents of employee engagement, we adopted the classification from Saks (2006) with the engagement as “a distinct and unique construct that consists of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral components associated with individual role performance” (p. 602) due to its popularity and more straightforward measurement. This approach reflects the degree to which an employee is psychologically present in a specific organizational role, in which the two most prominent types are the work role—i.e., job engagement and the role as a member of the organization—i.e., organizational engagement defined as the extent to which a person is attentive and absorbed in their roles, differing from organizational commitment implying an enduring desire to maintain a valuable relationship (Saks 2006).
While some scholars in the employee engagement area (e.g., May et al. 2004) suggest that research should investigate multiple-role-based engagements, we contend that each approach provides meaningful contributions to the literature in different ways. In this study, the organizational engagement variable is prioritized for investigation for three reasons. First, though two job engagement and organizational engagement variables are separate, this difference is due to the degree to which a person is psychologically present concerning individual role performance (Kahn 1990; Saks 2006) regarding their response to the organization resulting from resources and beneficial levels they receive from their organizations. Thus, this separation is only relatively. Second, the nature of employee engagement is an organization-centric approach (Malik et al. 2022); thus, a priority choice for the organizational engagement aspect is acceptable. Third, the job satisfaction variable is also investigated as a mediator of the relationship between iCSR aspects and organizational engagement. It may have mutual interactions with employee engagement and does not mean the same for everyone (Yadav et al. 2022). Thus, our choice of the organizational engagement aspect for the current study is considered more appropriate.

2.1.3 Theoretical underpinnings of causality relationships

Through tenets (Tajfel and Turner 1986; Ashforth and Mael 1989), SIT explicates what it means to be a group member (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Individuals tend to identify with and maintain organizations when they perceive striking individual and organizational attributes to overlap generally (El Akremi et al. 2018). In our study, social identity suggests that iCSR can help enhance an organization's prestige and attractiveness, which increases employee commitment through identification with and membership in a social group. Therefore, SIT is considered an appropriate theoretical framework that explicates employees' evaluations of iCSR aspects. Specifically, an organization known for activities given as good, socially responsible deeds, such as caring about ethical behaviors (Lee et al. 2012) and particularly internally oriented responsible activities are seen as a crucial strategy to make the firm more attractive and reputable (Bravo et al. 2016; Chaudhary and Akhouri 2018). These attributes form employees' identification through reflective evaluations. iCSR motives are, therefore, a crucial factor for increasing employees' engagement by enabling them to view their organization as more prosocial and respected by stakeholders, thus deserving of their affection and identification. However, SIT only provides a self-definitional and self-referential basis for favorable work behaviors that explain how identification and membership contribute to strengthening organizational commitment without the integration of reciprocity. Therefore, in order to fulfill this lack, SET (Blau 1964) was also applied to this study.
Specifically, SET states that obligations are generated from an interaction series between parties in a reciprocal interdependence state (Blau 1964). Wherein reciprocity indicates dyad partners' interest motives (Uhl-Bien and Maslyn 2003), and relationships are developed over time to form mutual, trusting, and loyal commitments since parties abide by certain exchange rules (Cropanzano and Mitchell 2005). SET also assumes that employees who receive economic and socio-emotional resources from their organization will respond with positive working behaviors (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Therefore, when employees positively evaluate their organization's iCSR motives, such as promoting the family support policy or providing a healthy and safe working space (HAS), they are likely to reciprocate with attitudinal commitment through willingness to contribute to the organization more significantly as well as enhanced allegiance to work (Wong and Ko 2009; Thang and Fassin 2017). Besides, the social exchange also explains how the relationship between employees' iCSR motive attributions and behavioral commitment aspects is created. Specifically, the reciprocity norm suggests that employee engagement or commitment to an organization depends on their perceptions of the benefits and value they receive from organizational membership (Collier and Esteban 2007). They tend to reciprocate an organization's iCSR aspects by increasing their engagement or commitment. As a result, iCSR motive attributions are also positively associated with increased levels of behavioral commitment in employees.
More specifically, SET was applied to thoroughly explain the relationships among iCSR aspects, job satisfaction, and organizational engagement to fit into banks' human resource context. Bank employees can choose to engage themselves at various levels in responding to beneficial resources they receive from their bank derived from iCSR initiatives. They can devote more significant amounts of cognitive, emotional, and physical resources to the bank, which is a profound way to respond to the bank's iCSR activities. Grounded on the employee engagement literature (e.g., Kahn 1990), when employees receive benefits or resources from their bank, they can feel obligated to repay their organization with greater engagement levels. Thus, the amount of cognitive, physical, and emotional resources that a bank staff prepares and is willing to devote to doing their work roles depends on socioemotional and economic resources received from the bank. Therefore, SET is considered an appropriate theoretical foundation to explain why a bank employee chooses to become more (or less) engaged in their bank through iCSR aspects-related activities based on the trust and value exchange foundations between an individual and their workplace practices from the lens of SET (Blau 1964; Malik et al. 2022). Scholars in the area (e.g., Saks 2006) also admit the significant role of this lens in investigating antecedents of employee engagement. It is even considered equal or more potential compared with SIT for explicating the positive effects of iCSR aspects on work outcomes (Farooq et al. 2014).

2.2 Hypotheses development

2.2.1 The nexus among iCSR aspects, job satisfaction and organizational engagement

The literature shows that iCSR is generally considered an effective strategy to make the firm more attractive and strengthen employees' satisfaction, commitment, and engagement (e.g., Bravo et al. 2016; Farooq et al. 2017; Chaudhary and Akhouri 2018; Barrena‐Martinez et al. 2019), especially for financial institutions (Story and Castanheira 2019). However, a deep analysis of the extant literature reveals a difference in the relationship between iCSR and employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement. Specifically, while some scholars provided empirical evidence for a significant direct effect of general iCSR on job satisfaction and/or organizational engagement (e.g., Yousaf et al. 2016; Golob and Podnar 2021), some others did not find these significant relationships (e.g., Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). More detailly, the findings of the effects of particular iCSR aspects on employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement are inconsistently found. For example, while Thang and Fassin (2017) found significant relationships between the HAS aspect of iCSR and job satisfaction and organizational commitment, Hossen et al. (2020) did not find these significant relationships. These differences can be derived from various research contexts or inadequate or accurate-lacked investigations of the relationships (Edinger-Schons et al. 2019) due to considering iCSR as a unitary construct while it is a multidimensional construct with some subaspects (Turker 2009; Diaz-Carrion et al. 2019; Dung and Giang 2021; Tang et al. 2023). Therefore, in order to provide a more profound understanding of the relationships between iCSR and employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement, we argue that it is essential to conduct further investigation of the effect of iCSR through its specific aspects instead of the investigation of general iCSR as some previous works (e.g., Yousaf et al. 2016; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022) and should be conducted in understudied geographic areas. Specifically, our study was conducted in a Southeast Asia country (i.e., Vietnam) and with five widely accepted dimensions of iCSR (i.e., HAS, WLB, ETD, SOD, and LAR) to provide a deeper additional understanding for the literature.
More specifically, for our research context, we contend that positive evaluations of the bank's identity from the employee perception will be increased when they perceive their bank as a caring and fair employer through a range of iCSR initiatives (i.e., iCSR practices). Especially, grounded on the analysis of the CSR literature, we find that the relationship between the WLB aspect and employees' job satisfaction exists in various contexts, and it also differs from our study context (e.g., Chaudhuri et al. 2020; Mumu et al. 2021; Yadav et al. 2022). Several previous studies also imply that employees are willing to contribute to the organization more significantly when they look forward to working with colleagues (i.e., the LAR aspect); simultaneously, the organization's family support policy (i.e., the HAS aspect) also strengthens their allegiance to work (e.g., Wong and Ko 2009). When the organization provides a healthy and safe working space (i.e., the HAS aspect), employees will be more satisfied and then express more significant commitment to the organization (Thang and Fassin 2017), whereas this is not confirmed by the work of Hossen et al. (2020).
Besides, based on the arguments of Settoon et al. (1996, p. 219)—i.e., “positive, beneficial actions directed at employees by the organization contribute to the establishment of high-quality exchange relationships…that create obligations for employees to reciprocate in positive, beneficial ways”, we contend that employees are more satisfied and try to respond to their organization through attempts to fulfill obligations by becoming more engaged when they perceive that their organization concerns them and their well‐being through iCSR initiatives (Saks 2006) under the lenses of SIT (Cinnirella 1998; Farooq et al. 2014; El Akremi et al. 2018; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022) and SET (Blau 1964). Specifically, we contend that the positively perceived HAS derived from the bank's iSCR initiatives will enhance employee engagement. Although employees can be lured away by better benefits and wages or cultural factors encouraging employees' autonomy, work–life balance, and well-being (from other organizations), when organizations address these factors, which help enhance their benefits, they see the lasting value in engaging with current organizations (Malik et al. 2022). Some scholars also find a significant relationship between WLB and employee engagement (e.g., Wong and Ko 2009; Saks 2022). Furthermore, the relationship between support and job satisfaction or engagement is also found in the literature (e.g., Schaufeli and Bakker 2004; Anitha 2014). We argue that these supports will not exist without positive LAR and SOD aspects under the lens of social capital theory (Lang 2023). Employees can feel more satisfied with their jobs when they perceive pleasant relations and positive social dialogues with surrounding people or their organization through leaders (Barrena‐Martinez et al. 2019; Chung and Jeon 2020). Significantly, a supportive company culture can raise existing barriers and create an ecosystem to thrive and innovate for employees (Malik et al. 2022). Thus, it leads to strengthening satisfaction with the job and engagement with the organization.
On the other hand, the ETD aspect reflects employees' beliefs about the organization's commitment to improving their competence through training programs (Lee and Bruvold 2003). Some scholars proposed that training is a critical aspect of human capital (e.g., Dahiyat et al. 2022). It provides valuable knowledge and skills for employees (Thang and Fassin 2017; Diaz-Carrion et al. 2019) in order to handle business issues to gain a better competitive advantage (Hamdoun et al. 2022) under the dynamic capability lens (Loureiro et al. 2022). We contend that employees can reciprocate their organization by demonstrating attitudes and behaviors commensurate with what they receive when they perceive their organization commits to providing needed skills and competencies to remain in their job under the SET lens (Blau 1964). Therefore, ETD can help enhance employees' job satisfaction as they can have more autonomy and control over tasks (Tang et al. 2023). The SIT theoretical framework (Tajfel and Turner 1986; Ashforth and Mael 1989; Cinnirella 1998) also explains this relationship in our research context. Specifically, bank employees form a self-perception sense and identification with ETD activities-cared banks. Due to the distinct image of banks with ETD-related iCSR initiatives, their employees may feel proud, worthy, and respected (Chen et al. 2023), which makes them more satisfied with their jobs. However, this relationship is not found and affirmed by some scholars in different contexts (e.g., Hossen et al. 2020), and thus, it needs to be further investigated.
Besides, the relationship between organizational commitment and training is also found in the literature (e.g., Lee and Bruvold 2003). Although there is a relative difference between the terms ‘commitment’ and ‘engagement’, their nature is nearly similar (Schaufeli and Bakker 2004; Saks 2006). We argue that employees' job satisfaction is generally greater, and engagement with the organization is also more positive when employees obtain an improvement in knowledge, skills, and abilities, particularly when they perceive a higher job security derived from the organization's ETD-related iCSR practices. Therefore, we predict:
H1a–e
The aspects of iCSR—i.e., health and safety (H1a), work–life balance (H1b), employee training and development (H1c), labor relations (H1d), and social dialogue (H1e) positively directly affect the job satisfaction of service employees.
H2a–e
The aspects of iCSR—i.e., health and safety (H2a), work–life balance (H2b), employee training and development (H2c), labor relations (H2d), and social dialogue (H2e) positively directly affect the organizational engagement of service employees.

2.2.2 Job satisfaction and organizational engagement

The literature shows that employees' positive experience leads to higher employee engagement levels (Itam and Ghosh 2020; Malik et al. 2022), and thus, their organizational engagement will also be strengthened. Some previous studies also find that service employees with satisfied jobs tend to have positive workplace attitudes, encouraging them to engage in organizational citizenship behavior (e.g., Kunda et al. 2020; Wong et al. 2022; Tang et al. 2023). Several studies also find that satisfaction with the job and engagement with the organization are closely related (e.g., Delina 2020). However, the literature also discloses the two different interpretations. The first point of view is that engagement is created based on repeated satisfied experiences (Itam and Ghosh 2020; Malik et al. 2022). This view is more widely accepted in the literature. It holds that engagement results from positive experiences accumulated within the organization. It is a more stable variable than satisfaction. Thus, satisfaction precedes engagement. For instance, Lee et al. (2012) found that job satisfaction positively affects organizational commitment in franchised food service environments in Korea. Although organizational commitment is not entirely similar to organizational engagement, these two constructs are closely related (Schaufeli and Bakker 2004; Saks 2006).
The second view maintains that engagement is an antecedent of satisfaction. Specifically, Saks (2006) found that organizational engagement positively affects job satisfaction. However, this scholar also stated that he was unsure about this causality. We contend that the first view is more appropriate for our research context, which is also consistent with the SET lens (Blau 1964). Specifically, the literature shows that service employees with satisfaction in their jobs tend to engage in extra-role customer service in return for the employee-oriented activities provided by their organization (e.g., Lee et al. 2006). Thus, they will more likely increase the engagement level with their organization to reciprocate for human resource practices offered by their organization that enhance their job satisfaction. Based on the SET lens, we propose that when bank employees feel satisfied with their job due to benefits derived from iCSR initiatives, they feel obligated to reciprocate with behaviors in favor of their organization, such as their organizational engagement.
The self-determination theory also assumes that employees have a set of intrinsic and extrinsic needs that, once satisfied, will prompt employees to exert extra effort for work (Ryan and Deci 2000). Specifically, the literature shows that service employees with high satisfaction levels in extrinsic or intrinsic needs become motivated to perform beyond job requirements (e.g., Ma et al. 2021). Some previous studies also show that iCSR initiatives satisfy service employees' workplace needs, such as competence through skills training (Diaz-Carrion et al. 2019), leading them to achieve high levels of job satisfaction and, in turn, motivating and empowering them to enact organizational citizenship behavior (Lee et al. 2006; Kunda et al. 2020).
Combining the above discussions regarding the nexus between iCSR aspects and employees' job satisfaction, we propose that bank employees' job satisfaction also helps enhance employees' organizational engagement. Specifically, when bank employees have a positive experience with their jobs because of the physical space, technology, or culture, they feel satisfied with the job role. Therefore, they are much more likely to be engaged with the organization. Based on the implications of SET (Blau 1964) and the self-determination theory (Ryan and Deci 2000), and the above arguments, it is hypothesized:
H3
Job satisfaction has a positive effect on service employees' organizational engagement.
Our conceptual model is summarized from the hypotheses shown in Fig. 1.

3 Methods

Measurement scales of constructs vary across contexts, and thus, they would benefit from a re-validation by explorative and quantitative studies (Lang et al. 2022). This approach helps avoid omitting aspects fitting the research context but are not captured by existing scales (Srnka and Koeszegi 2007). It is particularly popular and encouraged for studies related to measurement adjustment and/or development (Latif et al. 2019). Thus, we adopted the focus group discussion technique to refine the constructs’ scales, even though our study focused on the quantitative method, which provides rigorous scale examinations (Srnka and Koeszegi 2007).
Specifically, three branch directors and two division managers from the five banks in Vietnam were invited to discuss measurements. These participants were over 40 years old and had experience in banking from 19 to 28 years. These participants held a Bachelor's degree or more. The group discussion lasted 2 h. The result shows many changes in the wording of the existing measurable indicators and provides some new ones. For instance, the indicators, “My organization periodically trains employees on occupational safety”, “I can easily arrange between work and personal matters”, and “My organization trains employees via hands-on experience”, were suggested to, respectively, add for the scales of HAS, WLB, and ETD aspects. The participants also suggested deleting indicators from the existing scales that did not fit the context. For instance, the indicators, “My organization provides stress management for employees”, “I accept working extra hours because I am committed to my job”, “My organization provides career counseling and planning assistance to the employees”, “I have a sense of belonging and commitment to the organization”, and “My organization negotiates wage-setting arrangements with trade union”, were proposed to remove from the existing scales of HAS, WLB, ETD, LAR, and SOD, in turn. In sum, the result of our discussion shows some differences from the initial scales developed by other scholars (e.g., Sutherland and Coope 1992; Wong and Ko 2009; Tsui et al. 1997; Ngo et al. 2008; Kenworthy and Kittel 2003), which is considered to be consistent with the statement of some scholars regarding the difference in measurements across research contexts (e.g., Latif et al. 2019; Lang et al. 2022).
Next, a survey questionnaire was designed using the discussion's findings. It had a filtering question to check the respondents' organization. A pre-test with 10 respondents was also performed to ensure a good understanding of the questionnaire. Two survey approaches (i.e., online and offline) were conducted parallelly. Scales were validated by Cronbach's α reliability coefficient analysis, exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), the variance test, and Heterotrait–Heteromethod (HTMT) test techniques using SPSS and SPSS Amos version 24 software programs. Hypotheses were tested by covariance-based SEM. Since the discussion and survey were conducted in Vietnamese, we translated the original scales with the supervision of a professional translator as the measure translation approach of some scholars (e.g., Bravo et al. 2016). We also adopted the back-translation technique with the support of a bilingual professional to compare the source and target language versions for the scales validated from the result of the study.

3.1 Measures

We adopted the scales developed in different contexts in the literature and then reconciled them through a focus group discussion. Specifically, the initial measure of organizational engagement was adopted from Saks (2006), while the initial job satisfaction scale was adapted from Lee et al. (2012). The measure of the WLB aspect was developed based on the work of Wong and Ko (2009). The scales of HAS, ETD, LAR, and SOD were also proposed based on the previous documents of some scholars (i.e., Sutherland and Coope 1992; Tsui et al. 1997; Lee and Bruvold 2003; Kenworthy and Kittel 2003; Ngo et al. 2008; Thang and Fassin 2017). The result of the reconciliation shows three five-indicator scales measuring the HAS, ETD, and LAR variables. The WLB scale has six indicators, while a four-indicator scale is for the SOD variable. Two six-indicator scales measure the variables of job satisfaction and organizational engagement. The five-point Likert scale was used to measure survey question items.

3.2 Sampling

The convenience sampling technique was adopted for this study. The survey lasted 3 months, from March to May, 2020. There were 368 complete questionnaires collected, of which 97 were collected through the offline survey. The respondents reported that they worked for 25 different banks. We approached them with the support of banks' leaders and managers. The valid response rate is 81.78%. The sample profile is presented in Table 1, which shows that the sample surveyed is diverse and can be representative of bank employees in Vietnam. The sample size also ensures the sample conditions required by scholars to perform empirical analyses—i.e., a minimum of 5 times the number of estimated parameters in EFA (Hair et al. 2010), 10 times in CFA (Kline 2011), and at least 200 for SEM (Hair et al. 2010; Kline 2011).
Table 1
Sample profile
Characteristics
Survey (N = 368)
Gender
Male: 32.9%
Female: 67.1%
  
Age
Under 30: 45.1%
30–35: 22.0%
36–40: 17.1%
Above 40: 15.8%
Experience (years)
Under 1: 26.9%
1–5: 53.8%
6–10: 14.1%
Above 10: 5.2%
Education
Higher school: 1.9%
College: 20.9%
University: 66.0%
Postgraduate: 11.1%
Average monthly income (VND; millions)
Under 10: 26.1%
10–20: 59.0%
21–30: 11.1%
Above 30: 3.8%
Bank type
Private joint-stock commercial banks: 77.99%
State-owned banks: 8.97%
Branches of foreign banks: 7.07%
Foreign joint-venture banks: 5.98%

4 Results

4.1 Common method bias analysis

We applied Harman's single-factor test to test common method bias (CMB). The cumulative percentage of a single-factor variance is 27.014%, well under the 50% threshold (Harman 1976). Besides, CMB was also further tested using the common latent factor test as an alternative test. The result shows that the common variance is estimated; that is, each path's square of the common factor before standardization is not exceeded the 50% threshold (Kline 2011; Eichhorn 2014). CMB is thus not considered a concern for the current study.

4.2 Measurement validation

Cronbach's alpha (α) reliability coefficient analysis was calculated for the scales to identify the internal consistency reliability equivalence. The result shows that all αs are above 0.7 and at least 0.807 (i.e., for the SOD scale) after removing one indicator of the WLB scale, as its item-total correlation coefficient is less than 0.3 (Hair et al. 2010). Next, EFA with Principal Axis Factoring and Promax Rotation was performed. The result shows seven factors extracted, corresponding with the seven constructs in the conceptual model. One indicator of the SOD scale was also removed because it did not satisfy one of the statistical conditions—i.e., the bias between loadings should be below 0.3 (Jabnoun and Al-Tamimi 2003). Finally, CFA was employed to test the critical model to identify acceptable convergent and discriminant validity. The CFA result shows that all goodness-of-fit indices are valid without any adjustable solution [Chi-square (χ2) = 583.710, degrees of freedom (df) = 539, P-value (p) = 0.089; Comparative fit index (CFI) = 0.993; Tucker–Lewis index (TLI) = 0.992; χ2/df = 1.083; Root mean square errors of approximation (RMSEA) = 0.015]. Therefore, the measurement model is accepted. Scale validation results are shown in Table 2, which shows the scales' reliability [composite reliability > 0.6, average value explained (AVE) > 0.5, and α > 0.7], convergent validity (λ > 0.5), and discriminant validity (correlations significantly different than one; Hair et al. 2010). The result of the variance test also shows that all AVE values are above 0.5 (the lowest being 0.502 for the WLB scale). The scales' convergent validity is thus established (Fornell and Larcker 1981). The constructs' maximum shared variance values are also less than their corresponding AVE values (the highest being 0.367 for the scale of job satisfaction or organizational engagement). Hence, all scales' discriminant validity is consolidated (Hu and Bentler 1999). The results of the HTMT test also show that all values are lower than the 0.85 threshold. Thus, all scales gain suitable discriminant validity (Henseler et al. 2015).
Table 2
Measurement reliability and validity
Constructs/indicators
λ
Reliability
Health and safety
 
CR = 0.845
AVE = 0.522
α = 0.844
 My organization asks employees to follow health and safety rules
0.802
 
 My organization provides good healthcare in the workplace
0.712
 
 My organization provides medical insurance for employees
0.699
 
 My organization periodically trains employees on occupational safety
0.702
 
 My organization provides a periodic medical examination
0.693
 
Work–life balance
 
CR = 0.834
AVE = 0.502
α = 0.834
 I have enough time after work to carry out personal matters
0.738
 
 I feel very energetic after work
0.711
 
 I can schedule preferred days off supported by the team
0.722
 
 I look forward to being with the people I work with each day
0.683
 
 I can easily arrange between work and personal matters
0.688
 
Employee training and development
 
CR = 0.871
AVE = 0.574
α = 0.870
 My organization allows employees to have the time to learn new skills that prepare them for future jobs
0.754
 
 My organization trains employees via hands-on experience
0.772
 
 My organization trains employees on skills that prepare them for future jobs and career development
0.764
 
 My organization provides a systematic program that regularly assesses employees' skills and interests
0.771
 
 My organization provides orientation training to the new employees
0.727
 
Labor relations
 
CR = 0.866
AVE = 0.567
α = 0.866
 I maintain a rapport relationship with co-staffs and am willing to share information
0.742
 
 I can freely join trade unions at organization
0.622
 
 My co-staffs are very supportive when I need help from them
0.771
 
 I am able to discuss operational issues in an open, frank, and constructive manner
0.798
 
 My organization provides the equal employment opportunity for all employees
0.815
 
Social dialogue
 
CR = 0.774
AVE = 0.534
α = 0.775
 My organization allows the light of freedom of collective bargaining
0.737
 
 My organization negotiates central agreements with trade unions and government agencies
0.694
 
 My organization organizes frequent dialogue with employees
0.759
 
Job satisfaction
 
CR = 0.891
AVE = 0.576
α = 0.890
 My job is pretty interesting
0.758
 
 I feel fairly well-satisfied with my present job
0.743
 
 Most days, I am enthusiastic about my work
0.800
 
 I consider my job pleasant
0.750
 
 I find real enjoyment in my work
0.753
 
 I definitely like my work
0.748
 
Organizational engagement
 
CR = 0.887
AVE = 0.567
α = 0.887
 I am highly engaged in this organization
0.765
 
 Being a member of this organization is exhilarating for me
0.793
 
 I am really into the “goings-on” in this organization
0.737
 
 Being a member of this organization makes me come “alive”
0.730
 
 Being a member of this organization is very captivating
0.725
 
 One of the most exciting things for me is getting involved with things happening in this organization
0.767
 
λ Loading, CR Composite reliability, AVE Average variance extracted, α Cronbach’s alpha

4.3 Hypotheses testing

The result of the scale validation indicates that the scales are unidimensional. SEM was employed to verify the conceptual model. The result (Fig. 2) confirms that all overall fit indices are valid (i.e., χ2 = 583.710, df = 539, p = 0.089, TLI = 0.992, CFI = 0.993, χ2/df = 1.083, and RMSEA = 0.015). Thus, the model is accepted (Hair et al. 2010). The structural result indicates the meaningful role of iCSR aspects in driving service employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement in a Southeast Asia emerging country (i.e., Vietnam).
Specifically, all iCSR aspects (i.e., HAS, WLB, ETD, LAR, and SOD) are found to have direct positive effects on job satisfaction (p = 0.036, < 0.001, 0.001, < 0.001, and 0.029, in turn). Thus, five H1a–e hypotheses are statistically significantly confirmed. The structural result also shows that all relationships between five iCSR aspects and organizational engagement exist (p < 0.001 for all), which support the H2a–e hypotheses. Finally, our testing result shows a significant relationship between job satisfaction and organizational engagement (p = 0.008). Thus, the H3 is also supported. These findings imply that the iCSR aspects are crucial in driving service employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement. The study also provides evidence that employee engagement will be increased when employees are satisfied with their job. The Bootstrap technique was also performed to test the stability of structural results (n = 5000). The result shows that the structural model test is stable to provide reliable and valid analyses (see Table 3).
Table 3
Structural model and Bootstrap results
Hypotheses
Structural modeling results
Bootstrap results (n = 5000)
Hypotheses testing
Std. β
Unstd. β
SE
p
Mean
Bias
SE bias
H1a
Health and safety
 → 
Job satisfaction
0.121
0.093
0.045
**
0.121
0.000
0.001
Supported
H1b
Work–life balance
 → 
Job satisfaction
0.288
0.207
0.042
***
0.289
0.001
0.001
Supported
H1c
Employee training and development
 → 
Job satisfaction
0.206
0.167
0.052
**
0.204
 − 0.002
0.001
Supported
H1d
Labor relations
 → 
Job satisfaction
0.278
0.243
0.048
***
0.278
0.000
0.001
Supported
H1e
Social dialogue
 → 
Job satisfaction
0.138
0.124
0.057
**
0.139
0.001
0.001
Supported
H2a
Health and safety
 → 
Organizational engagement
0.180
0.142
0.041
***
0.180
0.000
0.001
Supported
H2b
Work–life balance
 → 
Organizational engagement
0.207
0.152
0.040
***
0.207
0.000
0.001
Supported
H2c
Employee training and development
 → 
Organizational engagement
0.205
0.171
0.048
***
0.204
 − 0.001
0.001
Supported
H2d
Labor relations
 → 
Organizational engagement
0.256
0.230
0.046
***
0.255
 − 0.002
0.001
Supported
H2e
Social dialogue
 → 
Organizational engagement
0.191
0.176
0.052
***
0.193
0.002
0.001
Supported
H3
Job satisfaction
 → 
Organizational engagement
0.159
0.163
0.062
**
0.161
0.002
0.001
Supported
ns Non-significant
**, ***Significant at levels of 5%, 1%

5 Discussion

Our study has a micro-level focus by evaluating the interlinkage between bank employees' perception of iCSR initiatives in their organization and their job satisfaction and organizational engagement. It not only helps this research stream further develop more systematically (Glavas 2016) but also adds or makes the findings of some previous studies more detailed. Specifically, this research provides some noteworthy findings for discussion.
First, this research improved the scales of the existing constructs by providing more focused scales. Specifically, four five-indicator scales are established to measure the WLB, HAS, ETD, and LAR variables, while a three-indicator scale is also proposed to measure the SOD variable (Table 1). These scales form a more comprehensive measurement for the iCSR construct. They differ significantly from the initial scales adapted from other scholars. Thus, the result is aligned with the implication of Latif et al. (2019) and Lang et al. (2022) regarding the difference in measurement scales across various contexts.
Second, this study revealed the significant role of the iCSR aspects in driving bank employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement under the SIT and SET lenses. The result not only gives more detail but also adds differentiated findings to the iCSR literature. Specifically, our study shows that five iCSR aspects directly affect job satisfaction. Wherein the impact of the WLB aspect on job satisfaction is the most significant (0.288), followed by the impacts of LAR (0.278), ETD (0.206), SOD (0.138), and HAS (0.121), respectively. These findings support the inference of Chaudhary and Akhouri (2018), Malik et al. (2022), and our arguments that iCSR aspects need to be adopted as one essential strategy to improve employee job satisfaction. Furthermore, the result helps enhance the generalizability of previous studies' findings about the role of the iCSR aspects in driving job satisfaction due to conducted in a different context (i.e., a Southeast Asia emerging country), such as WLB (Chaudhuri et al. 2020; Mumu et al. 2021; Yadav et al. 2022), LAR (Chung and Jeon 2020) and particularly its support aspect (Wong and Ko 2009), HAS (Thang and Fassin 2017), and ETD (Lee and Bruvold 2003; Tang et al. 2023).
The iCSR aspects were also identified to affect organizational engagement positively. Specifically, the influence of the LAR aspect is the most significant (0.256), followed by the effects of WLB (0.207), ETD (0.205), SOD (0.191), and HAS (0.180), respectively. This result supports the inference of Malik et al. (2022) about LAR and our arguments related to HAS and SOD that these aspects directly positively influence employees' organizational engagement. Our findings also increase the generalizability of previous works related to the significant effect of WLB (Wong and Ko 2009; Saks 2022) and LAR (Schaufeli and Bakker 2004; Anitha 2014) on employees' organizational engagement, or the significant relationship between training and organizational commitment—a similar aspect to organizational engagement (Lee and Bruvold 2003). Therefore, our study not only adds but also clarifies the findings of some previous works (e.g., Yousaf et al. 2016; Story and Castanheira 2019; Golob and Podnar 2021; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022) by providing a profound and more detailed understanding of each iCSR aspects' role on bank employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement instead of an investigation on a general iCSR construct.
In addition, our findings also have some differences from some previous works. For example, we detected a significant relationship between the ETD aspect and job satisfaction, while Hossen et al. (2020) did not find this. We also found the significant effects of all five aspects of iCSR on bank employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement. Thus, it can be concluded that general iCSR positively affects employee job satisfaction and organizational engagement, although this was not found in the work of Chatzopoulou et al. (2022). Thus, our study also contributes to clarifying the role of iCSR in the existing CSR literature.
Otherwise, our findings show that banks' iCSR initiatives provide employees with the necessary cues that help them to be viewed as caring entities. As a result, employees trust their ethical stance, integrity, and overall character, which helps increase employees' willingness to reciprocate with the bank. This result also implies that iCSR is not part of an organization's mandatory business framework but instead a part of a more discretionary CSR scheme, and thus, it also differs from the implication of some other scholars in this area (e.g., Farooq et al. 2017; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022).
The research also indicated the extent of the impact of iCSR aspects. Specifically, we discovered that there is only a slight change in the order of the degree of impacts of five aspects of iCSR on job satisfaction and organizational engagement, with a replacement between the two most significant influential aspects (i.e., WLB and LAR). Moreover, the impacts of each of the five iCSR aspects on job satisfaction are found to be more significant than the impacts on organizational engagement. These findings should be considered essential notes to both scholars and practitioners. Overall, this result consolidates the arguments of Settoon et al. (1996) and Saks (2006) regarding employees' appropriate responses (i.e., organizational engagement) to their organization resulting from the organization's iCSR practices, as well as contributes to providing a deeper understanding of the combination of SIT and SET in evaluating the role of iCSR initiatives in strengthening job satisfaction and work outcomes.
Finally, we found evidence that job satisfaction significantly affects organizational engagement (0.159). This finding supports the previous studies (e.g., Chaudhary and Akhouri 2018) related to the significant relationship between employee experience and employee engagement. It also enhances the generalizability of the findings of the effect of repeated satisfied experiences on employee engagement (e.g., Lee et al. 2012; Itam and Ghosh 2020; Malik et al. 2022). Remarkably, the result consolidates the implication of a close relationship between job satisfaction and organizational engagement proposed by some scholars (e.g., Delina 2020). It also extends the work of several scholars (e.g., Kunda et al. 2020; Wong et al. 2022; Tang et al. 2023) regarding the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational engagement behavior types. The result also implies extending the combination of SET and the self-determination theory in evaluating the job satisfaction–organizational engagement relationship. In addition, this result seems contrary to Saks's (2006) finding regarding the impact of organizational engagement on job satisfaction. However, we contend that this difference simply provides a multidimensional perspective for the relationship between these two variables. In brief, this finding adds empirical evidence of the relationship between job satisfaction and organizational engagement. Thus, it can also be considered a contribution to the existing employee engagement literature.

6 Conclusion, limitations and future research directions

6.1 Theoretical contributions

Our study indicated the significant role of five iCSR aspects in strengthening bank employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement in a Southeast Asia emerging market. Our findings contribute to the extant literature on iCSR and employee engagement by providing a profound and more detailed understanding of the role of five iCSR aspects, alongside an enhanced understanding of the combination of the SIT and SET frameworks in micro-level CSR investigation. Specifically, this study has three principal theoretical implications.
First, it explains the significant role of five iCSR aspects in driving bank employees' job satisfaction, creating engagement with the organization later. The result helps enhance the generalizability of the findings from some past studies (e.g., Chaudhuri et al. 2020; Yadav et al. 2022) due to being conducted in an understudied geographic area (i.e., Southeast Asia), especially with an employee sample, instead of managerial staff as the majority of previous studies (Xiao et al. 2020). Our findings also support some scholars' inference regarding the significant role of iCSR initiatives as one essential strategy to improve job satisfaction and employee engagement (e.g., Chaudhary and Akhouri 2018; Chung and Jeon 2020). Specifically, our study adds to the extant iCSR literature by providing a more detailed understanding of the role of five specific iCSR aspects instead of a general iCSR variable as some past works (e.g., Yousaf et al. 2016; Story and Castanheira 2019; Golob and Podnar 2021; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). It also extends the works of some other scholars (e.g., Lee et al. 2012; Hossen et al. 2020) with some new iCSR aspects added (e.g., the ETD aspect) or provides a more profound understanding of the significant role of iCSR that some other studies (e.g., Hossen et al. 2020; Chatzopoulou et al. 2022) did not indicate or find. Our study also provides empirical evidence for the implication of several other scholars (e.g., Barrena‐Martinez et al. 2019) regarding the significant role of socially responsible HRM practices (also iCSR) in strengthening job satisfaction and organizational engagement. In addition, our findings can be a useful reference source for bank managers in Southeast Asia emerging markets to develop effective HRM solutions.
Second, our research reveals that job satisfaction significantly affects organizational engagement in a bank context in a Southeast Asia emerging country (i.e., Vietnam). The finding helps increase the generalizability of the findings of some previous studies (e.g., Lee et al. 2012; Itam and Ghosh 2020; Malik et al. 2022) due to an investigation conducted from an understudied geographic region. Thus, it can also be a contribution to the literature on employee engagement or organizational behavior by providing an added understanding.
Third, by research on the interlinkages of iCSR initiatives, job attitudes (i.e., job satisfaction), and work outcomes (i.e., organizational engagement), this approach brings the theories of stakeholders and CSR closer to the literature on organizational behavior (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Especially, the adoption of the postulations of both SIT and SET theories can pave the way for the potential for an integrative psychological theory that underlies research on micro-level CSR (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). In addition, this study also contributes to the extant CSR literature by providing a more comprehensive iCSR scale. The scale has five aspects. It is recommended to apply for other studies. In summary, among the relevant abundant studies, this research can be considered one of the most comprehensive studies that accentuate employees' evaluations of the role of the iCSR aspects in driving bank employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement through integrating the SIT and SET lenses conducted in an understudied geographic area (i.e., Southeast Asia). The findings and measurements can be employed to examine the effect of iCSR on employees' attitudes and work outcomes in other contexts.

6.2 Managerial implications

Our findings provide some implications for business practice.
First, bank managers can consider iCSR initiatives as one of the critical strategies for strengthening employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement. Specific iCSR practices should base on five main iCSR aspects (i.e., HAS, WLB, ETD, LAR, and SOD) and their measurement indicators. Besides, six indicators of each measurement of job satisfaction and organizational engagement can be considered as goals in HRM practice.
Second, satisfaction is an antecedent of employee organizational engagement. We suggest that solutions bringing perceived WLB, LAR, and ETD should be prioritized due to their important role. More specifically, it is necessary to establish flexible policies regarding the number of working hours (per day) and days (per week). Bank employees' key performance indices need to be appropriate to help them balance their working tasks, interests, and other personal issues. In particular, effective organizational interventions and policies, as well as boundary management strategies, should be adopted to strengthen employees' well-being and improve work–life integration. These solutions can help increase employees' perception of the WLB aspect of iCSR. Besides, a supportive, open, and fair organizational culture is critical, which should be implemented by top management and the HRM division. Additionally, union activities are also essential to create positive labor relations in banks. They should be encouraged, helping to strengthen the LAR aspect that leads to enhanced employee job satisfaction and organizational engagement.
ETD is also particularly crucial. The bank should frequently organize training programs that not only provide skills for current jobs but also aim for employees' future jobs and career development. These programs can be in-house courses or courses via hands-on experience. Training programs for new employees are also essential. The bank should also implement systematic and regular assessment programs for employees' skills and interests. In sum, iCSR initiatives should be adopted to ensure that bank employees perceive that they gain WLB and pleasant working relations at the workplace (i.e., LAR). They also perceive that training and development programs (ETD) are appropriate, clear, and helpful to ensure their job and career development.
Finally, employee wellbeing-oriented CSR–HRM practices are crucial due to greater employee engagement than performance-driven CSR–HRM practices (Xiao et al. 2020). An integrative external and internal CSR scheme is also essential, helping enhance the effectiveness of banks' human capital (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). The bank can also implement socially responsible HRM practices to develop an organizational CSR climate and then gain employee support for external CSR initiatives (Shen and Zhang 2019). The solution is to recruit socially responsible-oriented employees, provide CSR training programs, and consider employees' social contributions during performance appraisal, rewards, compensation, and promotion (Shen and Benson 2016). Moreover, introducing CSR in motivational and appraisal HRM practices can motivate responsible values and help create a CSR culture in the bank (Shen and Zhu 2011). Remarkably, the merger of two CSR and HRM functions to exploit the overlaps and reduce political conflicts (over competency fields) through the support of human resource professional associations and business schools should be one of the considered solutions (De Stefano et al. 2018). In addition, we also call attention to better internal communication strategies to communicate and educate employees about the bank's efforts concerning iCSR initiatives. By doing so, bank employees' work outcomes may be more positive.

6.3 Conclusion, limitations and future research directions

Our study indicates the significant role of five iCSR aspects in driving service employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement under the SIT and SET lenses in an understudied Southeast Asia emerging market. The findings contribute to the extant literature on iCSR and employee engagement by providing a profound and detailed understanding. Our study also implicates integrating SIT and SET lenses to form an integrative psychological theory that underlies micro-level CSR studies. The study also contributes to the literature by providing an integrative measurement scale of iCSR with five aspects for the bank context. In addition, some managerial implications are also suggested to aim to help the bank strengthen employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement.
The current study has some limitations that pave the way for future research. First, some other potential aspects of iCSR may be absent. Further research to expand iCSR aspects is essential. Second, CSR and its internal aspects depend on the context. Thus, it needs to be explored more strictly to capture aspects and appropriate measurable indicators that may be lacking. Third, further research on other service sectors is also a considerable topic. Fourth, there may be causality impacts among aspects of iCSR; therefore, further investigation into this domain should also be noted. Fifth, the external aspect of CSR significantly affects employees' job satisfaction and organizational commitment (Chatzopoulou et al. 2022). Thus, research into combining internal and external aspects of CSR in unexplored service sectors is also helpful. Finally, exploring what HRM practices and CSR activities can be more effective in the CSR–HRM link to particular groups of employees or employee wellbeing-oriented HRM practices can also be a considerable research topic (Xiao et al. 2020). In addition, socially responsible HRM is closely associated with iCSR, but it has received limited empirical study attention (Shen and Zhang 2019). Therefore, research on the consequences of socially responsible HRM on employees is also recommended.

Declarations

Conflict of interest

All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to declare.
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Metadaten
Titel
The impact of internal social responsibility on service employees' job satisfaction and organizational engagement
verfasst von
Loan Thi-Hong Van
Le Dang Lang
Trong Liem-Phuoc Ngo
João Ferreira
Publikationsdatum
06.03.2024
Verlag
Springer Berlin Heidelberg
Erschienen in
Service Business / Ausgabe 1/2024
Print ISSN: 1862-8516
Elektronische ISSN: 1862-8508
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11628-024-00555-1

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