Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to empirically examine the relationship between students’ perceptions of equal employment opportunity/affirmative action (EEO/AA) ideals and their perceptions of companies’ ability to meet goals using their corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices. The paper also examined the extent to which students’ support of EEO/AA relates to their community mindedness and attitudes toward volunteerism. Design/methodology/approach – The paper obtained data by surveying 895 students from a medium-sized university in the southern USA. Findings – Individuals generally supported EEO/AA, but differentiated between the two, with AA receiving less support. Those supporting EEO/AA were less likely to view a company’s CSR as instrumental in achieving the firm’s goals or its customers’ goals. EEO supporters reported more positive attitudes toward volunteering and tended to see more constraints to volunteering; however, EEO/AA attitudes mostly were unrelated to community mindedness or volunteering behavior. Practical implications – Potential applicants perceived EEO and AA statements differently. Rather than perceiving EEO/AA as instrumental in achieving outcomes via CSR, individuals viewed EEO/AA as compliance activities, distinct from CSR. We suggest that companies consider using broader diversity initiatives (e.g. recruitment, promotion and training) as part of CSR, rather than focusing on compliance issues. Originality/value – Research has not explored the relationship among EEO/AA perceptions and “doing good” as a company (CSR), as well as “doing good” individually (volunteerism). This study provides the basis for additional research to better understand these relationships.
International Journal of Law and Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Nov 4, 2014