A THEORY OF COLLECTIVE EMPATHY IN CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY DECISIONS

TitleA THEORY OF COLLECTIVE EMPATHY IN CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY DECISIONS
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsMuller A.R, Pfarrer M.D, Little L.M
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Volume39
Issue1
Pagination1-21
Date PublishedJan
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0363-7425
Accession NumberWOS:000330712100001
Keywordsaffective events theory, emotional intelligence, empirical-analysis, environmental jolts, field experiment, middle managers, moral identity, Organizations, radical change, social-responsibility
Abstract

Prevailing perspectives on corporate philanthropy are predominantly rational and limit decision making to the executive suite. Recently, however, recognition has grown that employees are also important drivers of corporate philanthropy efforts and that their motives may be more empathic in nature. Integrating arguments from affective events theory, intergroup emotions theory, and affect infusion theory, we develop a framework in which organization members' collective empathy in response to the needs of unknown others infuses executives' decisions, thereby affecting the likelihood, scale, and form of corporate philanthropy. Our theory has implications for research on emotions in organizations, as well as for our understanding of the role of organizations in society.

DOI10.5465/amr.2012.0031