Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 153, Issue 3, pp 825–837 | Cite as

The Roles of HRM in CSR: Strategic Partnership or Operational Support?

  • Harsha SarvaiyaEmail author
  • Gabriel Eweje
  • Jim Arrowsmith
Original Paper


As the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy requires promoting employee participation and initiating meaningful changes in organisational culture, the involvement of the human resource management (HRM) function in policy formulation and implementation is highly desirable. The relationship between the HRM and CSR functions is, however, under-investigated than other areas. Hence, there is a lack of clarity concerning HRM roles and the conditions under which they may be strategic or operational in nature. By drawing on data from interviews with 29 CSR and HRM professionals of large organisations in New Zealand, this paper argues that the role and contribution of the HR function in CSR is contingent on organisational variables such as the CSR structure, the scope and application of CSR and the nature of the HR functions. It concludes that in such contexts HRM is more likely to offer operational support in executing CSR rather than strategic input.


CSR HRM roles CSR–HRM links New Zealand 



This study was supported by Massey University.

Compliance with ethical standards

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of Massey University, New Zealand.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harsha Sarvaiya
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gabriel Eweje
    • 2
  • Jim Arrowsmith
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of International Business and Asian StudiesGriffith UniversityBrisbaneAustralia
  2. 2.School of ManagementMassey UniversityAucklandNew Zealand

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