Why Authenticity in Corporate and Employee Volunteering Matters for Employee Engagement: An Organisational Behaviour Perspective

  • Megan PaullEmail author
  • Craig Whitsed
Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)


Corporate and employee volunteering is increasingly significant within the context of organisational behaviour, receiving increased attention around the world. The research exploring this is scattered and uneven, with different perspectives shaping disparate discourses. While there is limited definitional consensus, corporate and employee volunteering is considered an employee engagement initiative and a corporate social responsibility activity. Placing emphasis on the behaviour of individuals, the giving of time, planned activity and the recipient as external, non-profit or charitable organisation Rodell et al. (J Manag 42(1):55–84, 2016: 57) defines employee volunteering as “employed individuals giving time during a planned activity for an external non-profit or charitable group or organization”. While Volunteering Australia (n.d.) promotes corporate volunteering as the provision of opportunities to employees to develop staff and teams skills which can bolster a company’s reputation within the community .

The multiple storylines contain nuanced and often conflicted understandings of the purpose, and benefits of volunteering in the corporate environment. This chapter explores the discursive positioning of corporate and employee volunteering through the lens of positioning theory . It is a powerful conceptual heuristic that provides a social constructivist theoretical framework through which to consider the ‘moral order’, positions and storylines that together delimit possible actions and the meanings of what is expected, permissible, said and done. Positioning theory provides new insights into volunteering as an analytical tool within the organisational behaviour discipline and discourse .


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Company Websites Used for Analysis of Self Positioning

  1. BHP Billiton.
  2. FMG (Fortescue Metals Group Limited).
  3. NAB (National Australia Bank).
  4. Slater and Gordon lawyers.

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centre for Responsible Citizenship and Sustainability, School of Business and GovernanceMurdoch UniversityPerthAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Humanities, School of EducationCurtin UniversityPerthAustralia

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