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Purpose – The aim of this paper is to examine hotel frontline employees' perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities at the hotel they currently work, and how their perceptions influence their level of organizational identification, an indicator of their relationship quality with the hotel.

Design/methodology/approach – This study uses 575 responses of hotel frontline employees in the US, collected through a national online survey.

Findings – Results show that hotel employees' perceptions of CSR activities encompass the host community, colleagues, and customers, beyond green practices. Moreover, their perceptions of CSR activities positively and significantly influence the level of organizational identification.

Research limitations/implications – The results of this exploratory study should not be generalized to all frontline employees in the US hotel industry. Future studies should extend this study to examine potential relationships among other variables relevant to organizational identification, and in other hospitality industry contexts. Also, this study does not seek to question the merits of CSR per se, as it takes a managerial perspective to assist hoteliers' understanding of and decision-making on CSR.

Practical implications – As CSR activities often represent company values and norms, frontline employees' perceptions of them can influence how they identify with the company, which is an impetus for their attitudinal and behavioral support to help achieve the company's goals. Accordingly, CSR activities can be a critical tool in engaging frontline employees to achieve better performance and derive more meaning in their careers, and in attracting good quality employees.

Originality/value – This study is a first attempt to empirically examine how CSR activities can benefit hotel employees, based on various literatures on service-profit-chain, CSR, and social identity theory.


This work is a post-print version of an article published by Emerald. The published version is available at:



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