A Theory of Collective Empathy in Corporate Philanthropy Decisions
Academy of Management Review, Forthcoming
50 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2013
Date Written: March 6, 2013
Prevailing perspectives of 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.
Keywords: corporate philanthropy, decision making, emotion, empathy, infusion, AET, AIM, IET
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