- A Theory of Collective Empathy in Corporate Philanthropy Decisions
- The Academy of Management Review
- Volume | Issue number
- 39 | 1
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
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.
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