A theory of collective empathy in corporate philanthropy decisions

Muller, A. R., Pfarrer, M. D. & Little, L. M., 2014, In : Academy of Management Review. 39, 1, p. 1-21 21 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-21
Number of pages21
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes

ID: 23386797