ЖИЗНЕСПОСО́БНOE РАЗВИ́ТИЕ OR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT? An Experimental Study into the Employer Branding Effect in Austria through Russian and US Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting.

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Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting (CSRR) has been found to be an important employer branding tool in the oil and gas industry. As US and Russian oil and gas corporations supply the Austrian market through subsidiaries in the country, this study examined whether cultural differences between their CSRR themes lead to different levels of success of employer branding in Austria. The first hypothesis was that Austrian potential employees would respond more favourably to Russian CSRR tailored towards societal groups and employees because the specific themes are driven by personal needs and societal equity. The second hypothesis suggested that the participants would prefer US CSRR about environmental practices as the themes show awareness of environmental challenges by addressing long-term strategies. The assumptions based on two Austrian cultural values: institutional collectivism (IC) and the environmental performanc! e index ( EPI). An experiment in a 2 (Nation: US vs. Russia) x 3 (Domain: Responsibility for employees vs. Social performance vs. Environmental performance) mixed design was conducted and Austrian potential employees were exposed to mock job advertisements. As responses towards Russian and US CSRR, no different levels of trust, identification, commitment, employer attractiveness and employment intent were found and therefore the hypotheses were not supported. However, for Russian CSRR this study revealed that Austrian potential employees identify significantly less with corporations reporting about employee-tailored than about environmental or social policies. Moreover, participants showed a significantly higher employment intent when exposed to job advertisements featuring environmentally sustainable practices than to those featuring social practices. Even though the present findings indicate that the concept of CSRR still is received with scepticism in Austria, US and Russian corpo! rations i n the oil and gas industry could focus on the communication of practices which counteract the environmental harm of their products in order to positively affect Austrian potential employees’ employment intent.
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