The Divergent Influence of Social Responsibility on Employee Engagement through the Lens of Marital Status: Evidence from Higher Education Institutions

Low Mei Peng


Purpose – This research paper has two purposes. Firstly, it aims to study the influence of social responsibility on employee engagement in a non-business setting, particularly higher education institutions. Internal Corporate Social Responsibility and Perceived Roles of Ethics and Social Responsibility were used to measure the social responsibility aspect. Secondly, the study further explores the difference between two heterogeneous groups of academics.

Design/methodology/approach –A quantitative approach and non-probability judgmental sampling method were used in this research. A self-administered questionnaire containing the respondents’ demographic information and the main constructs of the research framework was distributed among the respondents targeted. Partial least squares structural equation modelling was used to assess the predictability of the model and a multi-group analysis was conducted to examine the differences between the non-married and married academics.

Findings – The findings reveal that Perceived Roles of Ethics and Social Responsibility and Internal Corporate Social Responsibility are significantly related to academics’ Employee Engagement. The conclusion is that ethics and social responsibility have a similar influence in a non-business setting, such as a higher education institution. An insignificant result is obtained for the two heterogeneous groups of non-married and married academics. 

Originality/value – This research paper provides informative insights on the roles of ethics and social responsibility in a non-business setting, i.e., higher education institutions. It also complements the understanding of their insignificant influence on married and non-married academics. This serves as good information for higher education institutions’ administrators for devising alternative means to improve academics’ engagement in the workplace.



ethics and social responsibility, Internal Corporate Social Responsibility, employee engagement, academics, Multi-group analysis


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