To what extent do undergraduate business degree students find corporate social performance, and its elements, to be attractive in a potential employer?

Thumbnail Image
Other Title
O'Rourke, Maurice
Author ORCID Profiles (clickable)
Master of Business
Unitec Institute of Technology
Peel, Simon
Masters Thesis
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
corporate social performance
job-seeker attitudes
business students
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
O'Rourke, M. (2010).To what extent do undergraduate business degree students find corporate social performance, and its elements, to be attractive in a potential employer? A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Business, Unitec Institute of Technology, New Zealand.
The purpose of this study was to investigate the importance and impact of espoused Corporate Social Performance (CSP) on job-seeker attitudes towards organisational attraction, and to then extend this inquiry further to determining "why" such attraction may, or may not, occur. The research question is: “to what extent do job-seekers find Corporate Social Performance, and its elements, to be attractive in a potential employer?” The five sub-dimensions/elements of CSP investigated were: employee relations, treatment of women and minorities, concern for the environment, product quality, and community relations. CSP was not only explored in its entirety and as individual elements but contrasted and evaluated for relative importance against five more traditional organisational attributes; challenging work, training and development, pay compensation and benefits, career advancement, and job security. This study was conducted using a sample population of Undergraduate Business Degree students from a large institute of technology. A survey questionnaire was distributed both electronically and in paper copy format for voluntary participation by students. Participants were asked to assess the value of CSP in a potential employer, and rank and scale the individual elements in order of importance. The survey sought participant views and opinions as to the reason for their selections and rankings of importance. All data collected from correctly returned questionnaires was collated for analysis. From this analysis while it was found that overall traditional job factors hold more importance than CSP to job-seekers in a potential employer, the element "employee relations" was prominent and universally valued in an employer. Of the five CSP elements measured in this study "employee relations" and "product quality" ranked first and second most important in a potential employer respectively. It was also found that different job-seeking populations may value certain CSP elements differently. Additionally, the findings of this study indicate that job-seekers value CSP elements that have direct impact, and are more closely linked to daily work life more highly than those seemingly more removed. The findings of this study suggest that there are many and varied influences that impact on job-seeker perceptions of the importance of CSP in a potential employer, and a number of theoretical rationales. A key finding was that jobseekers may perceive CSP as a "commitment" to them by employers. Furthermore, from a theoretical standpoint social identity theory and signalling theory appeared to offer explanatory assessment. This study found support for the perceived attraction, value and importance of espoused organisational CSP activity in potential employers by jobseekers.
Link to ePress publication
Copyright holder
Copyright notice
All rights reserved
Copyright license
Available online at