Melbourne Law School - Research Publications

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    CSR for Happiness: Corporate determinants of societal happiness as social responsibility
    Chia, A ; Kern, ML ; Neville, BA (Wiley, 2020-07)
    Over the past decade, societal happiness has increasingly been considered important to public policy initiatives globally, supported by interdisciplinary scholarly efforts spanning the social sciences, economics, and public health. Curiously, despite for‐profit corporations being core social institutions of modern societies, scant attention has been given to the social role and responsibilities of corporations in relation to societal happiness. In this article, we review and integrate research from positive psychology and related disciplines to examine happiness as a social outcome of corporate activity. We propose that corporations have a social responsibility to respect, preserve, and advance people's right to, and experience of, happiness—which we term CSR for Happiness. Within the existing literature, stakeholder happiness has generally been narrowly conceptualized in hedonic terms and has failed to consider the broader impacts of corporate activities on societal happiness. Drawing on advances in psychological theory and research, we provide a holistic conceptualization of happiness, which includes objective, subjective, hedonic, and eudaimonic dimensions of happiness. We offer an integrative conceptual framework, which includes the macro‐to‐micro and micro‐to‐macro pathways through which corporations directly and indirectly impact upon societal happiness. Finally, we consider implications of happiness research for the intersections of business and society.