Given that the future of corporate social responsibility depends on upcoming generations' attitudes, a better understanding of the relationship between corporate social responsibility orientation and its predictors has significant implications for various stakeholders. This study sought to examine the factors that influence students' corporate social responsibility orientation in higher education contexts. To this end, primary data were collected through questionnaires distributed to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, a northern Portuguese public institution. Although personal values, gender, religion, political ideology, academic field of study, and volunteerism appear to influence some corporate social responsibility orientation dimensions, the results only show significant relationships with gender, religion, and volunteerism. The most important findings include that women, religious students, and those who volunteer have a stronger philanthropic orientation and that women appear to have a more intense ethical orientation. In addition, the research conducted facilitated the definition of student profiles for each corporate social responsibility orientation dimension. This study's results provide interesting evidence of orientation-determinant links, which expands the literature on corporate social responsibility, especially regarding higher education contexts. As university students are about to make important choices regarding their careers, these findings may help to broaden the field of corporate social responsibility research by identifying factors that contribute to shaping students' corporate social responsibility orientation. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed, highlighting what still needs to be done to encourage corporate social responsibility orientation in higher education programs.
Because of companies’ important impacts on society, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a phenomenon that has become increasingly significant to companies, consumers, and academics (Dzupina, 2016; Avram et al., 2018; Schmidt and Cracau, 2018). Currently, firms are becoming increasingly aware of CSR’s importance in terms of global competitiveness. Thus, they understand the need to focus not only on making profit but also on making decisions that are ethically and socially acceptable to all parties involved, including communities, the environment, and shareholders (Bir et al., 2009; Teixeira et al., 2018). Although the literature has explored CSR for over 50 years (e.g., Bowen, 1953; Friedman, 1962; Davis, 1973), this topic still attracts many academics’ interest (e.g., Burton and Goldsby, 2009; Avram et al., 2018). However, prominent researchers in the field have shifted their focus from CSR to corporate social performance (Wartick and Cochran, 1985) and its influence on financial performance (Waddock and Graves, 1997; Ciampi, 2018). According to Maignan (2001), CSR-related issues, nonetheless, remain an understudied field of research. This is particularly true regarding CSR orientation (CSRO) and its determinants.