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Quality Workforce for Competitive Advantage Essay


Corporate Social Performance can be an important aspect of the business. When used effectively it can attract employees of higher quality to the company. An article by Greening and Turban explores how it could be a competitive advantage for a company. This paper will provide a review of the article and the way I plan to use its information in my future HR position.

The Aim of the Article

The authors of the article aim to describe a new way of gaining a competitive advantage through the attraction of a high-quality workforce. Based on the identity and signaling theories they propose that companies can use their corporate social performance activities to attract these workers who could overlook the company otherwise. The social responsibility of the company can instill a more positive attitude for the company from its employees, especially those who have a higher self-image (Greening & Turban, 2000).

Quality Workforce and the Achievement of a Competitive Advantage

Various reasons for the quality workforce being a significant competitive edge are presented by the authors. The first is due to the simple fact that other sources of competitive advantage have grown less effective over the years. These aspects included technology, patents, learning curves, and other aspects that do not concern the workforce itself. According to the article, a modern competitive advantage comes from the firm’s focus on the creation, managing, and transfer of knowledge throughout the company and between quality employees. Quality is defined as a combination of intelligence, motivation, experience, vision, creativity, commitment, analytic abilities, and computer training (Greening & Turban, 2000).

The article touches upon the resource-based theory of the firm. It states that every organization consists of various unique resources and capabilities. They are then used to create the strategy of the organization and are the main way of achieving profit. New resources are acquired and developed over time and often cannot be replicated in other firms and therefore become the basis for a competitive advantage. Human resources are especially important because talented employees are vulnerable, rare, and cannot be easily substituted (Greening & Turban, 2000). By effectively managing them, the organization should be able to develop a powerful competitive advantage.

Corporate Social Performance and Attraction of High-Quality Applicants

Various researchers have previously proposed that Corporate Social Performance of the company can have a positive effect on the attraction of a larger pool of candidates. The authors state that by signaling that the organization has positive and productive values and norms, it may become more attractive to employees. The reputation of the firm can also affect its social identity. When a company is involved in a problematic activity such as improper waste dumping or money laundering, it becomes less attractive to employees because they do not want to associate themselves with the negative publicity of the corporation. The research itself was limited, but existing evidence suggested that higher Corporate Social Performance can attract more employees (Greening & Turban, 2000). When a company attracts a lot of job applicants, a larger number of them are likely to be of a high-quality.

The Main Findings of the Article

The results provided by the study have confirmed the positions that the authors laid out in their hypotheses. The most important finding is that companies that have better Corporate Social Performance are more attractive to employees than those with lower social performance. It was also noted that the probability to accept a job offer and the ability to interview is also positively tied to the firm’s Corporate Social Performance. The competitive advantage of such firms is defined by the unique resources that the new high-quality applicants can provide to the company. It is expected that the profitability of the company can be tied to the size of the employee pool that the company can attract. The greater number of employees should allow for greater success in the acquisition of human resources. As it was suggested by the earlier research, the positive Corporate Social Performance creates an attractive social identity for the organization. More specifically it can give it a characteristic of being distinctive among its competitors. The characteristic of being distinct can be either positive or negative and the type of social performance that the corporation has decided its distinction (Greening & Turban, 2000). In most desirable situations, the company is positively distinctive, and that attracts a large pool of talented applicants.

The signals that the company puts out were also found to be an effective use of its Corporate Social Performance. When a company has a strict system of values that prevent instances of discrimination, it becomes a much more attractive company to those who hold similar values. With a lot of quality applicants having strong belief systems and self-respect, such signals can serve as a method of their attraction. For example, companies that had previous infraction in working with women and minorities were less attractive to women. Despite the results of the study, the authors state that it is unclear whether the competitive advantage created by the Corporate Social Performance will be sustainable (Greening & Turban, 2000). Additional research is required on this topic.

How I Plan to Use the Information

The findings of this article are similar to my beliefs about the work of the Human Resources department. Without previously considering the effect of corporate identity on the pool of available applicants I always believed that the role of HR is in creating a positive culture in the company which would reflect on its profitability. Now I will make sure to create signals about the positive value system of the company and its contributions to society. Newer research confirms that CSP has a lot of benefits for companies (Korschun, Bhattacharya, & Swain, 2013).


The importance of CSP for the achievement of an advantage is clear. Companies that are seen in a positive light are more attractive to job applicants. This is why CSP should be prioritized to be competitive.


Greening, D., & Turban, D. (2000). Business & Society – BUS SOC, 39, 254–280. Web.

Korschun, D., Bhattacharya, C. b., & Swain, S. D. (2013). Journal of Marketing, 78(3), 20–37. Web.

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"Quality Workforce for Competitive Advantage." IvyPanda, 9 Jan. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/quality-workforce-for-competitive-advantage/.

1. IvyPanda. "Quality Workforce for Competitive Advantage." January 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/quality-workforce-for-competitive-advantage/.


IvyPanda. "Quality Workforce for Competitive Advantage." January 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/quality-workforce-for-competitive-advantage/.


IvyPanda. 2021. "Quality Workforce for Competitive Advantage." January 9, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/quality-workforce-for-competitive-advantage/.


IvyPanda. (2021) 'Quality Workforce for Competitive Advantage'. 9 January.

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