We experimentally investigate the combined effects of CSR-related informal (i.e., CSR mission) and formal control elements (i.e., provision of monetary CSR incentives) on employee CSR engagement, considering employees’ CSR norms. We predict that a substantive rather than a symbolic CSR mission positively impacts the CSR engagement of employees who attach high importance to CSR and expect monetary CSR incentives to be effective under a symbolic CSR mission, and if employees attach low importance to CSR. The findings show that a substantive relative to a symbolic CSR mission increases the CSR engagement of employees who attach high importance to CSR. Under a symbolic CSR mission, employees increase their CSR engagement when monetary CSR incentives are provided, while under a substantive CSR mission, monetary CSR incentives are only effective for participants who attach low importance to CSR. The results support firms in designing suitable and effective CSR-related management control systems.

Data Availability: Data is available from the authors upon request.

JEL Classifications: M41; M52.

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