Prosocial bonus and corporate social responsibility spending

A prosocial bonus is money given to people that needs to be spent on others. This article suggests a new way of implementing corporate social spending by involving the employees using ‘prosocial bonuses’. Such a policy can potentially serve a dual benefit of improving employee satisfaction and help companies reach the mandate for social spending. We examined predicted satisfaction from choosing between pro-self and prosocial bonuses when both options were presented simultaneously. Previous discussions stated that people predict higher satisfaction from spending on the self, compared to spending money on others. In contrast, we found that predicted satisfaction from opting to spend on the poor can be higher (experiment 1) or equal (experiment 2) to spending a bonus on oneself.  We argue that this is possible when spending options are evaluated simultaneously. The major motivation for spending on the poor was to positively impact lives. A prosocial employee incentive policy could be built into corporate social responsibility programmes that benefit both the company and increase social welfare, especially in developing countries like India.


Mukherjee, S. & Sahay, A. (in press). Predicted satisfaction from simultaneous evaluation of prosocial and pro-self employee bonus schemes: Towards a new form of management strategy for corporate social spending. Psychological Studies .  doi:10.1007/s12646-015-0349-z


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