Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been seen as an effective strategy that emerging market multinational enterprises increasingly adopt in order to cope with the liability of origin, yet much less attention has been paid to the micro-foundations of such a strategy. It remains less explored as to how CSR is leveraged by individuals—that is, expatriates. Addressing this research gap, a total of 150 valid survey responses from 38 Chinese multinationals were tested using the structural equation modeling technique. The results show that expatriates’ cross-cultural competence and engagement in CSR facilitate the learning efficiency of subsidiaries. The findings also suggest that expatriates’ effort positively mediates the relationship between CSR and performance outcomes (at both individual level and organizational level). Embracing the micro-foundations perspective in CSR research, this study offers both theoretical and practical implications for future international management research.