Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to apply the self-concept theory and conservation of resources theory to develop a model that explains how both corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethical leadership influence turnover intention through work engagement and burnout. Design/methodology/approach: A survey of employees from banking industry in Taiwan and the research hypotheses were empirically tested by two-step structural equation modeling (SEM) and regression analysis. Findings: The empirical findings indicate that CSR and ethical leadership are both related to work engagement positively and burnout negatively. Turnover intention is affected by work engagement negatively and burnout positively. While the relationship between CSR and work engagement is positively moderated by ethical leadership, the relationship between burnout and turnover intention is negatively moderated by self-efficacy. Research limitations/implications: This study confirms that both CSR and ethical leadership play critical roles for influencing turnover intention through the mediation of work engagement and burnout. The moderating effects of ethical leadership and self-efficacy are also presented in this study. Practical implications: The authors’ findings bring some suggestions for managers who want to prevent high turnover intention from spreading all over their organization. Specifically, CSR and ethical leadership should be taken into account when managers develop their strategies to reduce turnover intention. Originality/value: This study analyzes how turnover intention takes shape from ethical perspectives and through which work-related state of mind (such as burnout, work engagement) can turnover intention be eventually affected.