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Produktart: Buch
Verlag: Diplomica Verlag
Erscheinungsdatum: 03.2012
AuflagenNr.: 1
Seiten: 164
Abb.: 19
Sprache: Englisch
Einband: Paperback


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of corporations is a trend today. However, the more companies are practicing it, the less it becomes a unique business strategy helping to differentiate from competitors. For that reason, this study examines whether an integration of customers in all decisions and/or the carrying out of different CSR activities leads to it being a more effective marketing strategy. In the conceptual part, a definition of CSR is given: Different approaches are presented reaching from a more detailed one dealing with economic, legal, ethical and discretionary responsibilities according to the pyramid of CSR, to a less specific one, which is taken as the basis of the paper. Key characteristics of CSR as well as different motivations exemplified in the normative and the business case are described and a critical evaluation of CSR is taken into consideration by means of the shareholder view of CSR and the stakeholder theory. Moreover, CSR in Germany is compared with CSR in America in order to give a global perspective of the CSR phenomenon. Furthermore, the most common CSR activities are introduced. From those, cause-related marketing, employee volunteering, and corporate philanthropy are detailed with real company examples and respective advantages and disadvantages because those are the activities used in the study. A review of appropriate literature is given and for customer-related outcomes, social identity theory, attribution theory, and behavioral decision theory are regarded. The concept of customer integration has been adopted from the product innovation process, called open innovation, to CSR by using the means-end theory and the empowerment strategy. Taken together, the hypotheses have been development stating that customer integration leads to a more positive CSR belief, a stronger identification with the respective company as well as a more positive company evaluation and a much higher intent to buy the corporation’s product. These hypotheses have been tested in an online experiment using a fictive company and data has been evaluated via the analysis of variance. The study clarifies that customer integration is neither necessary nor does it hurt. It combines both a marketing tool and at the same time does something good. So, when taking into consideration some aspects, it is a strategy worth doing, with or without customer taking part in it.


Text Sample: Chapter, CSR and Customer Outcomes: In general, a number of studies addressing multiple CSR initiatives (i.e. a CSR program) have mainly found company-favoring effects of CSR from customers. So, assuming an awareness of a company’s CSR program, it was proven - in experimental settings - that it often has a favorable influence on customers’ attitudes, such as toward the brand, toward the company and through the influence of the overall evaluation of the company also toward this company’s products (. Moreover, it leads to an identification with the company, i.e. customer-company identification (=C-C identification) which increases the likelihood of other positive CSR-related reactions. CSR research also indicates its positive effect on customers’ CSR beliefs, i.e. their assessment of the extent to which a company is socially responsible whereby CSR belief was mostly discovered to mediate the relationship between an awareness of CSR and other outcomes like C-C identification, also in case of inconsistent information about CSR. In addition, beneficial impacts like a greater intent to purchase the company’s products were detected. In a study focusing particularly on the retailer environment, the perception of CSR directly lead to corporate benefits such as store loyalty, emotional attachment to the store and store interest which was also reached indirectly through C-C identification as a mediator. Those perceptual benefits, in turn, translated into behavioral outcomes like purchases done at the store. It was also discovered that customers are more sensitive towards negative CSR information than they do approve of a positive perception of CSR and that they are even ready to sanction socially irresponsible companies by, for example, boycotting them. Luo and Bhattacharya report that CSR forwards customer satisfaction, which in turn increases a company’s financial performance and with this its market value. This is mainly achieved through more sustained patronage of the socially responsible company on the part of customers in the form of loyalty, positive word-of mouth or a willingness to pay premium prices. Beyond that, CSR has been proven to result in customers’ resilience in the light of negative information about a company like in a product harm-crisis. Most of the just mentioned results, however, are contingent on several factors, so-called moderators. In an extension of Brown and Dacin’s study, for example, Berens, van Riel, and van Bruggen find a moderating effect of a company’s branding strategy on the effects of corporate associations including CSR on product evaluation. Additional moderators are CSR attributions corresponding to the motives that consumers assume as underlying a firm’s obligation with CSR initiatives. These can be either intrinsic, i.e. selfless motives, or extrinsic, i.e. self-interested motives such as exploiting the cause for economic benefits. At this, attributions about intrinsic motives that indicate genuine concern about a cause are likely to trigger more positive reactions towards the company. By investigating the conditions under which CSR influences product responses and company evaluation, Sen and Bhattacharya detected that CSR support, which describes in how far consumers do approve of the CSR activities practiced by the corporation, and the type of CSR as well as CSR and CA belief moderate the impacts of CSR. Osterhus identified the importance of trust as a prerequisite for rewarding a company for its socially responsible commitment. Furthermore, while examining the circumstances under which CSR activities are effective, ineffective or do even backfire, Yoon, Gürhan-Canli, and Schwarz presented salience of benefit (i.e. the degree to which the company obviously will benefit from CSR), source of information (i.e. if the customers receive information about CSR from that company or from a neutral source) as well as CSR/advertising ratio, which describes money spend on CSR in proportion to money spend on advertising, as moderators because they influence the perceived sincerity on the part of consumers regarding the underlying motives of a company’s CSR behavior, which then again determine the success of CSR.

Über den Autor

Heike Löber, born in 1984 in Aschaffenburg, studied marketing at the university in Mannheim, Germany and successfully graduated in 2011 with a diploma. While studying, she gained different working experiences in the fields of marketing, advertising and corporate social responsibility. Being a part of the UNICEF university group, the author was eager to write a book dealing with the corporate social responsibility of companies as a marketing strategy in order to combine her studies with her interest in trying to make the world a better place. Today she works in publishing, focusing on renewable energies.

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