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Corporate social responsibility and its effect on consumers behavior

Despite criticism Karnani, 2011 CSR is becoming part of the social agenda in magazines and newspapers Epstein-Reeves, 2012.

  • Customer satisfaction, based on customer relations with the brand and its CSR initiatives can be approached from the perspective of overall or specific issues;
  • This cognitive process is based on a series of judgments about the organization's credibility, its reputation or congruence between the CRS programs, the firm's main activity and its brand positioning which have been pointed out in CSR literature.

Among the different stakeholders addressed by CSR, consumers stand for the large economic impact and diversity of assessing effects. Satisfaction is considered a relevant construct for evaluating customer appraisal.

Satisfaction with CSR initiatives therefore becomes a key metric of the successful development and implementation of a CSR policy.

  • Inventory of CSR actions;
  • Among the different stakeholders addressed by CSR, consumers stand for the large economic impact and diversity of assessing effects;
  • Given the broader nature of CSR for firms, satisfaction might explain the adequacy in monitoring company performance;
  • You can help correct errors and omissions;
  • In order to assess which initiatives may impact on customer satisfaction, the fourteen types of CSR initiatives were regressed using linear and non-linear ordinary least squares regression methods to the ACSI index, as follows;
  • In doing this, we reinforce the role of satisfaction as the core metric for managers, as pointed out above.

Recent literature has not only delineated how to achieve this relationship between CSR initiatives and positive attitudes, but also how to offer to business practitioners a comprehensive framework for identifying appropriate responses to consumer demands, based on three different motivations: However, the relationship between CSR initiatives and customer satisfaction has been scarcely researched and consequently, our understanding of the disaggregated drivers and causes may be incomplete.

We also argue that positive attitudes may be expected to trigger satisfaction and hence CSR must have a positive influence on satisfaction.

Thus, our aim in this research is twofold: These two main research objectives are accomplished through two different studies in two different countries, USA and Spain that reflect two cultural settings and also depict different cultural patterns in each of the five current six cultural dimensions suggested by Hofstede and Hofstede 2001.

The first one aims to examine the relationships between a set of different disaggregated CSR initiatives from 65 US firms analyzed through content analysis with consumer satisfaction.

Consumer satisfaction data are gathered from the American Customer Satisfaction Index i. The second study addresses the direct and indirect relationship between perceived CSR and satisfaction using a different methodological approach based on primary data from 351 Spanish consumers. With this research we contribute to the existing literature in the following ways: First, by extending the conceptual approach to the effect of disaggregated CSR initiatives on customer satisfaction and providing evidence to support this relationship.

In doing this, we reinforce the role of satisfaction as the core metric for managers, as pointed out above.

Spanish Journal of Marketing - ESIC

Second, by identifying the mechanisms of the effect of CSR on customer satisfaction with the brand, we show two complementary routes. The rest of the manuscript is organized as follows. First, the relationship between CSR and customer satisfaction is examined, deriving some research questions. Then the two studies in two different countries are presented and the research questions and consistent hypotheses are tested.

The manuscript ends with some discussion and implications for firms and public policies and outlines further research. CSR and consumer satisfaction Following Beckmann 2007it can be said that CSR has a wide variety of effects on consumers that can only be tested in a diffuse rather than a compact way.

In addition to these consumer-related effects, cultural context, technological, economic, political and social factors have been shown to influence CSR assessments Dahlsrud, 2008. Although the literature is abundant in terms of CSR and its effects, there are still gaps in the understanding of other variables that may assess the performance of a brand in adopting CSR initiatives.

In this paper we attempt to argue the role of satisfaction as a key metric in evaluating CSR performance. In the marketing domain, satisfaction has been used typically as a measure of overall performance of a brand. Given the broader nature of CSR for firms, satisfaction might explain the adequacy in monitoring company performance.

Satisfaction is considered to be a judgment that is cognitive-affective and relative, that is, the result of comparison between a corporate social responsibility and its effect on consumers behavior experience and a previous standard Oliver 1997, p.

Customer satisfaction, based on customer relations with the brand and its CSR initiatives can be approached from the perspective of overall or specific issues. Although those factors play a role, they might be considered mediators in a specific initiative rather than overall and superior explanatory issues.

The Role Of Corporate Social Responsibility In Consumer Behaviour: An Unresolved Paradox

Our first goal therefore is to assess what kinds of CSR initiatives developed by companies have more impact on consumer satisfaction. It might argue that the different nature of CSR initiatives undertaken by a company will have a specific influence on the CSR consumer response mechanism Carroll, 1991; Robinson et al.

It is reasonable to expect that these differences are also visible in the influence of CSR on consumer satisfaction. Assuming the different scope of CSR initiatives, we propose a first research question that seeks to highlight the different influence of CSR initiatives: Through CSR, firms try to show a brand personality characterized, to some extent, by altruistic values. Therefore, consumers begin a process of cognitive elaboration albeit in a very simple fashion, with one main goal: This cognitive process is based on a series of judgments about the organization's credibility, its reputation or congruence between the CRS programs, the firm's main activity and its brand positioning which have been pointed out in CSR literature.

Furthermore, consumers may be generally satisfied with CSR activity in the following ways: Following the above reasoning, we argue that there are two mechanisms for obtaining consumer satisfaction.

Essentially this means that consumers must be made aware and convinced of CSR initiatives and sincerity through communication tools e. And following Du et al.

Reinforcing the indirect route through attitudes, it seems that satisfaction requires a previous acknowledgment effort after which, once consumers are aware of CSR activity, they encode positively. When any stimuli affect consumers, for instance shopping, evaluative processes, or repeated exposure to the CSR activity, consumers trigger an overall brand evaluation process that determines satisfaction, unless a negative disconfirmation process creates dissatisfaction.

In sum, our second aim is to assess how customer satisfaction is reinforced if a company adopts a CSR policy and whether this effect can be direct or indirect through attitudes. Therefore we propose a second research question: Empirical researchStudy oneBackground The main aim of the first study is to analyze the relationship between CSR reported initiatives and customer satisfaction; and in particular, attempt to identify which CSR initiatives have more impact on customer satisfaction.

First, CSR is becoming a global issue. Second, data on satisfaction are available from an established study and on a continuous basis at company level, namely from the American Customer Satisfaction Index, ACSI 2016.

Methodology This first study gathers data from two independent datasets: A list of the latest available data on the CSR initiatives from 2010 to 2011 of 65 American companies from different industries were compiled for this study; ii consumer satisfaction index borrowed from ACSI.

Finally, 65 firms met the above criteria from the list of 230 firms that are included in the ACSI. The information provided from their websites was coded as follows.

First, all of them were coded; then a factor analysis was developed, without significant correlations between the initiatives; then the CSR initiatives were firstly sorted by the researcher according to the CSR literature in three different categories: A valued data set was obtained, considering the diverse kind of CSR initiatives and the number of actions — frequency- carried out by each of the 65 companies inside each type of communicated CSR initiatives.

Finally, after the content analysis, an inventory for the 14 types of different CSR initiatives emerged, as shown in Fig. Inventory of CSR actions. In order to assess which initiatives may impact on customer satisfaction, the fourteen types of CSR initiatives were regressed using linear and non-linear ordinary least squares regression methods to the ACSI index, as follows: Results We performed a linear regression model, since the non-linear regression did not support more explanatory capacity.

We tested other quadratic multiple regressions, always with a worse fit: Results of the CSR initiatives inventory vs. ACSI linear regression model and model fit.