Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of CSR in Brand Assessment – A Consumers’ Perspective
Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the role of CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) on the consumers’ brand perception.
It is assumed that if CSR has any effect on the consumers’ brand perception it is supposed to be found as a component of the brand image. The aim is to get realistic insight into the role of CSR in the consumers’ brand perceptions. Therefore it was needed to overcome essential limitations that previous studies had faced.
Past researches have applied similar methods whereby almost no attention was given for the limitations that came along with experiments and quantitative approaches. This study tried to elude such constrains with an approach different to the most that have been conducted previously. Previous researches used to support their respondents either during their studies or beforehand with additional information about CSR in general, companies’ CSR activities or asked right from the beginning, directly and explicit about consumers perception about CSR. This research avoided “feeding” participants with any information on CSR, in the early stages of the in-depth interviews. But in the last stage, interviewers asked directly consumers on how they perceive CSR, in order to be able to compare whether artificial awareness biases or influences consumers’ perception of CSR. By this the topic under study was enlightened from another angle, results could support a holistic overview on the topic from an exceptional perspective.
This thesis applied a qualitative approach as the researchers expected that the results for the complex topic under study would be more meaningful, rich and unveiling than numerical measurements. Therefore, in-depth interviews with German consumers have been conducted.
The study illustrates the complexity of the consumers’ perceptual process. The process is influenced by numerous variables and in particular by the individual personality of the consumers. As each human person has its own personality the individual impact is hard to cover. Nevertheless a model was created by using the dimensions “Personal Motives” and “Attitudes toward CSR”. As a result four types of consumers were discovered: “Passivists”, “Cynics”, “Egoists”, “Idealists”. In the model consumers are characterized by their personal motives, their attitudes toward CSR, their general interest in CSR, their attitudes towards perceived motives of the company and their perception of certain causes. It is expected that the model contributes constructively to the research in the field of CSR and that it provides complementary information for decision makers from the economy.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 75 p.
CSR, Brand Image, Consumer Perception
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-18386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-18386DiVA: diva2:532348
Subject / course
IHH, Business Administration
UppsokSocial and Behavioural Science, Law