Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Correlation of CSR and Consumer Behavior: A Study of Convenience Store

Academic journal article International Journal of Marketing Studies

The Correlation of CSR and Consumer Behavior: A Study of Convenience Store

Article excerpt

Abstract

In recent years, issues related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) have received more and more attention, it also as the goal of total quality management (TQM). Since CSR can influence enterprise performance. This study explores the impact of the consumer's perception of a company's CSR on brand trust, brand satisfaction, brand attachment, and current and future buying behavior as well as probe into the differences between different generational groups.

A consumer survey produced a total of 753 valid questionnaires which indicate a significant difference in the two correlation paths between the X and Y generational groups. This shows that consumers belonging to different generation groups exhibit slightly different correlation patterns as far as the perception of CSR is concerned. Trust in a certain brand on the part of X-generation consumers does not affect their emotional attachment to this brand. Y-generation consumers, on the other hand, are more attached to brands that they trust.

1. Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has been a widely discussed topic since the 19th century and has turned into a major global issue (Hopkins, 2003). Due to the changing macro environment and technological developments, corporate activities have an even greater impact on the whole social environment, which increases the responsibility of enterprises and leads to a growing importance of CSR (Alsmadi & Alnawas, 2012). CSR also is the key factor of total quality management (TQM) since it will influence the business performance that is the final goal of TQM, but few researches put attention in this field.

Frederick (1986) points out that if enterprises undertake certain social responsibilities or obligations during the pursuit of commercial activities they can consolidate their relationship with society and thereby enhance their brand image, achieve free advertising, expand their sales volume, and hire high-quality staff. If enterprises are committed to honor their social responsibility, they are also able to improve their operational efficiency and reduce their costs (Sprinkle & Maines, 2010).

An enhanced corporate image as perceived by consumers is a major factor leading enterprises to conduct CSR-related activities (Yoon, et al., 2006; Giannarakis & Theotokas, 2011; Mejri & De Wolf, 2012). Damiano-Teixeira and Pompermayer (2007) proved in their research that consumers do indeed take into account whether or not businesses fulfill their social responsibility and reward or punish enterprises through their actual purchase behavior. Enterprises are therefore willing to shoulder more corporate responsibilities to respond to consumer demands due to their awareness of the connection between consumer behavior and CSR. CSR is therefore the primary factor in the relationship between consumers and the brand, which in turn affects consumer behavior.

The research of Aaker (1996) and Esch et al. (2006) indicates that the fulfillment of CSR has a positive impact on the evaluation of corporate activities by consumers, which in turn has a positive effect on the current purchasing behavior and future purchase intention of consumers. This also signals that consumers who are more aware of CSR are more likely to purchase the products of a certain company, which is the main reason why companies have to implement CSR-related activities (Boonpattarakan, 2012).

Even though enterprises are already aware of the importance of social responsibility and many scholars have conducted research on this topic, no research currently exists that covers CSR, brand relationship as well as consumer purchasing behavior. The results of the studies by Blackwell et al. (2006), Gronholdt, Martensen and Kristensen (2000), and Esch et al. (2006) suggest that a positive correlation exists between brand relationship and the current and future purchasing behavior of consumers. In this study, we set the four categories of CSR as proposed by Carroll in 1991 as antecedents for our analysis of the impact of a consumer's perception of CSR on his relationship with the brand and purchase behavior with the goal of making a contribution to the research in this area. …

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