“Why Don’t Consumers Care About CSR?”: A Qualitative Study Exploring the Role of CSR in Consumption Decisions
- 10k Downloads
There is an unresolved paradox concerning the role of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in consumer behavior. On the one hand, consumers demand more and more CSR information from corporations. On the other hand, research indicates a considerable gap between consumers’ apparent interest in CSR and the limited role of CSR in purchase behavior. This article attempts to shed light on this paradox by drawing on qualitative data from in-depth interviews. The findings show that the evaluation of CSR initiatives is a complex and hierarchically structured process, during which consumers distinguish between core, central, and peripheral factors. This article describes these factors in detail and explains the complexity of consumers’ assessment of CSR. These insights then serve as a basis for discussing the theoretical and managerial implications of the research findings. To this end, the article contributes to a better understanding of the role of CSR in consumption decisions.
KeywordsCorporate social responsibility Consumer behavior Purchase intention Qualitative research
- Beckmann, S. C., Christensen, A. S., & Christensen, A. G. (2001). Myths of nature and environmentally responsible behaviours: An exploratory study. Paper presented at the EMAC, Bergen.Google Scholar
- Bernhard, R. (1988). Research methods in cultural anthropology. Newbury Park: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
- Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2004). Doing better at doing good: When, why, and how consumers respond to corporate social initiatives. California Management Review, 47(1), 9–24.Google Scholar
- Bronn, P. S., & Vrioni, A. B. (2001). Corporate social responsibility and cause-related marketing: An overview. International Journal of Advertising, 20(2), 207–222.Google Scholar
- Crane, A., Matten, D., & Spence, L. (2008). Corporate social responsibility—Readings and cases in a global context. US and Canada: Routledge.Google Scholar
- Creswell, J. W. (2007). Qualitative inquiry & research design—Choosing among five approaches (2nd ed.). US: Sage.Google Scholar
- Devinney, T. M., Auger, P., Eckhardt, G., & Birtchnell, T. (2006). The other CSR: Consumer social responsibility. Stanford Social Innovation Review, Fall 2006. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=901863.
- Devinney, T. M., Auger, P., & Eckhardt, G. M. (2010). The myth of the ethical consumer. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- European, C. (2001). Corporate social responsibility. 2009, from http://ec.europa.eu/enterprise/policies/sustainable-business/corporate-social-responsibility/index_en.htm.
- Ghauri, P. N., & Gronhaug, K. (2002). Research methods in business studies—A practical guide (2nd ed.). Essex: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Glaser, B. G., & Strauss, A. L. (1967). The discovery of grounded theory: Strategies for qualitative research. Hawthorne: Aldine Publishing.Google Scholar
- McCracken, G. (1988). The long interview. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- McWilliams, A., Siegel, D. S., & Wright, P. M. (2006a). Corporate social responsibility: International perspectives. Journal of Business Strategies, 23(1), 1–12.Google Scholar
- Siegle, L. (2009). Is buying fair trade a waste of money? The Observer Magazine, p. 59.Google Scholar
- Strauss, A. L., & Corbin, J. (1990). Basics of qualitative research: Grounded theory procedures and techniques. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
- Sykes, W. (1990). Validity and reliability in qualitative market research: A review of the literature. Journal of the Market Research Society, 32(3), 289–328.Google Scholar