Market Orientation and CSR: Performance Implications
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become of great interest to both researchers and practitioners alike with much discussion on whether the costs outweigh the performance implications. CSR has become a firm strategic tool (not only an ethical concept) as firms recognize that the customer value proposition and CSR is integrated with the focus on how to differentiate the firm from the view of the customer. We utilized market orientation (MO) theory as our foundation for our research as it explains how organizations adapt to their customer environment to develop competitive advantages. With the current customer focus on CSR, MO assists the field in identifying a possible firm differentiation. Our research found that firms that ranked high on CSR correlated positively to performance. We also found our theoretically developed constructs of firm customer orientation (CO) and firm market orientation correlated with the firm adopting CSR. The results also indicated that CSR positively mediates CO and MO to firm performance. As past research had mixed results over the direct relation of MO to performance, our research suggests that CSR may be the missing variable to explain the MO/Performance relationship.
KeywordsCSR Customer orientation Customer interaction Market orientation Performance
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