Frontline Employees as Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Ambassadors: A Quasi-Field Experiment
As past research has identified frontline employees as the primary communicators of a company’s CSR, this paper reports on a large-scale quasi-field experiment aimed at gaining a deeper understanding of the levers of successful in-store, point-of-sale, CSR communication. In cooperation with a large international retailer, the authors analyzed the effects of varying in-store CSR communication strategies in 48 unique stores, combining data from a customer survey (N = 38,999), company records of customers’ real visits and purchases, and interviews with store managers. Taking into account the nested structure of the data, the authors reveal that CSR-related training of frontline employees bestows its favorable effect on customers and customer behavior only if it is accompanied by the store managers’ personal support for CSR.
KeywordsCorporate social responsibility (CSR) CSR communication In-store communication Point-of-sale communication Boundary-spanning agents Frontline employees CSR ambassadors CSR-related training of employees Managers’ personal support
This study was funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Grant No. SCHO-1605/2-1.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of interest
All authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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