Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Measured Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Quantitative Study of Consumers’ Preferences
by Burns, Stephanie R., D.B.A., Capella University, 2020, 121; 27735294
Abstract (Summary)

This research tested whether consumers’ perceptions of seven corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives—environment, climate change, human rights, employee relations, corporate governance, philanthropy, and financial—were associated with brand equity and corporate reputation. The target population was U.S.-based firms listed on the Russell 1000 Index that disclose CSR information. A quantitative, nonexperimental, explanatory study using an archival research design (secondary data analysis) was conducted to assess a sample of 57 companies that appeared in 2015, 2016, or 2017 in CR Magazine’s “100 Best Corporate Citizens” lists (referred in this study as the U.S. Best Corporate Citizens). Extant literature that evaluated CSR perceptions of American-based firms either considered a narrowly defined list of CSR initiatives or did not test the initiatives with both corporate reputation and brand equity. The Pearson and Spearman correlations were calculated to determine if a significant relationship existed between CSR and corporate reputation and between CSR and brand equity. Standard multiple regression analysis was conducted to evaluate which (if any) of the seven CSR initiatives was most associated with corporate reputation and brand equity. The results indicated that CSR has a negative relationship with corporate reputation and brand equity, meaning when CSR increases, marketing outcomes decrease. Financial and environmental CSR were the main two contributors, whereas financial was the only significant initiative with corporate reputation and brand equity. This research supports previous findings that consumers expect companies to be profitable and to consider environmental CSR. Also, consumer-based brand equity theory can explain the negative relationship between CSR and corporate reputation and between CSR and brand equity. An organization’s CSR actions can improve or decrease brand equity. Future studies can explore if the negative relationship is due to the law of diminishing returns in which practitioners can lessen the benefits of a strong reputation or brand equity by increasing the number of CSR programs.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stein, David
Commitee: Randall, Phillip M., Williams, Michael
School: Capella University
Department: School of Business and Technology
School Location: United States -- Minnesota
Source: DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Marketing, Management, Business administration
Keywords: Best corporate citizens, Consumer-based brand equity, Consumers' preferences, Corporate reputation, Corporate social responsibility, Marketing
Publication Number: 27735294
ISBN: 9781392876572
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