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The importance of CSR message content in the globalizing world : effects of CSR initiative proximity, company country-of-origin, and CSR initiative fit on consumer responses

Hazeleger, E.A. (2015) The importance of CSR message content in the globalizing world : effects of CSR initiative proximity, company country-of-origin, and CSR initiative fit on consumer responses.

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Abstract:Purpose: Many companies use Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a promotional tool, however, insufficient communication can easily lead to negative consumers responses. Globalization gives companies the opportunity to connect with consumers on a global scale. This casts a new light on studies that investigated the effects of a company’s participation in CSR activities and the communication of it. The objective of this study is to give companies guidelines to communicate their CSR initiative efficiently in this globalizing world. Therefore, this study examines the influence of three important CSR message elements - CSR initiative proximity, company country-of-origin, and CSR initiative fit - on trust, attitude toward the company, and purchase intention. The possible moderators ethnocentrism and global connectedness are also included. Design/ methodology/ approach: To test the influence of CSR initiative proximity (global vs. local), company country-of-origin (international vs. national), and CSR initiative fit (high vs. low) on consumer responses a 2x2x2 experimental design was used. An online questionnaire was distributed among panel members of a market research company and 522 usable surveys were obtained. The sample is representative for the Dutch population. Findings: The results show that the consumer responses are more positive if the CSR initiative is global, initiated by an international company, and highly fits with the company’s business. Furthermore, this study shows that global connectedness is an important moderator. These outcomes are only partially in line with previous studies. It is expected that due to globalization the influence of global connectedness increases, which causes the preference for a global CSR initiative from an international company. Conclusion: Due to the influence of global connectedness it is advised to gather information on the global connectedness level of the CSR message target group. When this information is not available, an international company will get the best responses if it supports a global CSR initiative that highly fits the company’s business.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/68817
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