CSR across the globe: Dutch and Indian consumers' responses to CSR

Source of Publication

International Journal of Organizational Analysis


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate consumer responses to CSR in a developed and emerging economy (The Netherlands and India). Design/methodology/approach: The paper uses a survey of 95 consumers in each country to investigate attitudes to CSR platforms and CSR initiatives and responses to CSR-based marketing strategies (in terms of attitude to the company and purchasing intent). Findings: The study found similar attitudes across nationalities to both CSR platforms and CSR initiatives, with greater importance assigned to CSR reflecting legal and ethical (rather than philanthropic) concerns. (Some) CSR-based marketing strategies, reflecting an ethical (people/planet) concern, led to significantly more positive attitudes to the company and higher purchasing intent. The study found some cross-cultural variation in the extent to which different CSR-based marketing strategies influenced consumer outcomes. Research limitations/implications: This is an exploratory study, limited to highly educated consumers. The study provides indications that stakeholder expectations in emerging and developed economies may be more similar than previously suggested. The philanthropic platform conventionally pursued in Indian business may not be the most effective way to engage (all segments of) Indian consumers. Findings suggest it is important that companies monitor stakeholders' CSR attitudes to ensure that CSR policy orientations meet stakeholder expectations. Originality/value: This paper uses an innovative approach to investigate responses to CSR policy and communications. CSR research on emerging economies is underrepresented in the literature. The findings suggest areas of further enquiry with implications for global business. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

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