e a company not do anything in the CSR realm rather than commission ie a

E a company not do anything in the csr realm rather

This preview shows page 11 - 13 out of 17 pages.

the “irresponsible” CSR behavior was one of omission (i.e., a company not doing anything in the CSR realm) rather than commission (i.e., a company actually doing bad things). Loyalty Our research shows that companies that are perceived to have distin­ guished themselves on the CSR platform seem to enjoy a loyal following among a segment of their customers. Typically, such loyalty is an outcome of the con­ sumer-company identification concept noted earlier. One of our interview par­ ticipants hinted at the idea that being loyal to such a company (The Body Shop, in this case) is a symbiotic relationship: “What brings me back to their stores is the feeling that every purchase from them is in a way a contribution to the improvement of life in places where their product comes from and, at the same time, a way to take care of myself. Even though their product is not unique, I am very loyal to them. If their prices went up rela­ tive to similar product, I would still buy it, even if I had to cut down on the total amount.” This sense of making a difference to important social issues through one’s purchase echoed in the above statement is likely a key contributor to positive attitudes over the long run, which in turn helps engender loyalty. As with most of our findings, another key condition for expressing such loyalty is the con­ sumer’s personal support of the CSR cause: “If you keep supporting what your customers believe in, they keep coming back” Resilience A less obvious yet valuable way in which consumers reward companies for being socially responsible is through their “resilience to negative information about the company.” This concept has been discussed in the consumer-company identification literature and refers to consumers’ willingness to overlook or even forgive a company when there is an occasional, possibly inadvertent, lapse on its part. Our interview respondents touched on this theme: “If I saw something I didn’t like, I would still give them [Good Earth Store] another chance.” “Anheuser Busch went through that whole scandal a couple of years ago about marketing to children. I can guarantee you there wasn’t one little dip in its sales in St. Louis.” Consumers’ motivations to downplay or minimize negative information about a company (e.g., in the event of a crises) 21 that they perceive to be socially responsible is a key reason why investing in CSR is akin to “building a reservoir of goodwill” and why companies need to view CSR as a long-term, strategic CALIFORNIA MANAGEMENT REVIEW VOL. 47, NO. 1 FALL 2004 19
Image of page 11
Doing Better at Doing Good investment. Hess et al. make a similar suggestion as they describe how McDon­ ald’s escaped the wrath of the Los Angeles riots in 1992 because of their commu­ nity relations efforts through Ronald McDonald’s houses and their employee development programs. 22 Word of Mouth One of the key behavioral outcomes of positive CSR activities is consum­ ers’ willingness to talk positively about the socially responsible company (e.g., to friends, family, and colleagues). Even focus group participants who acknowl­
Image of page 12
Image of page 13

You've reached the end of your free preview.

Want to read all 17 pages?

  • Summer '17
  • Test, Corporate social responsibility, california management review

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

Stuck? We have tutors online 24/7 who can help you get unstuck.
A+ icon
Ask Expert Tutors You can ask You can ask You can ask (will expire )
Answers in as fast as 15 minutes