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Mistrust in CSR

Brüser, Eva Kristin LU and Uptmoor, Julia LU (2014) BUSN39 20141
Department of Business Administration
Abstract
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requires an organisation to be responsible for “the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that contributes to sustainable development” (ISO Central Secretariat, 2011, p. 26). Companies are voluntarily starting to implement CSR due to understanding the social need or wanting to improve their corporate image. The Internet facilitates the availability and accessibility of information for consumers, hence it is perceived as the most transparent communication channel of modern times. Due to this transparency, consumers are exposed to an unsolicited amount of information and have access to information regarding CSR scandals. As a... (More)
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requires an organisation to be responsible for “the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that contributes to sustainable development” (ISO Central Secretariat, 2011, p. 26). Companies are voluntarily starting to implement CSR due to understanding the social need or wanting to improve their corporate image. The Internet facilitates the availability and accessibility of information for consumers, hence it is perceived as the most transparent communication channel of modern times. Due to this transparency, consumers are exposed to an unsolicited amount of information and have access to information regarding CSR scandals. As a consequence, consumers turn to social media, which gives them the opportunity to voice and exchange opinions. However, this transparency can have an impact on trust issues for the consumer, which then can affect trustworthiness within CSR-related campaigns, especially towards companies in the food industry, where scandals are particularly high. The aim of this research is to explore these trust issues within CSR communication in social media. The implications of this study are aimed to help marketing managers, who want to take an honest approach to CSR. Through this approach, marketing manages are able to find a way to gain consumer trust. To gain an understanding of this problem, an inductive approach was chosen comprising of a qualitative analysis based on 14 semi-structured interviews with German consumers. The main findings imply that consumers do not trust CSR projects when there is no relation between the company and its CSR project and there is a lack of proof that the project exists. When communicating CSR in social media, companies need to educate the consumer about CSR, pursue honest communication, and react to criticism. (Less)
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author
Brüser, Eva Kristin LU and Uptmoor, Julia LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The trust issues consumers face when companies communicate their CSR activities in social media
course
BUSN39 20141
year
type
H1 - Master's Degree (One Year)
subject
keywords
Trust Issues, German Consumers, Food Industry, CSR, Social Media
language
English
id
4456404
date added to LUP
2014-06-26 10:39:05
date last changed
2014-06-26 10:39:05
@misc{4456404,
  abstract     = {Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) requires an organisation to be responsible for “the impacts of its decisions and activities on society and the environment, through transparent and ethical behaviour that contributes to sustainable development” (ISO Central Secretariat, 2011, p. 26). Companies are voluntarily starting to implement CSR due to understanding the social need or wanting to improve their corporate image. The Internet facilitates the availability and accessibility of information for consumers, hence it is perceived as the most transparent communication channel of modern times. Due to this transparency, consumers are exposed to an unsolicited amount of information and have access to information regarding CSR scandals. As a consequence, consumers turn to social media, which gives them the opportunity to voice and exchange opinions. However, this transparency can have an impact on trust issues for the consumer, which then can affect trustworthiness within CSR-related campaigns, especially towards companies in the food industry, where scandals are particularly high. The aim of this research is to explore these trust issues within CSR communication in social media. The implications of this study are aimed to help marketing managers, who want to take an honest approach to CSR. Through this approach, marketing manages are able to find a way to gain consumer trust. To gain an understanding of this problem, an inductive approach was chosen comprising of a qualitative analysis based on 14 semi-structured interviews with German consumers. The main findings imply that consumers do not trust CSR projects when there is no relation between the company and its CSR project and there is a lack of proof that the project exists. When communicating CSR in social media, companies need to educate the consumer about CSR, pursue honest communication, and react to criticism.},
  author       = {Brüser, Eva Kristin and Uptmoor, Julia},
  keyword      = {Trust Issues,German Consumers,Food Industry,CSR,Social Media},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Mistrust in CSR},
  year         = {2014},
}