How Research can Help Build a Successful CSR Campaign

Dominika Maison
Maison Research
Jaroslaw Herrmann
Grupa Žywiec

Introduction

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a common trend in the contemporary business. More and more companies are trying to create their own CSR program in order to help solve some social issues, and at the same time to build their own reputation and help with business. Ninety percent of the Fortune 500 companies have explicit CSR initiatives (Kotler & Lee, 2004; Lichtenstein, Drumwright, and Bridgette 2004).

Socially responsible corporate activity can be an important source of competitive advantage by enhancing the reputation of the company. There is growing evidence that consumers today prefer products from companies that share their own values and ethics (Brown & Dacin, 1997; Menon & Khan, 2003; Luo & Bhattacharya, 2006). We can observe many proofs of good invested money in CSR programs, however not all programs are effective. There are many factors which can influence the effectiveness of CSR campaigns. Some of them are connected to the choice of the goal of the campaign (social issue) or fitting the program aim to the company image. Others are consequences of the psychological factors, e.g. attribution of motives of the social activity of the company (e.g. if the company is doing it mainly to solve a problem or for business profit).