Critical Issues and the Way Forward
Edited by Leonidas C. Leonidou, Constantine S. Katsikeas, Saeed Samiee and Constantinos N. Leonidou
Chapter 7: Consumer responses to MNE socially responsible behavior
Corporate social responsibility assists companies’ legitimization to its stakeholders. Consumers, as one group of stakeholders, may reward companies for engaging in responsible corporate behavior or sanction them for engaging in irresponsible business practices. In this light, consumers are critical actors in requesting as well as responding to companies’ CSR programs. Consumers around the globe show favorable attitudes towards companies’ engagement in societal interests. However, their expectations about companies’ CSR engagement as well as their response to particular initiatives differ across geographic markets. MNEs consequently face challenges of balancing the global standardization of CSR programs and the adaptation of CSR initiatives to account for local particularities. Against this background, this chapter (a) provides an overview of common patterns of consumer response to CSR, (b) highlights culture-bound differences that MNEs should consider when designing their CSR activities, and (c) proposes numerous directions for future research with regard to the field’s consolidation of substantive findings as well as its further methodological advancement.
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