Corporate Responsibility

Topics: Corporate social responsibility, Social responsibility, Business ethics Pages: 43 (12794 words) Published: July 6, 2013
Corporate Social Responsibility and Marketing: An Integrative Framework Isabelle Maignan
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, the Netherlands

O. C. Ferrell
Colorado State University

This article introduces a conceptualization of corporate social responsibility (CSR) that emphasizes the role and potential contribution of the marketing discipline. The proposed framework first depicts CSR initiatives as the actions undertaken to display conformity to both organizational and stakeholder norms. Then, the article discusses the managerial processes needed to monitor, meet, and even exceed, stakeholder norms. Finally, the analysis explains how CSR initiatives can generate increased stakeholder support. Keywords: stakeholder theory; corporate social responsibility; market orientation; ethics; community

The past few years have witnessed the simultaneous development of the antiglobalization movement, of shareholder activism, and of corporate governance reform. This trend has cultivated a climate of defiance toward businesses, a climate that has only been exemplified by recent accounting scandals. Perhaps in response to this growing suspicion, some leading companies have openly profiled themselves as socially responsible. For instance, British Petroleum underlined its commitment to natural environment by changing its name to Beyond Petroleum. Similarly, Nike advertises its commitment to adopting " Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Volume 32, No. 1, pages 3-19. DOh 10.1177/0092070303258971 Copyright 9 2004 by Academy of Marketing Science.

responsible business practices that contribute to profitable and sustainable growth" (, and Coca-Cola has moved to expense stock options for top management as a part of its commitment to responsible governance. This enthusiasm for corporate social responsibility (CSR) has been echoed in the marketing literature. In particular, scholars have examined consumer responses to CSR initiatives (e.g., Brown and Dacin 1997; Sen and Bhattacharya 2001), the perceived importance of ethics and social responsibility among marketing practitioners (e.g., Singhapakdi, Vitell, Rallapalli, and Kraft 1996), along with the marketing benefits resulting from corporate actions with a social dimension (e.g., Maignan, Ferrell, and Hult 1999). Studies have also focused on specific dimensions of CSR such as the support of charitable causes (e.g., Barone, Miyazaki, and Taylor 2000) or the protection of the environment (e.g., Drumwright 1994; Menon and Menon 1997). The differentiated terminology and focuses chosen across past studies render difficult their integration into a consistent body of marketing knowledge about CSR. In an attempt to unite this developing body of research, the present article introduces a conceptual framework that provides an encompassing view of CSR along with its antecedents and outcomes. The proposed framework suggests that marketers can contribute to the successful management of CSR by expanding their focus beyond consumers to include other stakeholders and by bundling together various social responsibility initiatives. The proposed framework accounts for the main depictions of CSR found in the literature, which are presented below.




STUDY BACKGROUND Past Conceptualizations of CSR: A Brief Overview Since the 1950s, CSR (e.g., Bowen 1953) along with the related notions of corporate social responsiveness, corporate social responses (e.g., Strand 1983), and corporate social performance (e.g., Carroll 1979; Wood 199t), have been the subject of many conceptualizations originating mainly from the management literature. This section outlines the main conceptual viewpoints that emerge out of this profuse literature. CSR as social obligation. This first perspective was launched by Bowen (1953), who defined CSR as the obligation "to pursue those policies, to make those decisions, or to follow those lines of action...
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