Kauppatieteellinen tiedekunta, 2017
Master's Degree Programme in International Business
Approaching consumers with corporate social responsibility initiatives is a tricky road which can lead anywhere from total disasters to success stories. The more controversial the topic is, the more it requires situational awareness and consideration. Especially in the food industry, where there is lot of mistrust due to global diseases and their poor handling.
How to master the art of creating dialogue between the firm and its customers, when the topic varies from standard environmental reports to highly sensitive human right issues?
As an action research, this thesis studies consumer behavior from the perspective of CSR communication. The aim of this study is to find out about the consumers’ reaction towards CSR information that is communicated through corporate websites. The emphasis is on understanding culture’s role in responses, and the research field of global advertising offers basis for examining communication from cultural perspective.
As a methodological approach, semi-structured interviews were conducted with Swedish and Finnish consumers. The main findings support the literature and it is argued that consumers are rather skeptical towards CSR information that is communicated by the corporations. The findings suggest that the Finnish and Swedish consumers’ responses did not differ.
This study offers managerial implications towards the case company, as well as managers in similar firms. The analysis provides a better understanding of consumer response on proactive corporate social responsibility communication.
CSR communication, global advertising, corporate communication, consumer behaviour