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How Does It Fit? Exploring the Congruence Between Organizations and Their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities

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  • Menno D. T. Jong

    (University of Twente)

  • Mark Meer

    (University of Twente)

Abstract

Several studies have focused on the effects of corporate social responsibility (CSR) fit on external stakeholders’ evaluations of CSR activities, attitudes towards companies or brands, and behaviors. The results so far have been contradictory. A possible reason may be that the concept of CSR fit is more complicated than previously assumed. Researchers suggest that there may be different types of CSR fit, but so far no empirical research has focused on a typology of CSR fit. This study fills this gap, describing a qualitative content analysis of the congruence between six organizations and their various CSR activities. Ten annual reports and CSR reports were analyzed, and 102 specific CSR activities were identified. The results show that two levels of fit must be distinguished: based on the means for and the intended ends of the CSR activity. Furthermore, six different types of fit were found, focusing on (1) products and services, (2) production processes, (3) environmental impact, (4) employees, (5) suppliers, and (6) geographical location. Considering the above variety of fit possibilities, the findings emphasize the role of CSR communication as a means of creating fit perceptions.

Suggested Citation

  • Menno D. T. Jong & Mark Meer, 2017. "How Does It Fit? Exploring the Congruence Between Organizations and Their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Activities," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 71-83, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:143:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-015-2782-2
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-015-2782-2
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