The impact of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies on perceptions and behavioral intension of Greek consumers
During the last five years Greece has witnessed the exposure of an unprecedented number of corporate related events that had a significant impact on the public opinion (huge financial scandals, various corruption accusations, etc). These events dramatically increased the negative perception of consumers towards large companies operating in Greece. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) may be considered as an effective initiative that protects and strengthens the image and reputation of implementing companies, especially at a time that their status has been severely damaged by numerous distressing reports. The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (2000) defines CSR as a business commitment that supports sustainable economic development and, at the same time, contributes to the quality of life of employees, their families, the local community and society in general. Companies that implement CSR try to establish a positive business reputation and enhance the corporate brand name by taking actions that lead in the development of a competitive advantage, while at the same time contribute to the demands of various third parties. These companies shift from solely focusing on profits and tend to include financial, environmental and social goals in their core business strategies. Therefore, many researchers argue that the CSR policy is an activity mutually beneficial for both the business and society. However, several doubts about the effectiveness of these policies are being expressed. The purpose of the present study is to measure the perceptions of consumers about Greek Large Companies (GLC) and examine the influence of the implementation of CSR policies on consumers’ perception and consumers’ behavioral intention. The results of the quantitative research (N=454) highlighted the negative perceptions of Greeks towards GLC but, at the same time, revealed the statistically significant positive effect of CSR policies on consumers’ perceptions and behavioral intention.
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