As armor against criticism, corp. social responsibility no substitute for product quality

Feb 01, 2011

More than 90 percent of Fortune 500 companies commit themselves to corporate social responsibility initiatives in order to protect themselves against negative information. But these moves don't serve as a strong insurance policy against bad press and criticism, according to a report in the current edition of the Journal of Service Research.

The authors found that general corporate social responsibility in and of itself will not shield a company from criticism or negative information because consumers separate ethical/ from product or service quality issues in their minds, according to the researchers, who surveyed more than 800 firms and 100 individuals.

The protection corporate social responsibility offers is largely limited to social or with the company. It does little to combat negative information relating to a company's product or service quality. To do so, a firm must make itself more service quality oriented and focus its concern on the final outcome of a product or service.

The authors also studied the effects of a firm's consumer base. If a firm has a consumer base of experts, it should focus on its service quality orientation. However, if a firm's consumers are mostly novices, it should focus more on to mediate any negative information. Co-authors of the report are:

  • Andreas Eisingerich is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Imperial College Business School in London.
  • Gaia Rubera is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Eli Broad College of Business at Michigan State University.
  • Matthias Seifert is a Professor of Quantitative Methods in Operations and Technology at the IE Business School in Madrid.
  • Gunjan Bhardwaj is with the Boston Consulting Group at their Stuttgart office.

Explore further: Study finds Illinois is most critical hub in food distribution network

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Study: Nonprofits put brand at risk in corporate partnerships

Nov 13, 2009

Charities and other nonprofits may put their brand at risk when they partner with corporations on social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. The public can easily construe such connections as a seal of approval of the corporation ...

Go green, give a boost to employee morale

Feb 01, 2011

In a global recession, most people are thankful to have a job, but a new study published in Interdisciplinary Environmental Review suggests that employees are more likely to be satisfied with their jobs if they are workin ...

Corporate social responsibility: less profit, more value

Feb 07, 2008

Companies that operate in a socially responsible manner 'pay' for this with a loss in financial profit. Yet at the same time, socially responsible business practices can enhance a company's value. Dutch economist Lammertjan ...

Recommended for you

Ancient clay seals may shed light on biblical era

Dec 20, 2014

Impressions from ancient clay seals found at a small site in Israel east of Gaza are signs of government in an area thought to be entirely rural during the 10th century B.C., says Mississippi State University archaeologist ...

Digging up the 'Spanish Vikings'

Dec 19, 2014

The fearsome reputation of the Vikings has made them the subject of countless exhibitions, books and films - however, surprisingly little is known about their more southerly exploits in Spain.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.