Customer perceptions of responsible retailing in Australia
conference contributionposted on 2004-01-01, 00:00 authored by S Sands, Stella Minahan
For retailers, the adoption of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can act as a source of differentiation and affect reputation, customer loyalty, and competitive advantage. Despite these potential benefits, there has been limited empirical investigation of CSR within the retailing literature. This paper proposes that for retailers to implement CSR to strategic benefit, they must understand how their customers perceive the concept. This paper utilises Carroll’s (1979, 1991) four-part framework of corporate behaviours to operationalise the concept of CSR. To build on Carroll’s (1979, 1991) framework, respondents are asked to identify specific behaviours that constitute socially responsible behaviour for a retail supermarket. Results support the four corporate behaviours proposed by Carroll, but do not support the rank order of economic corporate behaviours being first and foremost. The findings suggest the inclusion of ‘supply chain management’ and ‘provision of customer value’ as additional factors for retailer CSR. From these findings, an initial model of retailer CSR is proposed for further investigation. For academics, such a model provides greater clarity in understanding CSR, allowing future development across alternative retail settings. The model provides retailers with a tool for implementing CSR for strategic benefit, by way of meeting customer CSR demands.