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Corporate social identity: an analysis of the Indian banking sector

Suvendu Kr. Pratihari (NIT Rourkela, Rourkela, India)
Shigufta Hena Uzma (NIT Rourkela, Rourkela, India)

International Journal of Bank Marketing

ISSN: 0265-2323

Article publication date: 22 June 2018

Issue publication date: 18 September 2018




The purpose of this paper is to report on the prioritisation of different corporate social identities (CSIs) by the banking sectors in India to endorse the corporate branding process. To substantiate the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on banks’ profitability, the paper establishes a causal relationship between CSI scores and banks’ profitability. The study defines the CSI scores as measures of different CSR initiatives available on the websites and annual reports of leading public and private schedule commercial banks in India.


The study discusses the key role that CSR plays in building the corporate personality of a firm, which is a key ingredient of a corporate brand. Therefore, the main dimensions and sub-dimensions of CSR are analysed by using content analysis method. The data undergo multiple experiments such as “Percentage of Agreement”, “Scott’s π”, “Cohen’s κ”, and “Krippendorff’s α” to check the validity and the inter-coder reliability of the content. Furthermore, the quartile approach of statistical data analysis, weighted average method of prioritisation and simple linear regression methods are used to examine and discuss the study objectives.


There were three major outcomes from this study. First, Indian banks institutionalise their credibility of corporate personality by maintaining the CSR principles and goals as the core elements of their corporate statements. Second, the CSI scores of different CSR initiatives indicate variations in the stakeholder prioritisation among different banks. The result shows that the public sector banks give the highest priority to the community-related CSR initiatives followed by environment and customer among others, whereas the private sector banks emphasise on customers as their top priority followed by environment and community. The overall score depicts the environment-related initiatives to be the highest priority, which follows customer, employees, community and suppliers. Third, the research indicates that the relationship between CSI disclosures and profitability is significant in India.

Research limitations/implications

The social aspect of building corporate identity will help in the decision-making process for developing a strong social image through their websites. However, the results suggest that the banking sector should adopt a global standard of CSR reporting and strategic positioning of the social identities among the stakeholders in the value chain. The results are limited to only the Indian banking sector and can be validated and applied to other industries and cross-cultural contexts.


This study is one of the pioneering attempts to focus on the role of CSR in the stakeholder-company relationship through the mean-end approach in the development of CSI.



This study is supported by Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR), New Delhi as a part of awarding doctoral fellowship.


Pratihari, S.K. and Uzma, S.H. (2018), "Corporate social identity: an analysis of the Indian banking sector", International Journal of Bank Marketing, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 1248-1284.



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