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Consumer reaction towards corporate social responsibility in United Arab Emirates

Yaprak Anadol (Marketing and Logistics Management, University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Mohamed A. Youssef (Marketing and Logistics Management, University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Eappen Thiruvattal (Marketing and Logistics Management, University of Dubai, Dubai, United Arab Emirates)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 2 March 2015




This paper aims to examine five distinct consumer reactions, including corporate social responsibility (CSR) awareness, consumers’ complaining, boycotting behavior, work preferences and consumer donation behavior.


The analysis in this paper was based on data collected by a team of experts in the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry from more than 555 United Arab Emirates (UAE) individuals, aged 18 years or older. Our study postulated that there will be no statistically significant differences in any or all of the five reactions among respondents with different age, varying degree of CSR awareness, working preference, donation and boycotting behavior, and methods of complaining about companies or their products.


Gender analysis indicated that there is a statistically significant difference between male and female in terms of boycotting and complaining behaviors. Our analysis also showed that young consumers in the age group of 18-24 years react significantly different than older age group in terms of job preference. Third, the results of location analysis indicated that the UAE consumers’ contacting behavior to a company to voice an opinion about a company’s product or services are significantly different across the seven Emirates of UAE.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this study have many implications. First, there is no doubt that such findings will raise the consumers’ awareness of CSR. UAE companies will become more cognizant of their consumers’ behavior, especially when the consumers’ voice their opinion and show interest in the products or services offered by these companies. The implications of this study for the academics are that this study can be replicated in different parts of the globe to confirm or refute our findings.

Practical implications

The findings of this study will enable UAE companies to design and implement strategies that aim at increasing their efficiency, competitiveness and the ability to compete in global markets.

Social implications

Many of the developing economies started to realize how important CSR is. A fast growing economy such as that of UAE has given such topic an unprecedented attention. The social implication of our findings is that UAE corporations will have to rethink their strategies when it comes to their social responsibility toward society in which they exist. Our findings also enlighten consumers when it comes to their dealing with socially responsible corporations.


This study is unique in that it is the first empirically based study to address the consumer behavior and their reaction toward socially responsible corporations.



The author would like to thank Dr Amjad Nasser for his support and comments. The author would also like to extend their acknowledgement to Dubai Chamber as being the source of the data.


Anadol, Y., Youssef, M.A. and Thiruvattal, E. (2015), "Consumer reaction towards corporate social responsibility in United Arab Emirates", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 11 No. 1, pp. 19-35.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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