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How does corporate social responsibility create customer loyalty? The role of corporate image

Mert Gürlek (Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Tourism, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey)
Ertugrul Düzgün (Department of Tourism Management, Gümüşhane University, Gümüşhane, Turkey)
Selma Meydan Uygur (Department of Tourism Management, Faculty of Tourism, Gazi University, Ankara, Turkey)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate whether corporate image has a mediating effect on the influence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) on customer loyalty in independent hotels.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from customers of five-star hotels located in Istanbul in Turkey. The theoretical model was tested with 404 usable data. The results were analyzed by using structural equation modeling (SEM).

Findings

Findings show that CSR creates customer loyalty partially through corporate image in the independent hotels. In addition, it was found that the hotels included in the study carried out moderate level of CSR activities.

Research limitations/implications

The research model was tested in independent five-star hotels. Further studies could be carried out using different independent hospitality companies. In addition, the research was conducted on a limited sample, as hotel managers were not willing to allow direct contact with customers. Further studies could be carried out on larger samples.

Practical implications

This study recommends that independent hotels carry out more CSR activities on social and environmental issues. In addition, direct effect of CSR on customer loyalty is lower than its indirect effect via corporate image. Therefore, if companies desire to create customer loyalty through CSR, they should introduce their CSR activities to customers via communication tools (website, media etc.)

Originality/value

This study examines CSR in terms of sustainable development in the independent hotels. Furthermore, it explains relationships between CSR and corporate image and customer loyalty through the principle of generalized reciprocity specified in the theory of social change.

Keywords

Citation

Gürlek, M., Düzgün, E. and Meydan Uygur, S. (2017), "How does corporate social responsibility create customer loyalty? The role of corporate image", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 13 No. 3, pp. 409-427. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-10-2016-0177

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited