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The primary purpose of this paper is to explore and interpret the perceptions of Malaysian consumers regarding the factors that facilitate their market support for…
The primary purpose of this paper is to explore and interpret the perceptions of Malaysian consumers regarding the factors that facilitate their market support for corporate social responsibility (CSR) through the lens of moral legitimacy.
This paper interprets qualitative data gathered from in-depth interviews with Malaysian consumers. The findings are then mapped to four forms of evaluations for moral legitimacy identified in the literature, towards establishing a conceptual model of consumer support for CSR.
Overall, six factors were identified as facilitating consumer market support for CSR. Of these, consumers were found to perceive strategic alignment between a firm’s business and its CSR as the most fundamental. In the absence of which, all other considerations are rendered irrelevant. Upon the requirement for alignment being met, the consumers then place emphasis on the manner by which a CSR activity is executed, for deciding whether to support or otherwise.
In contrast to previous reports in the literature concerning Malaysian consumers and CSR, the findings suggest that Malaysian consumers now have increased levels of awareness and maturity with regard to CSR, not unlike that of consumers in the West. Therefore, Malaysian firms will have to stop treating their CSR activities as an add-on, as has been reported previously, and they should endeavour to integrate their CSR into their overall business strategy.
This paper offers an important insight about the consumers’ market support for CSR in the context of a developing nation.
Antiglobalisation sentiments appear to be on the rise in some parts of the world. As such, there are concerns that this may in turn jeopardise some of the common business…
Antiglobalisation sentiments appear to be on the rise in some parts of the world. As such, there are concerns that this may in turn jeopardise some of the common business practices, such as corporate social responsibility (CSR). This study argues that that is not the case. On the contrary, CSR is firmly entrenched as an institution in the political, economic and social structures of the globalised market. By that reason, it is relatively insulated from any attempts to undo the process of globalisation. However, the proliferation of connections between individuals, organisations and institutions across the world in recent years has irrevocably changed the market dynamics, particularly in relation to the process of value creation between a firm and its stakeholders. In this new market landscape, stakeholders play an active role in exchanging resources amongst themselves towards achieving socioeconomic outcomes, with the firm facilitating or mediating the connections. Thus, we see the rise of new value chains and business propositions. In light of that, CSR too would need to evolve and adapt to the current market circumstances or otherwise risk losing legitimacy. For that purpose, a fresh market paradigm is required. To that end, this study proposes the adoption of the service-dominant logic (SDL) perspective as a general framework for firms to conceive and operationalise their CSR. It concludes with an illustrative case, which provides some indication of how the precepts of SDL could be applied in the context of CSR, in an age of enhanced interactivity between the various actors.