PhD, Professor, the Department of Marketing and Logistics, Florida International University, USA
PhD, Associate Professor, the Department of Marketing and Logistics, Florida International University, USA
Within a CSR framework, this paper reports on an extensive array of studies which explore consumer and employee issues with businesses in 13 countries, including the United States and countries in Eastern and Western Europe, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East. The relevance of this study is based on the idea that consumer trust and fair treatment of employees are both core components of CSR and vital elements of economic efficiency and satisfaction from both supplier and customer perspectives. The questionnaires included open-ended inquiries which employed the technique of unaided recall, alternatively known as “top of mind” awareness. This method’s strength is that it provides minimum direction to respondents, thus avoiding interviewer bias. The resulting data were examined and classified using the method of content analysis. The results indicate that in Mexico and Argentina most consumer complaints involved price, while in Russia, China, and India consumers complained about aspects of product policy. Only Brazilian consumers registered their major concern as complaints on service. The complaints about corporate policy focused on the poor treatment of employees. The between-country contrasts were often large; for example, 26% of Japanese respondents expressed concerns about employee issues whereas such complaints were limited to 3% of our Mexican sample. The strength of the current research is the combination of the breadth of the study (13 countries) coupled with the employment of national probability samples. The corresponding limitation stems from the limited depth of inquiry associated with the methodology employed and the inherent complexity of cross-national comparisons. The key implication of the paper is that both customers and employees have numerous complaints regarding the treatment they receive from corporations, but these issues show significant differences between the countries in the sample. In depth examination of the individual countries is one of several fruitful areas suggested for further research.
Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), Consumer Complaints, Price, Product, Service.
JEL Classification: M14, D12, E3.
Cite as: Tsalikis, J., Seaton, B. (2020). Corporate Social Responsibility: A Cross-National Study of the Treatment of Consumers and Employees. Business Ethics and Leadership, 4(2), 6-15. https://doi.org/10.21272/bel.4(2).6-15.2020.
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