The impact of corporate social responsibility on consumer trust: the case of organic food

Business Ethics: A European Review 17 (1):3-12 (2007)
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Abstract

A critical and notoriously elusive issue in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) research is the impact of Corporate Social Performance (CSP) on the bottom line. Instead of looking for direct correlations between social and financial performance, we hypothesize that the first result of CSR activities is the creation of trust among the stakeholders. A survey conducted on consumers of organic products provided support for our hypothesis, showing that CSP influences consumer trust and that that trust in turn influences consumers' subsequent actions. The findings further suggest that intermediate variables between CSP and Corporate Financial Performance (CFP) may best support a business case for CSR.

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