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This Doctoral Thesis aims to contribute to clarifying the concept of responsibility in organizations, both from the perspective of academic arguments that have been subject of controversy during the las few decades and the concept contextualization from a legal-regulatory view, which emphasizes its institutional practice. Later on, we focus on the consumer’s perception about the company’s responsible behaviour, showing and analyzing a model that allows putting an order in the determining variables of that particular vision that the consumer has about the extent of responsibility that an organization may achieve.
Within the first chapter there is an evaluation and critical analysis of the diverse views under which the corporate responsibility has been considered, reviewing the scientific background, from the historic and economical perspective that based its study, and to determine the most extended position now and here.
Subsequently, the second and the third chapters identify the different legal and policy approaches which have tried to delineate the corporate responsibility, with a specific reference to the role that Public Administrations should play, as well as to the description of the normative environment, since it is one key element to be taken into account by companies in their decision making process on responsible actions, not only at national or supranational level, but also at the international context. At this purpose the emphasis is not only on normative issues, but also in those others which, in one or another way, have influenced in such regulations and the companies’ responsible behaviours.
All this is made with the certainty that one of the factors revealed as most influencing in the development of social responsibility in recent years is the pressure from consumer markets, where a growing number of consumers choose more responsible consumption patterns, or look for either organic products or goods manufactured according to responsible criteria. At this purpose, the fourth chapter explores the approaches involving an external view of entities, thus outlining a new approach through which the consumer decisions can be explained as a way to understand and assess the performance of business organizations, examining the different variables that provide the basis for the study model.
The empirical part of the Thesis is structured in two chapters, beginning a reference to the research procedure and the results obtained, and ending with a presentation of findings and conclusions, including the proposal of a theoretical model intended as a step forward in the research on responsibility as it is perceived at different stages in the process of consumer purchase intent. Aiming this goal, we study the sequential relationship in the generation of responsible demand, together with the acquisition of information and the assessment of responsible offers, as stages that describe the core nucleus of the model, which is completed firstly by analyzing the determinant role of the reasons attributed to corporate responsibility along with the concept of consumer’s perceived responsibility, and secondly by integrating other determinants of the process of responsible purchase, as expected utility or social influence.
Keywords: responsibility; marketing; consumer behaviour
CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY FROM THE DEMAND VIEW
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