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Corporate Social Esben Rahbek Gjerdum While all stakeholders have


Responsibility Pederson, 2015 an intrinsic moral value,
consumers are considered to
be one of the three - along
with shareholders and
employees, most strategically
important stakeholders of the
firm (Berman, Wicks, Kotha,
& Jones, 1999).

The theory of market


exchange sets out that a
buyer and seller enter into an
exchange to mutually fulfil
their personal goals, but that
will only occur by meeting the
goals of the other (Bagozzi,
1975).

If the buyer is willing to pay


the price of the seller and if
the seller’s offering is
considered to be one of value
to the buyer. If a firm does
not act responsibly towards
its customers by providing
value and satisfaction,
customers won’t engage in
the exchange and the firm
won’t profit. Market exchange
is therefore ethically justified
based on the rights of each
party to enter freely into the
exchange and because of the
mutual utilitarian benefits
received. Customer
satisfaction is a profitable and
ethical outcome.

When we think about market


exchange this way, social
responsibility relates to the
benefits and harm that an
individual consumers may
experience. If consumers are
being harmed, we say that
their rights have been
impeded. From a stakeholder
perspective, there is a long
tradition of consumers groups
forming to provide collective
strength and protest against
the impediment of their rights.
This has led to a historical
legal and regulative change
from a context where
consumers lacked protection
to one where governments
actively safeguard and
promote the rights of
consumers.

A useful framework for


understanding consumer
issues is the ‘marketing mix’
from the marketing literature
(McCarthy, 1975). Managing
the customer relationship
requires addressing the
issues and manipulating the
tools of marketing mix:
market research, targeting
and segmenting customers,
product and brand strategy,
advertising and promotions
strategy, pricing strategy, and
distribution strategy. From a
stakeholder perspective, the
main issue to be dealt with by
managers is the historical
rise of ethical consumers. A
small but growing segment
consumers, sometimes
referred to as the LOHAS
(Lifestyles of Health and
Sustainability) segment, has
recognized that a powerful
way to change the behavior
of firms is to express one’s
ethical concerns through
one’s consumption. This is
recognition that buying
equals voting in the
marketplace. Ethical
consumers both penalize
socially irresponsible firms
through boycott and reward
socially responsible firms
through purchasing their
product. In this way, ethical
consumption is an important
driver of the business case
for CSR.

Consumer rights are the


consumer’s entitlement to be
treated fairly and with respect
when they enter into an
exchange with a seller
(Crane & Matten, 2010).

First, when conducting


market research, marketers
should attend to responsibility
issues related to the
respondent, the client and the
society generally. This stem
from privacy concerns when
surveying the public,
marketing education
encouraging increased
information gathering,
saturation forcing marketing
researchers to find innovative
ways to gather information,
and the motive to maximize
profits from client
relationships (Murphy,
Laczniak, Bowie, & Klein,
2005).

Harrison, Newholm, & Shaw, Consumers make many


2005 buying decisions daily.
Compelling impulses guides
the culture of modern
consumption towards
consumption ethics
consideration.