An investigation of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Polish automotive industry; a corporate perspective of importance and effects on consumer behaviour
Purpose: The research aim was to determine the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility to automotive businesses operating in the Polish market. This study also aimed to identify and discuss the reasons for CSR’s emergence and growth in the Polish markets. Further, this thesis progressed to determine and evaluate the effects of CSR on the behaviour of Polish consumers. Relevant research has been carried out previously on the issue of CSR and buying patterns in other sectors only. Methodology: The research was based on a qualitative approach, with an element of quantitative research being used to provide basic statistical descriptions. Semi-structured individual interviews and structured and unstructured questionnaires were employed. Data was gathered via the Internet some respondents were approached in the streets of Warsaw. Findings: The investigation of corporate perspective discovered that the involvement in CSR activities of companies operating in the Polish automotive industry is increasing. Corporate responsibility was found to indirectly affect customer behaviour by enhancing product stimuli. Effects on buying patterns differ between markets due to varied market maturity, nature of the product and consumer welfare. Implications: The socio-economic view on CSR appears to find application in the contemporary markets. Executive activism and human social responsibility are developing and business practices are becoming socially inclusive. Originality/Value: This research can contribute to the corporate understanding of consumer behaviour and support business strategies and marketing activities. The study can also allow customers to evaluate their purchase behaviours and to increase their consumer awareness.