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GSTF Journal on Business Review

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150203 Financial Institutions (incl. Banking)

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Whilst there have been significant amounts of literature written on CSR there is still a gap in understanding how CSR activities influence consumers perception. This gap is particularly evident in the financial services sector given they are the largest contributors to CSR in Australia (ACCSR, 2011). The aim of this research is how CSR activities can influence the purchasing behaviour of consumers when it comes to financial institutions. There is a further gap in the literature in understanding how perceptions of consumers towards CSR change dependent on situational context.

In addressing the research problem, the study focusses on understanding the most influential CSR initiatives, understanding how the influence of CSR initiatives can change depending on situational context and then delves further to understand how demographic attributes can alter perception. Bhattacharya and Sen’s (2004) framework was used to frame the questionnaire that was answered by 1014 respondents, showing to be sufficiently representative of the Australian population. The outcomes of this research were used to develop a comprehensive framework for Australian Financial Institutions to use when developing their CSR strategy.

It was clear that across all investment types and situational contexts, Community Support was the most influential form of CSR across the sample. Whilst this was the case, the level of influence differed across demographic groups and changed to varying degrees based on situational context dependent on the respondent. Community Support’s influence as a CSR initiative was clearly ahead of others presented to the respondents followed by Employee Support and Environment Support dependent on the investment method and the situational context. This research also addresses the question of influence of demographics by finding that they are a major factor in what and how CSR initiatives influence a person. This dissertation has led to the development of the CSR Strategic Investment Application (SIA) Framework which can be used by Financial Institutions in the development of an optimal CSR strategy, and a revised version of Bhattacharya and Sen’s (2004) framework leading to the Enhanced CSR Framework Model which can be applied by Australian Financial Institutions in future.


Copyright © The Author(s) 2017.

This is an open access article which may be accessed from the publisher GSTF here.

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