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Exploring Perceptions of Customer Value: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in the European Telecommunications Industry

Seppala, N; Jensen, B; Annan-Diab, F; (2018) Exploring Perceptions of Customer Value: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in the European Telecommunications Industry. European Business Review , 30 (3) pp. 246-271. 10.1108/EBR-09-2015-0104. Green open access

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Abstract

Purpose - This paper develops a framework that describes and explains how corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives are perceived by customers and links customer perception to the notion of customer value perception. In order to explore customer value conception firstly, the perception of CSR initiatives is investigated; secondly, indications for the value enhancing effects of CSR initiatives are studied, and finally, the varying effects which different value categories can have on customer attitudes and behaviour are extracted. Design/methodology/approach - The data consists of twelve semi-structured interviews with customers of European telecommunication companies. Findings - The results suggest that CSR initiatives, when communicated efficiently and considered as relevant by customers, will in the main enhance two customer value categories: (1) the extrinsic self-oriented value defined as efficiency and excellence and (2) the intrinsic other-oriented value pertaining to ethics or spirituality. Enhancement of extrinsic selforiented value imbeds the potential of CSR initiatives to affect customers’ purchase behaviour and thus strengthen ethical consumerism within the telecommunications industry. Research limitations/implications – The main implication for research is a better understanding of the relationship between customer perception and customer value perception in the field of ethical consumerism. Focusing on one industry for the study can be named as a limitation. Practical implications – As indicated by the research results by customers prioritised CSR initiative can affect the customer value perception, mainly the extrinsic/self-oriented value. If the company is aiming to change customer behaviour and to strengthen ethical consumerism, it is important that the customer experience of CSR initiatives improve excellence (quality) and/or efficiency of the product/service. Originality/value – This paper fulfils an identified need of research on how CSR initiatives can influence consumer behaviour.

Type: Article
Title: Exploring Perceptions of Customer Value: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives in the European Telecommunications Industry
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1108/EBR-09-2015-0104
Publisher version: http://www.emeraldinsight.com/loi/ebr
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Ethical consumerism, Customer value perception, Corporate social responsibility, Customer perception, Prioritisation of CSR initiatives.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1571876
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