Three studies examine the effect of CSR on business

NEW YORK: Three recent studies note the continued effect corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship have on businesses, while cautioning about current approaches.

NEW YORK: Three recent studies note the continued effect corporate social responsibility (CSR) and corporate citizenship have on businesses, while cautioning about current approaches.

Golin Harris' national survey on corporate citizenship found that only 25% of 2,770 US respondents thought business corporate citizenship is heading in the right direction, while 44% said it is heading in the wrong direction. These marks were worse than last year's 29% and 41%, respectively.

Consumers also expressed the importance of corporate citizenship on buying habits, as 52% of respondents said they were likely to start or increase their dealings with a business because of corporate citizenship. This was nine points higher than last year.

Echoing Golin's findings, APCO Worldwide's study found that positive CSR information led 72% of the respondents to purchase a company's product or service and 61% to recommend the company to others.

Conversely, negative CSR news has led 60% to boycott a company's offerings.

More than half of the 419 respondents said they knew "some" information about the social responsibility of companies. A third remarked that they knew little or nothing about it.

Yet, Hill & Knowlton's survey, taken from 175 executive responses, found that executives undervalued CSR, as only 9% listed it as the most important reputation criterion.

APCO's survey featured respondents from North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. The sampling margin of error for the survey was +/- 4.8%.

Golin's study, released in a report titled Doing Well by Doing Good 2004: The Trajectory

of Corporate Citizenship and American Business, featured 2,770 online interviews conducted in June. The margin of error was +/- 3%.

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