- BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new concept in the banking industry, but in the current economic situation it has become the best solution for integrating moral principles in banking activity. Corporate social responsibility has been defined as the voluntary integration of social and environmental concerns into the organization’s decision making process (Soana, 2011). This concept is increasingly used in the banking industry, being perceived as a tool to develop a positive image and attract new customers. Attracting new customers certainly involves a number of factors. In Nigeria, the banking industry has undergone changes focused mainly on credit, so they tried to find different ways to maintain equilibrium in the financial market. The experience of implementing corporate social responsibility and ethical principles in the banking industry leads to the idea that social responsibility and ethics in banking sector are seen as marketing tools for communicating with stakeholders and not an integrated part of them(Burianová and Paulík, 2014). For the purpose of enhancing corporate images and reputations, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has recently become an essential activity in the agenda of many companies worldwide. As an example of this commitment to societal concerns, companies implement codes of ethical behaviour, publish corporate social responsibility reports periodically, and exhibit their support to international corporate social responsibility standards and work to be included in prestigious sustainability indexes such as the Dow Jones Sustainability Index. In the academic realm, the recent interest in corporate social responsibility has derived into an extensive line of research concerning corporate social responsibility perceptions (corporate social responsibility image) and their influence on stakeholder behaviour. Researchers have been especially interested in determining how corporate social responsibility image influences the identification of customers with the organization, their satisfaction with the company or customer loyalty (Lichtenstein et al., 2004; Sen et al., 2006; Marín and Ruiz, 2007). Nevertheless, significantly lower attention has been paid to the study of the mental patterns that take customers to form corporate social responsibility perceptions of businesses (Rifon et al., 2004; Becker-Olsen et al., 2006; Bigné et al., 2010). Furthermore, in this nascent domain researchers have concentrated on analyzing only limited representations of corporate social responsibility -mostly cause-related marketing (crM) and the sponsorship of social causes. however, the corporate social responsibility definition has evolved since the initial conceptualizations provided in the 1950s and 1960s and this is now considered as a broader concept which includes a vast array of social initiatives aimed at positively affecting not only society but also other stakeholders such as customers, employees and shareholders (Maignan and Ferrell, 2004). This is, for example, the case with the banking industry which is analysed in this research. As a consequence of the current financial crisis, the banking sector is now facing a significant loss of credibility and the trust of most of its stakeholders. corporate social responsibility in this context tends to significantly raise stakeholder suspicion and, thus, customers might find it difficult to easily accept this new strategy as an altruistic commitment of the organization. Thus, reasons exist to believe that significant different patterns take customers to form a corporate social responsibility image of their main banking providers when results are compared to previous findings in other industries (pérez and rodríguez del bosque, 2012). Nevertheless, there is no much work on analysis of customer corporate social responsibility perceptions in banking industry so far, a fact which encourages the proposal of our research. based on these ideas, the goals of this paper are twofold: a) to test a multidimensional definition of corporate social responsibility to understand customer corporate social responsibility perceptions in the banking industry and b) to provide a causal model to explain the formation of corporate social responsibility perceptions, which should allow the researchers to extend on previous findings by more clearly defining the role of corporate social responsibility coherence, altruism and the dimensions of corporate credibility expertise and trustworthiness on corporate social responsibility perceptions.
- STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In the past decades, the concept of corporate social responsibilities has been proposed as a key theme for organizations. The idea of building a brand as a safe and reliable investment has been well accepted by Banks. Many companies see themselves as caught between social demanding and maximizing short term profits (Porter and Kramer, 2002). Although, it is believed that stakeholder value is hardly compatible with Shareholder value, today’s businesses have a fiduciary duty to shareholders and at the same time a social responsibility to stakeholders. So far it is widely accepted that being responsible means a cost rather than financial benefit (Jiyoung, 2007). Possessing a strong Corporate Social Responsibility profile means a cost rather than as asset that can be invested in. However, the growth in socially responsible investments and in Corporate Social Responsibility awareness assures organizations that the future champions will be those who proactively balance short-term financial goals to meet shareholder demands, with building long-term sustainability to satisfy stakeholder demands. Consumers make a purchasing decision according to a company’s corporate reputation. Apparently, it seems like today’s organizations are caught in a morality. Being moral involves costs, thus morality demands the price of resources of organizations. On the other hand, are consumers willing to pay premium prices caused by corporate social responsibility investment?
1.3 AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine the effect of corporate social responsibilities on consumer’s perception of corporate image. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the effectiveness of corporate social responsibilities in promoting positive corporate image in banks.
2. To examine the extent to which corporate social responsibilities affects consumer increase in numbers in banks.
3. To examine whether corporate social responsibility guarantee customers confidence and security of depositor‘s fund in banks.
4. To examine corporate social responsibilities and its effect on consumer buying behaviour.
5. To examine the relationship between corporate social responsibilities and consumers perception of corporate image.
6. To make recommendations based on the findings in order to enhance or maintain positive customer’s perception of corporate image.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. How does the effectiveness of corporate social responsibilities help in promoting positive corporate image in banks?
2. To what extent does corporate social responsibilities affects consumer increase in numbers in banks?
3. How does corporate social responsibility guarantee customers confidence and security of depositor‘s fund in banks?
4. How does corporate social responsibility affect consumer buying behaviour?
5. What is the relationship between corporate social responsibilities and consumers perception of corporate image.
6. What are the recommendations based on the findings in order to enhance or maintain positive customer’s perception of corporate image?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESES
H01: There is no effect of corporate social responsibilities on consumer buying behaviour.
H02: There is no significant relationship between corporate social responsibilities and consumers perception of corporate image.
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
Corporate social responsibility is increasingly becoming important from a theoretical and practical perspective and this research will aid in augmenting the data and research within this field of study. From a practical perspective, consumers are becoming more expectant of companies conducting their business in a socially acceptable way. As the subject matter continued to grow in importance for stakeholders, corporations have found their economic interests served by adopting a strategic approach to corporate social responsibilities. In addition, business managers have identified that infusing corporate social responsibilities as a strategic tool creates competitive advantage for their business. Therefore, this study will benefit the following:
Government: In the area of infrastructural development which some governments have low capacity to discharge, through Social Responsibility Practices business organizations come to the aid of the governments.
Public/Stakeholders: The stakeholders as a result of the relationship between the business organizations and society and for the sake of promoting loyalty with the customers, business organizations are therefore rendering some social responsibility services to improve the standard of living of their customers.
Business Organizations: The Corporate Social Responsibility Practices may be used as a marketing tool to achieve long-term sustainability of organizations and survival in the environment with which they operate.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on the effect of corporate social responsibilities on consumer’s perception of corporate image on some selected banks in Jalingo
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Corporate Social Responsibility: According to International Finance Corporation (2000) Social Responsibility is the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development by working with employees, their families, the local community and society at large to improve their lives in ways that are good for business and for development.
Consumer: A purchaser of a good or service in retail or an end user, and not necessarily a purchaser, in the distribution chain of a good or service.
Perception: The process by which people translate sensory impressions into a coherent and unified view of the world around them. Though necessarily based on incomplete and unverified (or unreliable) information, perception is equated with reality for most practical purposes and guides human behaviour in general.
Corporate Image: Is the manner which a corporation, firm or business presents themselves to the public (such as customers and investors as well as employees).