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Corporate social responsibility: impacts on strategic marketing and customer value

Nigel F. Piercy, Warwick Business School, UK* Nikala Lane, Warwick Business School, UK

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has impacted on the policies and behaviours of companies throughout the world. However, relatively little attention has been devoted to the link between CSR and strategic marketing. The impact of CSR initiatives on customer and other stakeholder relationships is key to performance improvement. It is also important to recognise that CSR initiatives may achieve undesirable effects and that barriers exist to their effective implementation. We provide a framework examining the degree and type of corporate response to CSR imperatives and the moderating effects of employee/manager perceptions, other stakeholder perceptions, and the company’s social credibility. We examine the impact of CSR on customer value, and importantly the need for a resonating value proposition that underlines how a supplier’s CSR adds value for the customer. We conclude with a new management agenda for marketing strategy that examines CSR opportunities and risks. Keywords Corporate social responsibility, Customer value, Marketing strategy, Corporate reputation, Ethics, Sustainability

Introduction Once considered primarily a matter of “corporate philanthropy”, moral obligation or pure altruism (Porter and Kramer 2002), corporate social responsibility (CSR) is increasingly recognised as a source of competitive advantage, and thus a significant corporate resource, as well as an important part of how competitive relationships operate. Precise definition of corporate social responsibility is problematic. However, the European Commission identifies corporate social responsibility as: “a concept whereby companies integrate social and environmental concerns in their business operations and in their interaction with their stakeholders on a voluntary basis” (Commission of the European Communities 2001). This definition identifies CSR as a broad concept. For the purposes of discussion we focus on the currently most topical issues receiving management and public attention: the impact of business on the physical environment in which

*Correspondence details and biographies for the authors are located at the end of the article. The Marketing Review, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 4, pp. 335-360 doi: 10.1362/146934709X479917

ISSN1469-347X print / ISSN 1472-1384 online ©Westburn Publishers Ltd.

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The Marketing Review, 2009, Vol. 9, No. 4 it operates and the search for “sustainability”; the employment conditions experienced by individuals in the value chain delivering goods to customers; health issues, particularly in the emerging markets; and, the standards of ethical behaviour evidenced by companies in their value chain operations. This approach to CSR extends beyond the view that good corporate citizenship is a simply a tactical marketing tool, to examine corporate social responsibility as a strategic resource. Strength in this resource, as in any other, may bring competitive advantages; weakness in this resource, as in any other, may bring vulnerability (Branco and Rodrigues 2006). One influential review recently suggested that: If… corporations were to analyze their prospects for social responsibility using the same frameworks that guide their core business choices, they would discover that CSR can be much more than a cost, a constraint, or a charitable deed – it can be a source of opportunity, innovation, and competitive advantage. (Porter and Kramer 2006) This perspective underlines that corporate social responsibility can usefully be evaluated as a substantial and growing influence on marketing strategy choices, particularly in terms of its impact on customer value. This review examines the ways in which CSR is re-shaping the strategic marketing agenda, and the ways in which companies are responding in different ways to CSR imperatives. There is some precedent for examining the role of CSR in marketing - a recent review located 54 articles related to CSR in the marketing theory literature, published in the period 1995 to 2005, although noting that many researchers adopted a very partial perspective and calling for a far broader view of CSR in the value chain (Vaaland et al. 2008). CSR and the marketing strategy agenda Several trends and issues can inhibit the ability of companies to develop effective marketing strategy, or to establish and defend their desired competitive positions, without making allowance for a societal dimension in their actions. Perhaps the most significant issue now in being a good “corporate citizen” is not so much moral obligation, as a business case for initiatives which protect a company’s market position and provide new business opportunities (Maignan et al. 1999). For example, in their recent review of CSR, Porter and Kramer, suggest that while CSR generally remains imbued with a strong moral imperative, modern supporters of the CSR movement rely on four arguments to justify attention and resources for these initiatives: 1. moral obligation – the duty for a company to be a good citizen and to do “the right thing”; 2. sustainability – an emphasis on the environmental and community impact of the business - possibly reflecting enlightened self-interest; 3. license to operate – the tacit or explicit permission a company needs from governments, communities and other stakeholders, to do

” In particular. Peter Senge and colleagues argue that after years of scepticism. efficient but innovative. cause-related projects may impact directly on income: if firms that create social gains realise cash value in terms of increased purchases by morally-conscious customers (or those customers are willing to pay higher prices). Indeed. or in reduced costs. By way of illustration. strengthen its brand. but also foster innovation. Table 1(overleaf) demonstrates the spread across 337 . cut costs and open up new markets (Skapinker 2008). but also the potential market for the product in the rural areas of developing countries is huge. big companies are acting to cut waste. CSR may have the impact of building long-term customer loyalty. Procter and Gamble. Publicis. and 4.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility business. global but concerned about local communities [and] try to use their power and influence to develop solutions to problems the public cares about”. which may in part be a response to external critics. improve morale. legitimacy. Unilever’s Pureit machine is illustrative – it cleans water to provide drinking water without boiling or the use of mains electricity. She concludes from her studies of companies like IBM. “the leaders of a vanguard company espouse positive values and encourage their employees to embrace and act on them. 2008). Importantly. find sources of renewable energy and develop sustainable business models (Senge et al. Some go even further in advocating the combination of business and social goals. and coping in better ways with explicit customer demands for the new behavioural standards they expect in their suppliers. the social and health benefits of lower costs for clean drinking water are evident. or even raise share prices (Porter and Kramer 2006) Perhaps. The Moss Kanter concept of a “vanguard company” reaches for a post-CSR setting of successful businesses sustained by moral purpose as well as economic achievement. but only if those social commitments have an economic logic that attracts resources to the firm (Moss Kanter 2009). but also part of the underlying vision of what a business is about. as an explicit part of their strategy. to this list should be added the need to respond to the CSR-based positioning of rivals who are seeking competitive advantage through an enhanced franchise with the customer. and purifies water more cheaply than boiling. some companies have made high-profile efforts to position as socially responsible. reputation – CSR initiatives to enhance a company’s image. Developed by Hindustan Unilever. There is an increasingly widespread view that there is a business case for social initiatives – behind the drive for sustainability lies a growing belief that environmental and social projects not only improve corporate reputations. Cemex and Diageo that “Humanistic values and attention to societal needs are a starting point for smart strategy in the global information age. Moss Kanter uses the term “vanguard companies” to describe those which are “ahead of the pack and potentially the wave of the future” because they aspire to be “big but human. More broadly.” Social purpose creates strategic advantages. CSR may be associated with significant and measurable benefits for companies. cut carbon emissions. For example. trust or brand equity (Godfrey and Hatch 2007).

January 29 2007. 9. No. has eliminated 96% of the most toxic substances in its global operations. such as fuel cells for notebook PCs. p. Involved in carbon emissions trading. Novo Nordisk GlaxoSmithKlein Retail Marks & Spencer Home Retail Group Aeon Adapted from: Pete Engardio. State-of the art green products. Cut greenhouse gas emissions by 32% since 1990. Ahead on green issues and ensuring quality. “Beyond the Green Corporation”. 4 Table 1 Companies leading in sustainability Automotive Toyota Renault Volkswagen Communications Nokia Equipment Ericsson Motorola Computers H-P Toshiba Dell Financial Services ABN AMRO HSBC ING Household Electricals Philips Sony Matsushita Petrochemicals Shell Norsk Hydro Pioneer of the Prius hybrid and a leader in developing efficient petrol-electric vehicles Integrates sustainability throughout the organisation. Factors sustainability into project finance and helps developing countries improve financial institutions. Lending guidelines for forestry. lighting and medical products for the developing world. Leading designer of eco-efficient products. Leading innovator of energy-saving appliances. and strong in assessing social and environmental impact of projects. safety and labour standards among global suppliers. 53. Buys local products to cut transport costs and fuel use. in fuel-efficient cars and factories Market leader technologies in small cars and clean diesel Makes phones for the handicapped and low income consumers. High overall corporate responsibility standards have led to strong customer and staff loyalty. Among the first in the US to take hardware back from customers and recycle it for free. Eco-friendly initiatives include wind and fuel-cell powered telecom systems in Africa.6 million. Suncor Energy Links with aboriginals help deal with social and ecological issues in Canada. and takes back used equipment in US and Europe. the first to offer AIDS drugs at cost. Good employment practices in China and South East Asia. BusinessWeek.338 The Marketing Review. Leads in community relations in overseas markets and invests in wind and solar energy. Good disclosure of environmental data. Vol. and finances projects in micro enterprises and biomass fuels. . Rates high on ecological standards and digital technology for the poor. Leading efforts in diseases like leprosy and bird flu and a leading player in low cost generics. freshwater and chemicals sectors include social and ecological risks. Pharmaceuticals Roche Committed to improving access to medicine in poor countries and invests in drug research for emerging markets. 2009. Environmental accounting has saved $5. Devoting R&D to malaria and TB. and leads in phasing out toxic materials.

consider Toyota’s success in capturing the “green car” company identity with the hybrid Prius. In fact. and perceptions of ethical standards more generally. as a way of rebuilding its reputation (Weintraub 2009).Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility different sectors of the concept of the “green corporation”. However. Unfortunately. and is attracting growing company investment (IBM Institute for Business Value 2008). It is increasingly clear that business norms across the world are moving CSR into the mainstream of business practice. government and society. there is no doubt that the issue of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Certainly. Generally. other than in mere “messaging” (Stern 2008). 2005). Research by IBM suggests that the majority of business leaders are focusing on CSR to create new revenue streams. recent research suggests that an integrated approach to CSR in marketing is largely missing in both theory and practice (Maignan et al. allowing the company to work more effectively with local governments and to obtain stronger patent protection. the case remains to be established how it is related to marketing strategy in particular. to enter new and developing markets – GlaxoSmithKlein has invested to develop specific drugs for poor nations. issues of social responsibility and the morality and ethics of company practices have become a key element in managing customer relationships and in how companies are perceived and understood by their customers. and that CSR initiatives should be linked to their impact on the customer value that a company delivers to its markets. to differentiate against competitors . A strategic marketing perspective requires the identification of opportunities for stronger competitive positioning in key market segments through enhanced customer value associated with CSR initiatives. arrogance.many young professionals discount potential employers with bad reputations. and. in marketing the implications of CSR have generally been considered as no more than corporate reputation questions and there are signs that marketing departments have lacked the skills to effectively manage even reputational issues. Corporate social responsibility and strategic marketing While not a prominent consideration in conventional approaches to strategic marketing. However. Genuine attempts to enhance and recover corporate reputation are likely to require more substantial strategic insights and change than traditional public relations and advertising. pharmaceutical companies have been widely criticised in the media – accused of greed. 339 . while CSR may be an important new element of the relationships between business. and most believe that CSR gives an advantage over competitors – the overwhelming majority of CEOs saw CSR as a strategic competitive opportunity. as well as disclosing the company’s payments to doctors. and lack of transparency – 2009 saw Pfizer launching an initiative to provide free medicines to those who have lost their jobs in the economic downturn. not something with a negative impact (IBM 2008). where ecofriendly and socially responsible practices help company performance and profitability (Engardio 2007). For example. occupies considerable general management attention. CSR can be related to the ability of companies: to attract and retain the best talent . CSR is of growing importance in how companies manage their key processes.

perceived quality. Moreover. there have been research findings suggesting a link between a company’s social initiatives and positive consumer responses in attitudes. there is evidence that when social initiatives are not . Shifts in attitudes towards consumption may be difficult to track – for example. Ellen et al. While the adoption of social causes by organisations has often been based on the assumption that consumers will reward this behaviour (Levy 1999). Creyer and Ross 1997.340 The Marketing Review. in practice such brands usually have tiny market shares (Grande 2007b). Consumer priorities There are accumulating signs that consumers are discriminating between brands and companies on issues of societal impact and ethical standards. but also in examining business-to-business relationships (including supply chain partners). and so may or may not reward the firm with positive attitudes and purchases (Becker-Olsen et al. They constitute a “stealth segment” of apparently loyal customers who actually have major ethical concerns about your company (Fraser 2007). The conclusion is that ethical and environmental questions are being posed by growing numbers of consumers. 2009. corporate attitudes and purchase intentions (Becker-Olsen et al. One important concern is “conflicted consumers” – they currently buy the product and appear to have high satisfaction and display loyalty. but they would rather not buy from you and are poised to switch as soon as a viable alternative appears. No. Respondents believe that brands with ethical claims – of environmental policies or treatment of staff or suppliers – make business more answerable to the public (Grande 2007b). executives should be aware that the potential impact of ethical consumers may remain hidden for some time. 9. it is unlikely that consumers will blindly accept social initiatives as sincere. 2006). and the government. It is also unclear how robust ethical consumerism will be in the face of other pressures – sales of organic foods fell nearly 20% in the UK in 2008. social initiatives must be consistent with a firm’s operating objectives and values (Levy 1999). such as investors. However. the impact of “ethical consumerism” is large and of escalating significance. Vol. 4 Customer and stakeholder perspectives CSR is significant in considering relationships with consumers. a recent five-country survey conducted by market research group GfK NOP suggests that consumers in five of the world’s leading economies are turning to “ethical consumerism” to make companies more accountable (Grande 2007a). Nonetheless. Commentators on branding suggest that ethical consumption is one of the most significant issues in modern markets. 2000). but they are not always overly impressed by companies’ responses. research suggests that consumers will punish firms that are perceived as insincere or manipulative in their social involvement (Becker-Olsen et al. lobby groups. and those with other stakeholders. Indeed. beliefs and behaviours (Brown and Dacin 1997. as consumers reverted to cheaper alternatives when economic conditions worsened. Positive associations have been found between social initiatives and price. there is a compelling argument that to be effective. while consumers claim they would pay a 5-10% premium for many ethical products. 2006). However. Nonetheless. 2006). Indeed.

These social responsibility mandates impact on supplier selection. CSR may become a liability and diminish previously held beliefs about the firm. There are growing signs that many corporate boards of directors are under shareholder pressure to adopt more acceptable environmental policies and keep a closer watch on environmental issues. Indeed. Customer-oriented social strategies directly influence supply chain relationships. For example. so that consumers perceive initiatives as proactive and socially motivated (Becker-Olsen et al. In major companies it is commonly the case that sustainability has become an 341 . The spread of vendor evaluation approaches which make CSR demands on suppliers requires continuous and systematic evaluation as the basis for an appropriate response. The introduction of formal social responsibility dimensions to supplier relationships is becoming the norm rather than the exception. Other stakeholder perspectives Investors. Suppliers unable or unwilling to meet the social responsibilities defined by major customers face the risk of losing those customers to competitors. In dealing with suppliers. Business-to-business relationships Business-to-business customer concerns with their suppliers’ CSR stance extend more broadly from environmental concerns to wider ethical issues. Organisational customers’ evolving social responsibility requirements mandate effective responses.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility aligned with corporate objectives and values. and are reducing or terminating the business they do with suppliers who fail to heed requests to diversify their workforces. the alleged Siemens “slush fund” to pay bribes to win international contracts – have been damaging to both companies (Woodhead 2007). reflecting investor concerns about global warming and shortages of natural resources. Microsoft in the UK is one of a small but growing number of British companies which monitor suppliers to ensure that they employ a representative mix of women and ethnic minorities (Taylor 2007). in addition to questions of ethics in executive behaviour. The impact of ethical transgressions is magnified by growing transparency and information availability. making dubious practices are more difficult to hide. there are growing costs for suppliers with marketing practices judged to represent inappropriate behaviours in managing buyer/seller relationships. 2006). Home Depot (one of the biggest buyers of wood products in the US) demands that all its wood products come from suppliers who can provide evidence of sound forest management practices. and on the continuation of relationships with existing suppliers. Many large companies already insist on good employment diversity practices from suppliers. There is some priority for social initiatives and responses to be chosen carefully to reflect the firm’s values and domain. in 2007 Microsoft dropped one of its UK suppliers because that supplier failed to meet Microsoft’s standards on employee diversity. The accusations of corruption and bribery levelled against Volkswagen and Siemens executives in Germany – for example. The management of business-tobusiness buyer-seller relationships has to be placed into this more demanding context (Piercy and Lane 2009).

Increasingly. and has become a major target in the global dilemma about access to fresh water. in the UK the government is pressuring supermarkets to banish “2 for 1” deals on fresh food to reduce food waste – policy makers believe that “bogoff” (buy one. Government. Vol. or reduced sales. when Google announced its renewable energy strategy. Nestlé is the world’s largest seller of bottled water. Lobby groups have the power to punish companies of which they disapprove. The attitude of investors toward CSR initiatives may be positive or negative. Lobby Groups. Part of this effect may be accounted for by the growth of consumer groups who actively promote awareness of what they believe to be company wrongdoing. Nonetheless. General Electric launched its Ecoimagination initiative. 2003). Pressured by PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals). Competitors. weaker brand image. one leading New York stock analyst downgraded the company. such as large-scale consumer boycotts. which is more than their combined annual profits (Willman 2006).342 The Marketing Review. 2008). despite clear indications that the initiative would cut costs – his view was that the company was no longer focusing on its real priorities (Witzel 2008). it is also true that Google is a massive user of electricity and renewable energy provides a way to cut costs (Senge et al. In fact. 9. No. In 2006. In 2005. even if the company in question has little impact on the problem. There is some evidence that companies with poor CSR records may experience serious negative consequences. 2008 saw companies from Timberland to H&M and Benetton banning Australian wool – PETA objects to the treatment of merino sheep in Australia and as one European retailer noted: “Who wants to be on PETA’s radar screen?” (Capell 2008). but about cutting waste. For example.while this reflects the personal beliefs of the founders of the business. Importantly. it may be from an investor perspective the case for sustainability is essentially a business case – initiatives are not about “saving the planet”. Google launched a strategy to switch to renewable energy . to draw attention to the issue. Ecoimagination has grown out of GE’s long-term investment in cleaner . reducing costs and becoming more efficient. get one free) offers are a main cause of the waste of a third of all food (Webster and Elliott 2009). When governments act on issues of social impact. 2009. governments use their power to mandate social responsibility or even to create legislative demands. There is sound commercial logic that impels companies like Wal-Mart and Unilever to look to the Rainforest Alliance to help them certify the tea and coffee they sell (Skapinker 2008b). in a growing number of situations. Activist organisations have become much more aggressive and effective in bringing public pressure to bear on companies. which is believed to encourage teenage drunkenness. CSR initiatives are a significant part of how companies compete against each other. Nestlé’s impact on world water usage and availability is trivial – but it is a convenient target (Porter and Kramer 2006). and actively promote consumer boycotts (Snider et al. the effect may be far more dramatic than would be voluntary compliance – the UK domestic appliance industry is looking at a bill of more than £500 million to meet government plans for recycling. The same government is trying to prevent supermarkets from selling cheap alcohol. They may target the most visible companies. 4 important part of the activities of every board of directors (Lublin 2008). For example.

for example. Others believe that the more focused concept of sustainability (in the sense of meeting current needs without harming future generations) will replace that of CSR in management thinking. as consumers filled their shopping baskets with cheaper non-organic food. To qualify for Ecomagination branding products must significantly and measurably improve customers’ environmental and operating performance (Harvey 2005. Hart 2005). Criticisms of CSR initiatives The development of CSR initiatives by businesses is not universally approved. that “ethical shopping” is no more than a middle class indulgence which offers very limited benefits to the good causes espoused (Hattersley 2008). By 2008. that year did see a 19% fall in organic food sales. It is perhaps telling that with economic downturn. one commentator suggests that the deadliest greenhouse gas is actually the “hot air of CSR” . Similarly. The other side of CSR Enthusiasm for combining social and commercial goals for the greater good of society and the business should not blind executives to the fact that there are vocal critics of CSR initiatives. and that not all CSR efforts have achieved their intended beneficial effects. claiming twice the revenues from environmentally-friendly engineering products as GE (Milne and Harvey 2008). and places these technologies under a single brand. many government environmental policies were quietly dropped amid business opposition and signs that voter priorities were changing (Pickard and Harvey 2008). some managers talk about the “little green lies” – challenging the notion that making a company environmentally-friendly can be costeffective and also profitable. Cynics also point to the collapse of markets like that for organic foods in the UK under the pressure of rising food prices in 2008. accusing advocates of these initiatives of “empty boasting” (Elgin 2007). others suggest that organic food is “a tax on the gullible” (Lawson 2009). Green technology has become a central competitive issue in this sector. it costs too much (possibly at the 343 . Indeed. Critics also suggest that the rush to “carbon credit” projects has yielded few if any environmental benefits – some organisations are paying for emissions reductions that do not take place. For example. some opponents argue that though CSR can improve a company’s reputation (rebuilding goodwill in the wake of corporate scandals and regulatory scrutiny) and attract talent (from employees who expect their companies to be active in social issues). GE’s Ecoimagination programme was being challenged by Siemens. Indeed. Indeed. There were strong signs that the shopper was prepared to sacrifice “green” credentials in favour of cheaper food (Rigby 2008). Some suggest. others are making large profits from carbon trading for clean-ups that would have been made anyway.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility technologies.inclining to the view that the truly responsible thing is to run a business competently not to be involved in social causes (Stern 2009). The “green gold rush” of carbon trading stimulated by environmental concerns appears seriously flawed (Harvey and Fidler 2007).

The Unfair Trade report claims that “At best.000 mile round-trip before being put on sale suggests a new. 4 expense of other priorities like R&D). it may inadvertently be harming some of the planet’s most vulnerable people”. and the Advertising Standard Authority has already ruled against several spurious claims of “greenery” (Hanlon 2007). planting trees in Uganda to offset greenhouse gas emissions in Europe was an attractive idea. Beattie 2008) – the Adam Smith Institute’s report Unfair Trade (Adam Smith Institute 2008) concludes that Fairtrade: 1. that only a fifth of produce grown on Fairtrade-approved farms is actually purchased at its guaranteed fair price. A recent Harvard Business Review blog suggested that increasingly CSR will be seen as a public relations sham (Skapinker 2008). creates a situation where supermarkets profit more from the higher price of Fairtrade goods than do the farmers. favours producers from better-off nations like Mexico rather than poorer African nations. as well as all Tate & Lyle’s retail sugar (Boyle 2009. such as: making seasonal foods available. 2009. Although very successful – for example. stocking organic products. from 2009 all Cadbury’s chocolate will carry the ethical logo. 2005). Vol. groups like the National Consumer Council suggest that they fail to live up to their claims. At worst. it was estimated in 2006 that of the £200 million spent on Fairtrade products in the UK. For example. 9. and previously unencountered. 3. which became less appealing in the light of Ugandan farmers being evicted from their land at gunpoint to make room for a forest (Zizola 2007). Certainly. fervent . A plague of hype and misleading claims? Some companies have been accused of unscrupulous marketing ploys which use green propaganda to attract customers. Fairtrade is a marketing device that does the poor little good. and is often misguided and ineffective (Grow et al. Similar controversy continues to surround the Fairtrade programme and brand. and 5. while British supermarkets compete to prove their green credentials (Goodman 2006). while leaving the majority worse off. For example. the fact that Tesco’s “local” chickens go on a 1. 4. and cutting waste (Harvey and Rigby 2006). helps only a very small number of farmers. Doing bad through doing good Others critics of CSR focus on the “unintended consequences” of wellmeaning social initiatives. 2. For example. use of the term “local” (Allen 2008). when tested against objective criteria. Similarly. holds back economic development by rewarding the inefficient. The ploy consists of aiming to sell more by making people feel guilty. only £42 million went back to those in the developing world – supermarkets took 32p in every pound spent and the rest went to middleman and the licensing fees charged by the Fairtrade organisation (Ebrahami 2006). taking products from sustainable sources.344 The Marketing Review. No.

In 2008. for example. B&Q announced that it would cease selling environmentally-friendly roof top wind turbines. and they create considerable noise pollution (Crooks 2009). those who feel the same but doubt their individual purchases can make much differences (30-35%).Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility environmentalist support for bio fuels has diminished somewhat as it has become clear that switching crops to bio fuels has created food shortages in many emerging markets and contributed to rising food prices in the developed countries (Blas and Wiggins 2007). the British government tried to suppress an embarrassing report finding that old-fashioned reusable nappies damage the environment more than disposables . in 2007 it was reported that the trend toward healthier eating had led to an increase of more than 300% in laboratory experiments on animals for food additives. 2. Even the much-vilified (and increasingly banned) supermarket plastic bag turns out to be “greener” than the paper equivalents. and.the findings are upsetting for proponents of real nappies. who have claimed that they can help save the planet (Woolf 2008). which consume more energy and water and produce more pollution (though more expensive reusable bags are better for the environment that any disposable bag) (Ball 2009). Recently. those who want to purchase ethically but are not sure how to. cause-driven purchasers (8% of the total). 4. suggesting that the issue for executives to examine is which consumers care and whether they make a coherent target for marketing strategies relating to CSR. dishwashers are “bad”. those who are completely uninterested (the rest). consumer enthusiasm for eco-friendly cars appeared to decline also (Welch 2008). sweeteners and health supplements. 3. traditional babies’ nappies are “good”. Retailers have long commented on the 30:3 phenomenon (30% of purchasers 345 . a retail viewpoint suggests that consumers fall into four categories regarding ethics and social responsibility: 1. Certainly. because they do not work in built-up areas. Do consumers really care about good causes? The answer to this question is probably that some do and some do not. Countering intuition Intuition (and some vocal opinion) would probably suggest that generally healthy food is “good”. to see the US sales of 4x4 gas guzzlers recover in 2008 – as fuel prices dropped. More minor initiatives can also fail through their actual rather than intended consequences. Reckitt Benckiser is understandably making much of the fact that calculations show that using a dishwasher (with Reckitt’s detergent) is more environmentally-friendly that washing up by hand which uses more energy and water (Harvey 2007). and are looking for retailers to help them (30-35%). While consumers who favour healthier eating are likely also to dislike animal testing. and plastic carrier bags are “bad”. Environmentalists were disappointed. Animals appear to have become the victims of the fad for health foods (Woolf 2007). committed.

Vol. an unwillingness to finance new projects. for example. high-quality products. The report suggests that main barriers to CSR initiatives are: a lack of understanding among strategists of the significance of social and environmental trends. HP. 4 say that they thought about workers’ rights. to Chinese consumers the hallmark of social responsibility is safe. Primark is achieving record sales in the economic downturn because of the low prices on its fashion clothing imports . Italy and Switzerland. and Vodaphone. animal welfare and the planet when deciding what to buy. International differences For the international business. Dupont. However. Executives proposing strategic marketing programmes that rely on CSRbased positioning should be aware of the likely resistance and barriers from . In Australia. while a company like Primark has been severely criticised for the labour abuses in its supply chain. because those are the customers who can deliver the biggest potential profit on ethically produced goods (Trudel and Cotte 2008). a tendency to use available capital for “more of the same” rather than new business models. research by Globescan underlines the case that CSR is judged differently in different parts of the world because peoples’ top priorities vary. Internal company barriers An Arthur D Little report entitled The Innovation Highground suggests that while it is important for social and environmental concerns to receive explicit attention when setting strategy and designing products. environmental protection is the highest priority. particularly at the bottom of the business cycle. and much of South America. the proportion of consumers buying ethically. France. and. the most important indicator of corporate responsibility is charitable donation (Maitland 2005). 2009.346 The Marketing Review. an absence of appropriate business models. One recent US study concludes that companies that act in a socially responsible manner and advertise that fact may be able to charge more for their products. In Turkey. Canada. this research was conducted among major international companies including Sony. relatively few companies display this capability (Arthur D Little 2005). So. No. There is an important need to balance global and local issues in examining the potential impact of CSR initiatives for the company operating across national and cultural boundaries. 9. Nonetheless. or poised to do so. internal and external scepticism. is now seen as much higher and growing (Skapinker 2007). Interestingly. while in South Africa what matters most is a contribution to social needs such as healthcare and education. In countries like the US. often combined with a perception that these activities involve high risk and uncertainty. The researchers concluded that companies should segment their markets and make a particular effort to reach out to buyers with high ethical standards. the highest priority is to treat employees fairly.their customers appear to place a higher value on a £1 T-shirt than ethical working conditions for those who make them. Indonesia and the UK. particularly for emerging markets. but sales figures show only 3% of them act on those thoughts).

and what its responses represent to its stakeholders. working 90 hours a week in extremely poor conditions.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility those who distrust CSR and do not understand it as a legitimate strategic tool. corporate social responsiveness may reflect models or philosophies. The framework assists in identifying the linkages between CSR and customer value. responsiveness alone may not be the same as good corporate citizenship. The simple prescription of responsiveness oversimplifies the complexity of the situations that companies face. The result is that Primark buys from suppliers whose workers are paid as little as 9p an hour. where tobacco consumption remains socially acceptable. and the company’s “social credibility” – essentially whether its history and actions mean that its social intentions are interpreted positively by different stakeholders. Company responses to CSR imperatives The ways in which companies are developing responses to imperatives to display more ethical and socially acceptable policies are not well codified at present. The issue is how a company responds. 347 . Notwithstanding the company’s “charm offensive” in the ethics and social responsibility field – and the company’s efforts to stop buying from suppliers using child labour (Urry 2008) – the dilemma is that the low-price. Variation includes both the extent and direction of response . there is a dilemma for some companies if their existing business model relies on resources and capabilities which become questionable in terms of social responsibilities and duty. a responsive organisation may address social pressures by moving to a less demanding environment – consider the growing emphasis by tobacco companies on the relatively unregulated developing countries.how much they change their behaviour and in what ways. Certainly. Figure 1 (overleaf) presents an initial framework for evaluating the ways in which companies are responding to pressures encouraging the adoption of corporate social responsibility initiatives in business and marketing strategy. ranging from “do nothing” to “do much” (Carroll 1979). there is wide recognition that firms face choices in their responsiveness to social responsibility. For example. One of the most successful British fashion retailers is Primark. For example. Company CSR responses It is clear through observation that companies differ substantially in their stance on corporate social responsibility and ethical behaviour initiatives (Pohle and Hittner 2008). Certainly. perceptions among other stakeholders like supply chain partners and investors. This dilemma is shared by other low-price fashion retailers like Tesco and Asda. However. The Primark business model relies on sourcing fashion items from low-cost manufacturing areas and turning catwalk trends into products within weeks at extremely low prices. Our model suggests that responses vary in extent but also that the impact on customer value will depend in part on employee and manager perceptions of CSR. lean supply chain business model relies on low-cost suppliers.

4 Figure 1 Company responses to CSR imperatives Company CSR Responses Denial/rejection Managers have no belief in the impact or importance of CSR Limited engagement Some moves are made towards socially-beneficial actions Defensive approaches CSR moves to respond to customer/competitor pressures Strategic moves CSR is an active part of how the company plans and delivers value New business models New ways of doing business focus on social and commercial value delivery Company Social Credibility Customer Value Employee/ Manager Perceptions Other Stakeholder Perceptions Denial/rejection There is little doubt that some executives remain unconvinced that corporate social responsibility represents anything other than charitable giving. Vol. and negative attitudes towards CSR. operation and distribution. . No. 9. 2009.348 The Marketing Review. is probably the residual belief among some managers and investors that it is simply not the role of business to pursue social goals. companies are increasingly choosing projects in which they can be actively involved and which encompass parts of their business model. Limited engagement Philanthropy may involve some degree of alignment of charitable activities with social issues that support business objectives. or at best only loosely related. although some charitable giving may be about “doing good” rather than meeting business goals. This is a legitimate and defensible position to take. to customer value. This concept of “strategic philanthropy” is gathering momentum alongside the idea of “capitalist philanthropy” which suggests that charitable giving should be evaluated as an investment (Brewster 2008). CSR-related actions in this situation may amount to little more than meeting legal obligations and compliance with regulation in countries of production. In fact. and that such initiatives are unconnected. even at the level of corporate giving to good causes. but rather to create the economic wealth that underpins the pursuit of such objectives by public authorities and not-for-profit organisations. Underpinning such responses.

with minimal social benefit and no strategic gains for the business. The company was in danger of replacing Nike and McDonalds as the chief corporate villain for the anti-globalisation movement. and. As the world’s largest seller of bottled water. Currently. The new CEO of Coke has mandated a proactive company approach to social issues. playing a major role in fuelling the childhood obesity epidemic sweeping the developed world. not because they believe they are the right things to do. purely defensive CSR plays may create strategic weakness compared to more CSR-proactive competitors. Nonetheless. employees and shareholders (Snider et al. Porter and Kramer warn that defensive CSR. then its primary concerns with CSR will be the protection of relationships – for example. Coke has attracted a barrage of negative publicity over recent years: the alleged mistreatment of workers in Columbia. launched several water conservation projects. influential lobby or pressure groups. showing some neglect of their competitors and alliance partners (Robertson and Nicholson 1996). with consumers. when Greenpeace parodied Unilever advertisements. The company has undertaken an audit of labour practices throughout its supply chain. Yet critics still claim the company is pursuing these initiatives under pressure. accusing the company of destroying Indonesian rainforests for palm oil (a key ingredient of the company’s soaps and margarines). the risks in remaining inactive when social demands become severe are considerable. Coke has been actively boycotted on university campuses throughout North America. Nestlé’s response to environmental criticisms was more negative – they responded with a large advertising campaign linking soft drinks to obesity (Patrick 2008a). violently ejecting shareholder activists from the AGM. Similarly. They suggest the most common corporate responses to CSR have not been strategic and are often little more than cosmetic (Porter and Kramer 2006). and relative position against competitors. employees and managers. the company was quick to reverse its position and declare it would buy palm oil only from suppliers who can demonstrate they did not cut down forestry (Patrick 2008b). defensive in its stance to social responsiveness. particularly in terms of responding to the challenges of pressure groups. suppliers. German carmakers were attacked in 2007 by Renate Künast. The threat recognised by management was negative perceptions of the company progressively undermining the value of the brand. delaying acceptance of responsibility for contaminated product in Belgium in 1999. business-to-business customers.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility Defensive approaches If a firm is essentially. can result in a series of short-term. with a goal of making Coke the “recognised global leader in corporate social responsibility”. the wasteful use of water in droughtstricken parts of India. Green MP and former environment minister. the evidence is that most firms concentrate their communications regarding CSR with their consumers. The changing policies at Coca-Cola are illustrative (Ward 2006). who urged German consumers to buy the Toyota Prius instead of BMW and Volkswagen cars – because of the lower carbon dioxide emissions 349 . and in parts of Europe. 2003). and supported initiatives to encourage physical exercise among children. placatory public relations actions. Ultimately. embraced industry guidelines restricting the sale of sugary drinks in schools.

The fear is if sales follow customer perceptions. which they now have to overcome (Reed and Milne 2007). No. while Unilever aims to sell more soap (Jopson 2007). that CSR will become increasingly important to competitive success. They also note that the number of industries and companies whose competitive advantage can involve social value propositions is rapidly growing. new partnerships and new types of product/service innovation that generate value – this represents a shift from compliance and defensiveness to integrating CSR into strategy to achieve revenue growth and brand differentiation (Pohle and Hittner 2008). however. The value proposition at Whole Food Market is to sell natural. In spite of the facts. We are convinced.. Perceiving social responsibility as building shared value rather than as damage control or as a PR campaign will require dramatically different thinking in business. then Toyota will win the race to provide the low-emission vehicles that people around the world will drive over the next decades. 9.350 The Marketing Review. (Porter and Kramer 2006) Companies like Whole Food Market are illustrative. proactive. For example. and integrated social initiatives in concert with their core strategies will increasingly distance themselves from the pack…. Weak defensive positioning on environmental concerns has created a major strategic weakness for the German car manufacturers. The company’s stance on social issues is central to what makes them unique . Strategic moves The underlying logic with more strategic approaches is that CSR provides a new growth platform potentially bringing access to new markets. 4 of the Toyota hybrid car. Increasingly such strategic moves involve partnerships with Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to combine social and commercial activities. 2009. In fact. New business models The compelling logic of the Porter and Kramer (2006) approach is that the real impact of corporate social responsibility imperatives is in encouraging the development of new business models that address both commercial and social needs at the same time. Unilever is partnering with public health networks in Africa to promote its anti-bacterial Lifebuoy soap – the NGOs seek to promote hand washing to prevent the spread of disease. Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz produce cars with lower emissions than the Prius. organic. Vol. Porter and Kramer conclude that adding a social dimension to the value proposition adds a new frontier for our thinking about competitive positioning and competitive advantage in business and marketing strategy. healthy food products to consumers who are oriented to healthy eating and the environment. Their conclusion is important to how we consider the resource profile of an organisation and the ways in which it can leverage and strengthen that profile: Organizations that make the right choices and build focussed. public perceptions are that German carmakers are reluctant followers rather than leaders in building cleaner cars.

Whole Foods’ UK operation is heavily in loss (Smyth 2009). the company offsets its electricity consumption. ethics and corporate reputation are becoming increasingly important to current generations of MBA students – who are the managers of the future (Anderson 2008). PlanetTran supplies corporate clients with quarterly reports measuring the environmental benefits of using PlanetTran compared to traditional transport arrangements (Knight 2008). Nonetheless. For example: sourcing emphasises purchasing at store level from local farmers. Giving approval to CSR concepts may 351 . and provides strong differentiation from its competitors. Fastmoving “eco-upstarts” may be better positioned than established companies to pursue social goals with commercial benefits. the merger of Zipcar and Flexcar in 2007 created the largest US car sharing service with 180. with revenues running at $100 million in 2008. Zipcar is not in profit. Nonetheless.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility in food retailing and able to ask premium prices.000 members. Zipcar has already opened in London with the goal of creating the first pan-European car sharing service. For example. Indeed. Also in the transportation sector. vehicles are being converted to run on bio-fuels. spoiled produce goes to regional centres for composting. For example. buyers screen out ingredients considered unhealthy or environmentally damaging. cleaning products in stores are environmentally-friendly. and interestingly Hertz and Enterprise are imitating the Zipcar model in their own operating models (Aston 2008). Carsharing allows members to rent vehicles for periods as short as an hour. 70% of executives saw room for improvement in how large companies anticipate and respond to social pressures (Maitland 2006). The effect is that every aspect of the company’s value chain reinforces the social dimensions of its value proposition. McKinsey research reports that many executives are dissatisfied with how business responds to social pressures – in one study. Successful with the eco-conscious business community in Boston and San Francisco. companies can often anticipate positive and supportive employee/manager perceptions of CSR which will enhance the impact on customer value. and is struggling to return to its roots as a health-food store rather than a source of “foodie treats”. Nonetheless. and accessing the vehicles with smartcards. Employee/manager perceptions The impact of CSR initiatives on customer value perceptions is likely to be moderated by a company’s employee and manager perceptions of the initiatives and the relevance and importance of them. Convenient car-sharing services may replace car ownership altogether for many city dwellers (Simon 2007). Perhaps more telling is the emergence of “eco-entrepreneurs” transforming traditional business models with new technologies. questions may still be raised about the degree to which CSR initiatives shape interactions between company personnel and customers in ways which impact on customer value. On the face of things. PlanetTran is a chauffeur service that uses only hybrid cars and aims to save the planet “one car journey at a time”. Zipcar estimates that each car it adds to its fleet can keep twenty private cars off the road. social issues. collecting vehicles from locations like rail stations and shopping mall car parks. the company is known as “whole paycheck” in the US because of its high prices.

NGOs and advocacy groups. with the goal of helping suppliers to “get the costs of carbon out of the system” (Harvey and Birchall 2007). 9. Certainly. in recent years. Indeed. For example. or alternatively as cynical and manipulative (and likely to be minimised or abandoned in favour of the next “marketing gimmick”). The impact of social credibility (or the lack of it) may be profound. led the way in asking suppliers to measure and report their greenhouse gas emissions. and yet failed to convince its environmental critics of the company’s sincerity (Birchall 2006). (Recall. expectations and preferences – only the company that shares reliable information is likely to be perceived as a trustworthy “partner in sustainability” by customers and other stakeholders (Pohle and Hittner 2008). we commented earlier on the impact of other stakeholders such as investors. company practices are not simply more visible. Wal-Mart has. Yet many still doubt the sincerity of Wal-Mart’s social change intentions (McWilliams and Zuckerman 2008). and is working hard through water-saving and energy saving projects to overcome criticisms. consider the degree to which salespeople buy-in to CSR and the degree to which their selling efforts reflect CSR to enhance customer value – this appears often to be limited and a victim of salesperson cynicism (Piercy and Lane 2009). Social credibility depends in part on developing information strategies which are relevant to customers’ concerns. Vol. Similarly. Coca-Cola continues to struggle to overcome the perception that its business model involves “waste. Other stakeholder perceptions Supply chain partners may be very significant to creating pressures towards more responsible behaviour. establishing credibility as an ethical company requires overcoming perceptions of a company’s history as well as initiating new CSR projects. as a result of aggressive questioning by customers. Nonetheless. To champion Wal-Mart’s social contributions. . in the sense that they are perceived externally as well-meaning and sincere (and likely to be reinforced and maintained). 2009. the government and regulators. then-chief executive Lee Scott used his annual shareholder meeting to offer to partner with governments on issues from the environment to health-care reform. Nonetheless. For example.352 The Marketing Review. pollution and questionable nutrition”. No.taking the wraps off information once considered proprietary or confidential. as noted earlier. competitors and employees – branded the “merchant of shame” by critics of its labour policies (Berner 2005). US retailer Wal-Mart has long had a reputation for aggression and ruthlessness in dealing with suppliers. 4 differ from changing the way work is done to reflect actual CSR initiatives. they face growing demands for transparency . and other stakeholders in the value chain). Company social credibility An additional complication is whether a company’s corporate reputation supports CSR initiatives. for example. Wal-Mart has focused considerable attention on employment diversity issues and environmental protection. research suggests that high performing companies fully engage their employees in their CSR objectives. and collaborating with environmental campaign groups like Greenpeace (Wiggins 2007). rather than adopting a top-down approach (Pohle and Hittner 2008).

shaped by its history and corporate reputation. and. However. The central strategic marketing question is how CSR impacts on the customer value proposition. managers list all the benefits they believe their offering might deliver to target customers. and with improvement will continue to deliver. there are indications that many companies have a poor understanding of their customers’ real concerns about social and environmental issues surrounding their businesses and few are asking them – leaving suppliers relying on assumptions about what CSR means to their customers. and customer value perceptions. research suggests that as many as 75% of executive teams do not have a clear consensus around the customer value proposition (Kaplan and Norton 2001). Businesses need new sources of operational. favourable points of difference – recognising that customers have alternatives. While widely-used and loosely defined. from a strategic marketing perspective. 2006). (2006) identify three kinds of value proposition: all benefits – when asked to construct a value proposition. High performing companies show a deeper understanding of their customers’ CSR expectations (Pohle and Hittner 2008). framework is used in Figure 2 (overleaf) to suggest the questions that should be asked regarding the relationship between a selling or supplying company’s CSR. Low credibility may not be an absolute barrier to implementing useful CSR initiatives. and is at the centre of how a company aims to differentiate itself from competitors in its target market segments. though clearly this relies on deeper knowledge of what drives value for the customer. Questioning moves progressively from investigating what specific customer 353 .Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility The link between CSR efforts and customer value is likely to be moderated by the company’s credibility as a social player. greatest value to target customers. supply chain and customer information to gain the new levels of insight required to meet objectives in areas like sustainability (IBM 2009). Customer value As indicated in Figure 1. the value proposition describes the unique offer made to the customer. with all its hard and soft dimensions. Similarly. The researchers conclude that customer value propositions with a resonating focus should be the gold standard (Anderson et al. resonating focus – concentrates on the one or two points of difference that deliver. this identifies what differentiates the offering from the next best alternative. but it may well reduce the impact of those initiatives on customer perceptions. In fact. it is possible to identify three types of value proposition. with the risk they claim advantage from features that actually provide no benefit or value to target customers. but emphasises value-creation through CSR which resonates with the development of new business models which combine social and business goals. which risks assuming that all favourable comparisons create value for the customer. in business-to-business marketing in particular. providing an insightful framework for examining the link between CSR and the value proposition Anderson et al. a key linkage is that between CSR initiatives and customer value. This view does not deny the importance of CSR which simply does good in its own right. The Anderson et al.

Consider the case of Philips environmentally-friendly Alto industrial lighting tubes. Vol.354 The Marketing Review. 2009. However. and conventional suppliers sold on price and bulb life to purchasing officers. 9. shopping mall developers on the basis of reduced disposal costs (because the green product is less toxic) and environmental image (the cleaner lighting becomes part of their environmental appeal to consumers) was effective. in the all benefits value proposition. to examining how CSR initiatives align with customer priorities and thus drive value for the customer. Conclusions Our review suggests that issues relating to corporate social responsibility initiatives and to the ethical standards evidenced by companies in their value chain operations are increasingly relevant to the debate about marketing strategy and positioning relative to competitors. CSR strategy and capabilities represent a new kind of corporate resource which has implications for building a sustainable and . for example. to seeking the ways in which CSR strategy achieves a favourable point of differences compared to competitors. appealing to. Alto replaced more than 25% of the US market for traditional fluorescent lamps (Chan and Mauborgne 1999). the Alto product was more expensive than competing light tubes. Telling buyers that the tube is more environmentally-friendly (as part of an all benefits approach) or that it is more environmentally-friendly than competitors’ products (favourable points of difference) is unlikely to impress purchasing officers accustomed to evaluating alternatives on price and bulb life. There are several reasons why this is the case: 1. While containing less toxicity. 4 Figure 2 CSR and customer value propositions Types of Value Proposition: All Benefits Value Proposition Favourable Points of Difference Value Proposition Identifies the favourable points of difference compared to the alternatives for the customer Risks assuming that favourable differences create value for the customer Resonating Focus Value Proposition Lists all the benefits the customer will receive and why they should buy this offering Risks asserting benefits which do not really create customer value Focuses on the one or two points of difference whose improvement will deliver the greatest value to the customer Requires deeper knowledge of what drives value for the customer Corporate Social Responsibility Questions: What customer benefits are linked to our CSR initiatives? In what ways does our CSR strategy make us more attractive to the customer than our competitors? How do our CSR initiatives align with customer priorities and drive customer value? benefits are linked to a supplier’s CSR. No.

. and the retention of critical talent in a company may be closely related to these perceptions and beliefs. which present an opportunity to create shared value. In addressing these issues. Assessment should also extend to the barriers and resistance to CSR-based strategy within and outside the company in question. Scoping the existing and likely future impacts of the diverse pressures towards CSR is becoming an important challenge for management. 3.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility defensible competitive position. the measurement and reporting of CSR “scores” imposes new requirements for openness and transparency in company behaviour. increasingly. market choices and segment targeting. actively reflecting the norms of behaviour determined by buyer organisations is increasingly mandatory in sustaining buyer/seller relationships in business-to-business markets (and is made yet more complex where those relationships are global in nature and span different cultures). this framework provides an initial approach to making CSR issues explicit and integrating them into a new strategic marketing agenda. and also the social influences on the company’s competitiveness. which involves both mapping the social impact of the value chain. rather than trying to solve all society’s problems. Porter and Kramer (2006) suggest. and. regulatory standards). failure to conform to. or exceed. . employees and managers expect their companies to reflect emerging societal values as well as superior ethical standards. 4.g. specific executive attention should focus on the impact of CSR on competitive positioning. 6. Although the ways in which it can be addressed will differ greatly between company situations. Certainly. it has become increasingly important for strategic marketing decision makers to understand the scope of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives both in developing possible defences against attacks on their competitive position and ability to compete. for example. but also the way in which social conditions impact on the business (e. creating a corporate social agenda – looking beyond external expectations to achieve both social and economic benefits. that management attention should focus on: identifying the points of intersection between the company and society – including the ways in which the business impacts on society in the normal course of business (e. 5.g. and the delivery of superior customer value. but as an element of competitive advantage and a critical dimension of new business models (Porter and Kramer 2006). transport emissions). the standards of behaviour defined by a media-influenced and Internet-literate consumer may undermine conventional efforts to establish the credentials of a brand and to build a position in a market. but also as potential sources of new types of competitive strength. and increasingly corporate social responsibility should be viewed not as purely altruistic. The frameworks provided here provide support for examining the type of CSR response and the moderating factors 355 2. choosing which social issues to address – selecting issues which intersect with the business..

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p. 13. Woodhead. Financial Times. Nigel Piercy and Brigitte Nicoulaud. August 11. Coventry CV4 7AL. (2008). 4th ed. UK T +44 (0)24 7652 3911 F +44 (0)24 7652 4628 E Nigel. “Coke Develops A Thirst for Sustainability”.Piercy and Lane Corporate social responsibility Vaaland. “Coke Joins the Battle for the Brand Corporate Responsibility’. Heide. (New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. (Butterworth-Heinemann 2009). (2007). “Business Fears Recycling Will Cost £500m”. K. “Will Pfizer’s Giveaway Drugs Polish Its Public Image?”. 9/10. “Blow to the Image of the ‘Green’ Nappy”.uk Nikala Lane BSc. M. July. D. BusinessWeek. Times. (2007). “The Other Side of Carbon Trading”. T. Webster. 927-953. Witzel.1. I. (2008). (2009). M. and Gronhaug. F. Woolf. p. V. (2008). “The Business Case for More Sustainability”. Woolf. August 3. 10. 9th ed. 1. 4th ed. (2009). Warwick Business School. 67-74. Financial Times.5. Zizola. Willman. p. p. “Dirty Rotten Business”. November 21. January 28. She has research interests emphasising the impact of gender on career paths and on management effectiveness. 63. Marketing Strategy and Competitive Positioning. Weintraub. “Health Food Fads Spark Huge Rise in Animal Testing”. Corresponding author: Professor Nigel F. The Sunday Times. 3. (2007). 2009). July 2. Ward. 1.7. p. DLitt is Professor of Marketing and Strategy. December 8. (2006). p. Sunday Times. 1. 42. (FT/Prentice-Hall 2008). He was previously Professor of Strategic Marketing at Cranfield School of Management and earlier the Sir Julian Hodge Chair in Marketing and Strategy at Cardiff University. (2006). and Associate Dean. J. J. p. 359 About the authors and correspondence Nigel F. at Warwick Business School. “Corporate Social Responsibility: Investigating Theory and Research in the Marketing Context”. 16.. Nigel Piercy and Nikala Lane. Vol. 2. No. June 6. A. The University of Warwick. October 19. Financial Times. pp. and Graham Hooley. December 30. Wiggins. p. M. and Elliott. Sunday Times.(2008). Piercy. European Journal of Marketing. pp. “The SUV Is Rising from the Dead”. Welch. (2007). Strategic Marketing. and she is co-author of several influential papers concerned with the impact of the female sales .ac. M. B. Piercy PhD. M. PhD is Associate Professor in Marketing and Strategy at Warwick Business School. She was previously Senior Research Associate at Cardiff Business School and Visiting Fellow at Cranfield School of Management.Piercy@wbs. p. David W Cravens and Nigel Piercy. Market-Led Strategic Change. A. September 3. His most recent books are: Nigel Piercy. “2 for 1 Deals Face Axe”. p. BusinessWeek. 26. Strategic Customer Management: Strategizing the Sales Organization (Oxford University Press 2009). Financial Times. Fortune.

4 manager on sales organisation effectiveness. and the Journal of Strategic Marketing. Coventry CV4 7AL. UK T +44 (0)24 7652 3911 F +44 (0)24 7652 4628 E nikala.ac. 9 No. She has published papers in such journals as: the Journal of Management Studies. The University of Warwick. Warwick Business School. the Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management. Currently she is working on projects related to the choice of sales careers by business graduates and the strategic sales capabilities underpinning business strategy implementation. the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science. Vol.lane@wbs.360 The Marketing Review. the British Journal of Management. 2009.uk . Dr Nikala Lane.

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