CSR communication or branding strategy? Measuring the impact of CSR versus non-CSR communication on FMCG consumers in Egypt: the Theory of Reasoned Action and message-consumer congruence.

PhD Thesis

Sadek, N. (2024). CSR communication or branding strategy? Measuring the impact of CSR versus non-CSR communication on FMCG consumers in Egypt: the Theory of Reasoned Action and message-consumer congruence. PhD Thesis London South Bank University School of Business https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.97422
AuthorsSadek, N.
TypePhD Thesis

Considering changes in consumer behaviour and the emergence of new media, this thesis contributes to literature on CSR communication by comparing the effectiveness of CSR communication to non-CSR communication in Egypt among FMCG consumers. Whilst multitude of studies focused on various aspects of CSR communication in Western markets, their generalizability to markets of different sociocultural characteristics cannot be guaranteed. Coupled with the evolving nature of the sociocultural and consumption environment, the need for differentiated replications is addressed in this study.
Therefore, this thesis addresses this gap and is one of the first studies that examines, in a mixed-methods design, the impact of CSR and non-CSR communication on consumers’ brand attitudes and purchase intentions in Egypt. Theoretically, this study integrates multiple theories to propose a novel and comprehensive conceptual framework from which theoretical contributions have emerged. Specifically, drawing on the Theory of Reasoned Action, the Stimuli-Organism-Response framework, and the concept of value congruence, this research explores the impact of CSR communication strategies on brand attitudes and purchase intentions.
Therefore, the study contributes new knowledge on CSR brand communication effectiveness in an under-researched socio-cultural context in order to establish its applicability and effectiveness in a new market.
This study employed mixed research methods by conducting 2x2 factorial survey experiments to compare the effects of CSR to non-CSR communication and to examine the role of message-respondent congruence. The final data set included responses from 474 respondents. Following that, semi-structured interviews were conducted on a smaller sample to gain deeper insights on respondents’ perceptions of CSR communication.
Applying independent sample t-test, the comparisons between the groups revealed that all averages of the brand attitudes were significantly higher for consumers who were subjected to the CSR message. Based on structural equation modelling, there were direct positive effects of CSR communication on ad likeability, emotional brand attachment, brand trust and purchase intentions. Also, the qualitative data revealed a plethora of strategic suggestions for CSR communication.
The theoretical application in this study revealed that this study’s theoretical contribution asserts that for TRA to be applicable to different product types, attitudes towards the brand is necessary to measure. The study provided further evidence to attest to the fact that the concepts of attitude towards brand and attitude towards ad are important variables which influence intention to buy the advertised product confirming TRA assumptions in case of CSR communication.
Furthermore, the findings direct researchers to be aware that when applying TRA and SOR, some attitudes might have stronger effects on purchase intentions than others.
Practically, this study offers a number of implications. First, it confirmed that CRS communication appeal is more effective than non-CSR communication appeal in Egypt for a specific brand and hence brand managers can be confident that CSR appeals are more likely to lead to more positive brand and ad attitudes which in turn influence buying intentions.
Lastly, this study has some confounding variables such as prior consumer perception of the brand and price perception as they were not measured. Some questions related to other potential confounding variables were included to statistically control post data collection. Moreover, the cultural context of the study is specific to Egypt; hence, these experiments ought to be subjected to further differentiated replications in other countries to compare results between different cultures.

PublisherLondon South Bank University
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.18744/lsbu.97422
File Access Level
Publication dates
Online23 May 2024
Publication process dates
Deposited01 Jul 2024
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