CSR reports and communication channels from the stakeholder point of view. Do the reports have an effect on consumers?

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School of Economics | Master's thesis
International Business Communication
International Business Communication
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The objective of the current research project was to find out if consumers actually know what social and environmental activities companies are involved in and if they do actually perform consumption decisions based on the information given by the company in their CSR and sustainability reports. In order to achieve the previously stated objective, three main research questions were drafted. Question one is how can CSR be communicated in a way in which consumers can understand and use its information to buy a product? Question two, how do customers use the internet to filter, make sense and share the information they get about any given company regarding CSR? And question three; do CSR and sustainability reports have a direct effect on the decision of a consumer to buy or not to buy a product? Out of these questions a research tool was built, which took the shape of an exploratory survey. The survey was applied to two main groups, the first group which was composed by the general public in Finland got the survey by mail; the objective was to collect an opinion from the general market in Finland. And a second group of surveys were done at the point of sale in the Nokia Flagship store in Helsinki; this group of surveys was intended to gather information regarding Nokia consumers specifically. To finalize the current research project the following conclusion has been made; consumers in Finland care about the environment; but they are not pro-active in their search for information regarding environmental, sustainable and ecological issues, activities and processes taken by companies. The Internet is not the most efficient communication channel to let consumers know what companies are doing regarding CSR activities and sustainable practices. However even though CSR reports do not have a direct effect on the decision of consumers to buy or not to buy a product; according to the results obtained in this research people are willing to change and buy products that have recycled materials and have been produced in a sustainable and environmentally friendly process.
Corporate Social Responsibility, Communication, Marketing
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