An exploratory study of the platform economy

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School of Business | Bachelor's thesis
Degree programme
(Mikkeli) Bachelor’s Program in International Business
44 + 9
Objectives The main objective of this study is to explore the gap in existing literature by studying the role of corporate social responsibility on brand equity in the context of the platform economy. In addition, this study seeks to look into the factors impacting brand equity and some consumer attributes that may affect this impact. Summary A literature review was constructed to explore prior research of brand equity, corporate social responsibility, and both its benefits and limitations. Based on the literature review a conceptual framework was presented and eight hypotheses were proposed, which were utilized to direct the primary research and data collection. A quantitative online questionnaire was conducted gathering data from consumer’s evaluations of a chosen brand and the level of the brand’s social responsibility. The questionnaire was constructed, and the data was analyzed to meet the research objectives and test the hypotheses set for the study. Conclusions Corporate social responsibility was shown to have a significant yet limited positive relationship with brand equity. Individual Carroll’s (1991) dimensions of CSR couldn’t be shown to positively correlate with brand equity. Brand awareness showed no positive correlation and brand loyalty had the largest positive relationship with brand equity. Non- user’s evaluations showed notably lower brand equity, but no significant difference regarding the perception of CSR could be presented.
Thesis advisor
Pynnönen, Mikko
corporate social responsibility, brand equity, sharing economy, platform economy, consumer behaviour
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