How do corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovativeness increase financial gains? A customer perspective analysis
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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- Scientific articles 
Original versionJournal of Business Research (2021) 10.1016/j.jbusres.2021.11.016
Previous research on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and firm innovativeness and their impact on financial performance has focused on firms’ actions (i.e., what firms do). However, how customers perceive these firm activities have not been fully explored; there is a lack of research particularly on the long-term effects of these actions. Consequently, the present study investigates the effects of customer-perceived CSR and firm innovativeness on financial earnings, both in the short and long term. Firm actions, if meaningful, should impact customer perceptions of a firm, which affect customer satisfaction and the firm’s earnings consequently. Using panel data from service firms, our analysis indicates that perceived firm actions positively influence future earnings through customers’ overall evaluations of a firm. Furthermore, the results reveal a carryover effect of perceived actions in the long term. The present research also indicates that customers’ positive perceptions of firm actions do not directly impact financial earnings; however, they do impact earnings through customer satisfaction. This emphasizes the importance of communicating innovation, and particularly CSR activities, to customers.