The effect of culture on consumers' willingness to punish irresponsible corporate behaviour: applying Hofstede's typology to the punishment aspect of corporate social responsibility

Authors: Williams, Geoffrey; Zinkin, John

Source: Business Ethics, A European Review, Volume 17, Number 2, April 2008 , pp. 210-226(17)

Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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This paper explores the relationship between attitudes to corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the cultural dimensions of business activity identified by Hofstede & Hofstede using a sample of nearly 90,000 stakeholders drawn from 28 countries. We develop five general propositions relating attitudes to CSR to aspects of culture. We show that the propensity of consumers to punish firms for bad behaviour varies in ways that appear to relate closely to the cultural characteristics identified by Hofstede. Furthermore, this variation appears to be understandable in terms of the standard interpretation of the Hofstede dimensions, suggesting that cultural variation in the attitudes of consumers may play an important role in helping us to understand variations in CSR across countries. This in turn has implications for how managers of multinational companies should implement CSR strategies in different cultural contexts.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2008

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