brand, brand performance, social responsibility, marketing, B-2-B, B2B

Document Type

Proceedings Paper



Corporate Social Responsibility in the B-2-B Market

Organizations that invest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) to improve the quality of a community or population expect a return on their investment in the form of improved brand reputation and greater consideration in the competitive environment. Homburg, Stierl, and Bornemann (2013) determined that targeted CSR activities could enhance trust and identification by organizational customers, thus fostering customer loyalty. The authors confirmed that CSR influenced client trust through loyalty and that integrating instrumental stakeholder theory with social exchange theory undergirded this link between CSR and trust. Maignan and Ferrell (2004) exhorted marketers to focus beyond consumers to other stakeholder groups and to bundle CSR activities. Evidence of agency theory was shown to exist in the buyer-supplier relationship (Eisenhardt, 1989) and was influenced by corporate reputation, CSR activities, brand equity, brand performance, B-2-B buyer consideration, and reduced transaction and customer acquisition costs.

This paper considers the influence of investing valuable and extensive resources in corporate-level, socially responsible behavior on brand equity as perceived by active and prospective business-to-business client buyers in the U.S.