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Research Proposal : Corporate Social Responsibility

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Discuss about the Research Proposal for Corporate Social Responsibility.



In the context of this research proposal, the selected research topic is “A study to explore the roles of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in improving the brand image, brand attitude and brand value of the business firms in the global market”. 

Business Significance of the Research Topic

In today’s globalized and competitive commercial environment, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the major, essential and dynamic tools or elements that play a key role in organizational brand management. For case, in the current time, companies or business firms are applying and utilizing a wide range of CSR strategies to develop or maintain a positive brand image in today’s competitive business environment. This research study explores the roles, significance and importance of CSR practices and strategies. Moreover, with the effective use of CSR, international organizations are building their brand image and improving organizational reputation at the global level. Additionally, today, multinational companies are using CSR methods or strategies to sustain the environment, people and society. In the same way, CSR strategies are playing fundamental role in increasing the public attention of companies to the well-being of society. Most of the MNCs had focused on CSR strategies or activities to create brand awareness and brand attitude in the global market. In addition to this, in this research secondary data method is used to explore the roles of CSR in enhancing the brand image, brand attitude and brand value in the market. This paper uses the secondary data (literature review) and primary data (questionnaire survey) for discovering the CSR significant for the organizations to maintain their brand in the worldwide market.


Literature Review

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is described as the core strategies that help the business firms to manage their brand in the market by attracting and retaining the people with the business. In the word of Peloza & Shang (2011), CSR allows MNCs to create good images, develop brand attitude and a good reputation in the competitive market. Therefore, MNC’s are focusing on fulfilling their social responsibility to sustain the people, environment, and planet that can enhance its brand image, brand attitude and brand value as well as create a competitive edge in the competitive global market.

In addition, Arendt & Brettel (2010) described that, the CSR activities or polices indicates organizational commitment for the society. The CSR ensures the multinational organizations to take business decision by considering the need of people, prevent, planet and nature or environment that indicated their commitment to society. Moreover, in the current time, today’s organizations follow CSR framework that indicates they are preventing the people, planet and nature or environment by the reducing pollution, wastage and minimizing use of natural resources. Hence, CSR is an effective way for the business firms to create brand image, attention and maintaining brand value. In this way, with the help of CSR, companies are enhancing and maintaining the competitive position in the global market.

Furthermore, Chomvilailuk & Butcher (2010) stated that, the CSR policies or strategies are applied and used by today’s multinational organizations to solve their branding issues and improve corporate social performance through brand management and brand attitude. On the other hand, it is also analyzed that, international banks or financial institutions are also managing the brand image through CSR strategies or activities. International financial organizations are facing the external pressures to maintain their corporate social performance at the global level; therefore they have focused on fulfilling the CSR functions effectively. So, the banks are applying CSR methods and ways to manage brand image and improve brand equity in a developing and developed market (Chomvilailuk & Butcher, 2010).

According to Bigné-Alcañiz, Currás-Pérez & Sánchez-García (2009), the CSR activities are carried by the organizations to engage social values and satisfy social needs. The organizations are adopting different kinds of CSR activities or policies (such as customer oriented CSR, the employee oriented CSR, the economically oriented CSR, and the community oriented CSR) to fulfill their responsibilities and commitment for customer, employees, economy and communities. In recent time, the customers consider brand image and brand reputation when they purchase any products and services. Therefore, the organizations had focused on social responsibility to explore the customer attitudes towards the brand. CSR is playing a key role in developing the brand attitudes and brand loyalty that helps the organizations to maintain their competitive position in the competitive and challenging international market.

Today the current trend is that the consumers consider the favorable brand attitudes in making purchasing decision. In this way, consumer prefers to buy the products those have good brand image and reputation in the market. Brand image or value is importantly correlated with corporate reputation and consumer appraisals; therefore the strong brand image is the high customer’s appraisal. Moreover, brand attributes are related to the positive images of the company and customer attributes indicates the customer have greater satisfaction with the brand. The CSR has significant impact on the experiential brand image therefore the organizations had focused on environmentally and community oriented CSR practices such as environmental protection practices.

The following are the main research questions that will be explored in this research to achieve the outcome and objectives of this study:
How CSR affects the brand image, brand attitude and brand value of the multinational organizations?
What is the impact of CSR strategies on brand image and brand reputation in the context of the global market?
What is the role of the CSR strategies and practices in improving the attitudes and willingness of the customers?
How CSR play fundamental roles in developing positive brand image and enhancing brand value or reputation?


Research Methodologies and Techniques

Research methodology is the fundamental section of a research that considers specific research techniques and methods that used by researcher to effectively address the research questions. Moreover, according to the research methodology, a researcher selects research design, approach, philosophy and different ways to collecting data to reach the outcome of this research. Additionally, two types of research design such as qualitative and quantitative research design would be used by the researcher to collect the data and solve the research problem effectively. The researcher would apply qualitative research design to evaluate the human behaviours and analyse the factors that affect particular behaviour of human. Furthermore, the researcher use quantitative research design to analyse current business, social, and market issues by collecting data in huge quantity and analyse the data to reach at conclusion.

In the context of this study, the research will use qualitative research design to evaluate the impact of CSR activities on the people mind and behaviour that help in resolving the research problems. Moreover, by applying qualitative research design, the researcher would be able to collect limited or appropriate data through collecting the view of limited or selected participants by conduct survey with apply sampling technique. Qualitative research design is beneficial to collect limited or appropriate data, so that the researcher would be able to evaluate the CSR effectiveness for the international organizations in the current times.

A Project Plan

In this section a Gantt chart is developed that explains the milestones. Moreover, it is also indicates all activities of the dissertation that provides guideline to the researcher to complete the research.

Gantt chart:

The time schedule of this research is 14 week that means all activities of this research complete within 14 week. The below table showed the Gantt chart that justifies the business research (Capstone) thesis study complete within the time period (14 week).
































Literature Review















Research Methodology















Questionnaire Formation















Questionnaire Distribution















Collection of Responses















Analysis of Data















Findings Presentation















Relating Research Objectives with the Findings















Conclusion and Recommendations
















The milestone of this business research/thesis study is created on the basis of the Gantt chart and time schedule for the research. The following are main milestones of this business research: Chapter 1 Introduction (Week 1); Chapter 2 Literature Review (Week 6); Chapter 3 Research Methodology (Week 7); Chapter 4 Data Collection and Analysis (Week 10); and Chapter 5 Conclusion and Recommendation (Week 14).


Research Process Description:

The below picture show the overall process of this research that is divided into five parts including, introduction; literature review; research methodologies; data collection and analysis; and conclusion.

Research Process Description

Introduction Chapter: This first chapter describes research background, research objectives, research questions, and research problem. This chapter would be appropriate for the researcher to develop their knowledge on research problem that provided it directions for the next chapters.

Literature Review Chapter: In this second chapter, a literature review would be conducted through collecting the views of different authors regarding the research topic or issues. This chapter is an effective way to collect the secondary data regarding the research problem by collecting the information from the articles, scholars, books, companies’ annual reports, companies’ official sites and other online sites.

Research Methodology and Techniques: The third chapter describes the research methodology that provides directions to the researcher to achieve the objective of this research by maintaining the reliability and credibility. Research philosophy, research design, research approach, data collection and sampling techniques are the major tools that would be used by the researcher to compete this research.  

Data Analysis and Interpretation: In the fourth chapter, the research would analyse the data through the primary and secondary data collection methods. The researcher would use the tables, graphs and charts to present the data analysis finding that would help to interpret the result of data analysis.

Conclusion & Recommendation: On the basis of the all above four chapters, the researcher explains the main outcome or finding of this research problem in this final chapter. This research also recommends some suggestions for the further researchers and for the companies to improve their brand image and reputation through CSR activities. The proper justification of all chapter and overall research process provided the direction of the researchers, so they would able to achieve the outcome of this study with maintain the reliability and validity. 

Data Collection & Data Analysis

Selection of the appropriate data collection methods would be essential to maintain the reliability, credulity and validity of the research study. In this research, the researcher uses both types of data collection methods such as primary and secondary data collection techniques to collect the appropriate information and data that is required to accomplish the objectives of this study. The primary data is the fresh data or information used for the research. The secondary data is the information used many times. The primary data is collected through conducting the questionnaire survey from the customers to collect their views on the importance of CSR of the organizations in the context of enhance brand image, brand attributes and brand reputations. In addition, the secondary data is collected by conducting literature review by including the different author’s views on the research topic or subject. In this research, the researcher would interpret or present the primary data in the form of table, graph, and pie chart.


Description of Expected Research Outcomes

 This expected outcome of this research is that the multinational organizations are focusing on the CSR for the brand management. Moreover, the organizations had focused on fulfilling their responsibility for people, plant, nature or environment, economy and society that contributed to enhance their brand image, brand attitude and brand value in the market. Moreover, it also conveyed that the organizational CSR activities or practices are playing key role in improving the customer attributes that impacts its willingness to buy products and services.

Ethics Checklist

Ethical consideration is the basic requirement of any research to maintain the credibility, validity and reliability of the research outcome or finding. This ensures that the all valid and authentic secondary data sources are properly citation (in-texting) and references by the researcher to enhance the quality and reliability of this study. The researcher must follow the ethical regulations as well as citation or references guideline of university to maintain the reliability, credibility and validity of this study.



Alvesson, M., and Sköldberg, K.  Reflexive methodology: New vistas for qualitative research. USA, Sage. 2009.

Arendt, S., and Brettel, M. Understanding the influence of corporate social responsibility on corporate identity, image, and firm performance. Management Decision, vol. 48, no.10, 2010, p. 1469-1492.

Bigné-Alcañiz, E., Currás-Pérez, R., and Sánchez-García, I. Brand credibility in cause-related marketing: the moderating role of consumer values. Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol.18, no. 6, 2009, p. 437-447.

Chomvilailuk, R., and Butcher, K. Enhancing brand preference through corporate social responsibility initiatives in the Thai banking sector. Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 22, no. 3, 2010, p. 397-418.

Daymon, C. and Holloway, I. Qualitative Research Methods in Public Relations and Marketing Communications. UK: Taylor & Francis, 2010.

Gale, N. K., Heath, G., Cameron, E., Rashid, S., and Redwood, S. Using the framework method for the analysis of qualitative data in multi-disciplinary health research. BMC medical research methodology, vol.13, no.1, 2013, p. 117.

Gerrish, K. and Lacey, A. The Research Process in Nursing. USA: John Wiley and Sons, 2010. 

Johnson, B. & Christensen, L. Educational Research: Quantitative, Qualitative, and Mixed Approaches. (4th ed.). USA: SAGE, 2010.

Kuada, J. Research Methodology: A Project Guide for University Students. USA: Samfundslitteratur, 2012.

Noor, K. B. M. Case study: A strategic research methodology. American journal of applied sciences, vol. 5, no. 11, 2008, p. 1602-1604.

Peloza, J., and Shang, J. How can corporate social responsibility activities create value for stakeholders? A systematic review. Journal of the academy of Marketing Science, vol. 39, no.1, 2011, p. 117-135.

Pickard, A.  Research methods in information. USA: Facet publishing, 2012.

Smith, J. A. Qualitative psychology: A practical guide to research methods. USA: Sage, 2015.

Speziale, H. J. S., Streubert, H. J. & Carpenter, D. R. Qualitative Research in Nursing: Advancing the Humanistic Imperative. USA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. 

Torelli, C. J., Monga, A. B., and Kaikati, A. M.  Doing poorly by doing good: Corporate social responsibility and brand concepts. Journal of Consumer Research, vol.38, no. 5, 2012, p. 948-963.

Torres, A., Bijmolt, T. H., Tribó, J. A., and Verhoef, P. Generating global brand equity through corporate social responsibility to key stakeholders. International Journal of Research in Marketing, vol. 29, no.1, 2012, p.13-24.

Wrycza, S. Research in Systems Analysis and Design: Models and Methods. USA: Springer, 2012.

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