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Title: Exploring corporate marketing optimisation strategies for the KwaZulu-Natal manufacturing sector : a corporate social responsibility perspective
Authors: Ijabadeniyi, Abosede 
Issue Date: 2018
The expectation-performance gap created by the incongruity between the historical and institutional frameworks which underpin an organisational approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) poses a challenge to the optimisation of corporate marketing. In South Africa, such a gap could be created by the misalignment between the evolving nature, obligatory undertone and the entrenchment of the Ubuntu framework on the notion of CSR. This necessitated an enquiry into the effects of the aforementioned factors on the antecedents and components of CSR-related corporate identity and CSR-related consumer behavioural outcomes such as CSR expectations, consumer values, purchase behaviour and corporate reputation.
Using an exploratory sequential mixed methods design, this study explored how the interplay between espoused CSR corporate identity and consumer behavioural outcomes can leverage the optimisation of corporate marketing strategies for three food manufacturing companies headquartered in the KwaZulu-Natal province of South Africa and listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) index, now known as the Financial Times Stock Exchange (FTSE)/JSE Responsible Investment index. Based on a multiple case study design, thematic and content analyses were conducted on the qualitative data obtained from six sustainability and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) managers, the Chief Executive Officer of companies’ industry association and annual reports. Quantitative data were generated from a survey of 411 consumers across five major shopping centres/malls in Durban, which were analysed using the Partial Least Square (PLS) Structural Equation Modelling (SEM).
The overall findings revealed that the approach to CSR in South Africa, which is deeply rooted in the country’s history of social exclusion, has amplified consumers’ reliance on a socially coerced notion of social responsibility and organisational legitimacy. The ability to benchmark against aspirational CSR-related corporate identities, which emanate from ideal and desired identities, and earn consumer trust is pivotal for leveraging institutional legitimacy and redressing the negative effects of ill-conceived indigenous CSR-related corporate identity on the optimisation of corporate marketing. The study offers a model which guides academics, practitioners and policymakers on the cyclical trajectory of institutional legitimacy and optimal corporate marketing.
Submitted in fulfillment of the requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy: Marketing, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa, 2018.
Appears in Collections:Theses and dissertations (Management Sciences)

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