Library Dissertation Showcase

Does acknowledging the firm-serving benefits of the CSR initiatives of companies in stigmatised industries decrease consumer scepticism? A focus on the fast fashion industry

  • Year of Publication:
  • 2021

This dissertation sought to discover if the acknowledgement of firm-serving benefits of the CSR initiatives in fast fashion companies reduced consumer scepticism. The research question was investigated using three focus groups consisting of university students aged 18-24. Participants were asked questions about the CSR statements of two fictitious fast fashion companies. One company acknowledged how they benefitted from the CSR initiative in their statement and the other did not. Participants were asked questions underpinned by attribution theory to gauge consumer scepticism. The data produced was analysed through thematic analysis. This dissertation found that fast fashion companies which acknowledged firm-serving benefits were perceived with less scepticism than companies which did not acknowledge the benefits. The dissertation also discovered that fast fashion companies which acknowledged the firm-serving benefits of their CSR initiatives were perceived more favourably by consumers and as more socially responsible. Whilst many academics such as Forehand and Grier (2003), Kim (2014) and Kim and Lee (2011), have explored whether the acknowledgement of firm-serving benefits decreases scepticism on a variety of stigmatized industries, until now there has not been a study focussing on the fast fashion industry. This dissertation aimed to fill this gap in the literature. Furthermore, previous studies employed a survey or questionnaire methodology when investigating this topic. This dissertation employed a qualitative approach, using focus groups to allow participants to elaborate on answers and produce rich and detailed data.

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