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Abstract

It is not new that today`s business organizations are expected to exhibit ethical and moral management and to carry out social responsibility as a good corporate citizen. Since South Korea emerged as a newly industrialized country during the 1980s, Korean corporations have become active in carrying out their social responsibility as a good corporate citizen to society. In spite of the short history of corporate social responsibility, Korean companies have actively participated in corporate philanthropy. Corporations` significant donations to various social causes, no-lay-off policies, corporate volunteerism and green marketing are evidences of their commitment to corporate citizenship. Corporate social responsibility is now an essential management practice whereby corporation can strengthen its sustainable value creation processes by enhancing the trust assets underlying the relationships between the business and the stakeholders. Much of the conceptual work in the area of corporate social responsibility(CSR) has originated from researches conducted in the management field. Carroll(1979) proposed that corporations have four types of social responsibilities: economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibility. Most past research has investigated CSR and its impact on consumers` attitudes toward the corporations and corporate performances. Although there exists a large body of literature on how consumers perceive and respond to CSR, the majority of past studies were conducted in the United States. The stability and applicability of past findings need to be tested across different national/cultural settings, especially since corporate social responsibility is a reflection of implicit conformation with the expectations and criticism that society may have toward a corporation(Matten and Moon, 2004). In this study, we explored whether people in Korea perceive CSR of Korean corporations in the same four dimensions as done in the United States and what were the measurement items tapping each of these four dimensions. In order to investigate the dimensions of CSR and the measurement items for CSR perceived by Korean people, nine focus group interviews were conducted with several stakeholder groups(two with undergraduate students, two with graduate students, three with general consumers, and two with NGO groups). Scripts from the interviews revealed that the Korean stakeholders perceived four types of CSR which are the same as those proposed by Carroll(1979). However we found CSR issues unique to Korean corporations. For example for the economic responsibility, Korean people mentioned that the corporation needed to contribute to the economic development of the country by generating corporate profits. For the legal responsibility, Koreans included the “corporation need to follow the consumer protection law.” For the ethical responsibility, they considered that the corporation needed to not promote false advertisement. In addition, Koreans thought that an ethical company should do transparent management. For the philanthropic responsibility, people in Korea thought that a corporation needed to return parts of its profits to the society for the betterment of society. The 28 items were developed based on the results of the nine focus group interviews, while considering the scale developed by Maignan and Ferrell(2001). Following the procedure proposed by Churchill(1979), we started by developing an item poll consisting of 28 items and purified the initial pool of items through exploratory, confirmatory factor analyses. 176 samples were sued for this analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis was performed on the 28 items in order to verify the underlying four factor structure. Study 1 provided new measurement items for tapping the Korean CSR dimensions, which can be useful for the future studies exploring the effects of CSR on Korean consumers` attitudes toward the corporations and corporate performances. And we found the CSR scale(17 items) has good reliability, discriminant validity and nomological validity. Economic Responsibility: “XYZ company continuously improves the quality of our products”, “XYZ company has a procedure in place to respond to customer complaint”, “XYZ company contributes to the economic development of our country by generating profits”, “XYZ company is eager to hire people”. Legal Responsibility: “XYZ company`s products meet legal standards”, “XYZ company seeks to comply with all laws regulating hiring and employee benefits”, “XYZ company honors contractual obligations to its suppliers”, “XYZ company`s managers try to comply with the law related to the business operation”. Ethical Responsibility: “XYZ company has a comprehensive code of conduct”, “XYZ company does not promote a false or misleading advertisement”, “XYZ company seems to conduct a transparent business”, “XYZ company does a fair business with its suppliers or sub-contractors”. Philanthropic Responsibility: “XYZ company encourages partnerships with local businesses and schools”, “XYZ company supports sports and cultural activities”, “XYZ company gives adequate contributions to charities considering its business size”, “XYZ company encourages employees to support our community”. Study 2 was condusted for comprehensive validity. 655 samples were used for this anlysis. Collected samples were tested by factor analysis and Crnbach`s Alpha coefficiednts and were found to be satisfactory in terms of validity and reliability. Furthermore, fitness of the measurement model was tested by using conformatory factor analysis. x(2) =880.73(df=160), GFI=0.891, AGFI=0.854, NFI=0.908, NNFI=0.913, RMR=0.059, RMESA=0.070. We hope that CSR scale could greatly facilitate research on Corporate social resposibility, it is by no means the final answer.

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