Original Research

The effect of perceptions of corporate identity and corporate social responsibility practices on investment intention

Kara Nel, Pierre D. Erasmus, Nadia Mans-Kemp
Journal of Economic and Financial Sciences | Vol 14, No 1 | a657 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/jef.v14i1.657 | © 2021 Kara Nel, Pierre D. Erasmus, Nadia Mans-Kemp | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 22 February 2021 | Published: 24 August 2021

About the author(s)

Kara Nel, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Pierre D. Erasmus, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa
Nadia Mans-Kemp, Department of Business Management, Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa


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Abstract

Orientation: Given the growing importance of sound corporate social responsibility (CSR) and considerable corporate investment in such activities, it is essential to understand the perceived impact thereof on stakeholder behaviour.

Research purpose: As young individuals are particularly passionate about social responsibility, the effect of their perception of corporate identity (corporate values and corporate expertise) and CSR practices (relational, moral and discretionary actions) on their investment intention was investigated within an emerging market context.

Motivation for the study: Previous researchers mainly focused on the effects of CSR on consumers’ intention to purchase products. Limited research has been conducted to understand the effect of CSR on decisions made by other key stakeholders, including investors.

Research approach/design and method: Based on the theory of planned behaviour, a consumer behaviour-based dual-process model was adapted and tested in the investment context. An electronic questionnaire was distributed to potential young investors in the country to determine the effect of their perceptions of the CSR practices of a well-known South African financial company (Nedbank) on their intention to invest. The 1 649 responses were assessed through partial least squares structural equation modelling.

Main findings: The adapted model was deemed reliable and valid in the investment context. Discretionary and relational CSR practices had more predictive relevance towards the corporate values dimension than the corporate expertise dimension of corporate identity. Moral CSR practices predicted the perception of both dimensions, which, in turn, influenced investment intention.

Practical/managerial implications: Focus should be placed on communicating moral CSR practices, as it had a stronger prediction value (than discretionary and relational CSR practices) towards potential investors’ perceptions of the corporate expertise and values dimension of corporate identity which, in turn, strongly predicted investment intention.

Contribution/value-add: This study makes a methodological contribution, as a dual-process model accounting for corporate identity and a range of CSR practices, based on consumer behavioural constructs, was applied in the context of investment decision-making within an emerging market.


Keywords

corporate identity; CSR; investment intention; perception; theory of planned behaviour; young individuals

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