An Exploration of Publics' Understandings of Corporate Social Responsibility, Shared Values, and the Pepsi Refresh Campaign
Raudenbush, Janna Lee
Toth, Elizabeth L
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This study is an exploratory investigation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from the publics' perspectives. Using the Pepsi Refresh campaign to provide context, perceptions of CSR, including motivations for and impacts of such efforts, were accessed. Specifically, impact was considered through the lens of stakeholder management theory to determine how the campaign affected views of the corporation's values. This study expands understandings of the Pepsi Refresh campaign's target audience through twenty-six in-depth interviews with young adults. Results suggest young adults conceptualize CSR somewhat differently than other publics, emphasizing the importance of fine-tuned knowledge of specific publics. Many interviewees expressed that they are less influenced by CSR than others, signifying a third-person effect. In addition, corporate gain was noted as significant motivation for CSR. Furthermore, perception of shared values between PepsiCo and the public was limited, suggesting stakeholder management theory should be employed holistically rather than solely through CSR efforts.