An exploration of millennial perceptions and value priority of CSR and CnSR

WOODASON, Daniel (2020). An exploration of millennial perceptions and value priority of CSR and CnSR. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University.

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Ethical rhetoric regarding the demographic attributed as Millennials, their characteristics and value priorities, is diverse (i.e. Becker Jr, 2012; Bucic et al., 2012; Cone, 2015; Deloitte, 2017; Greenberg, & Weber, 2008; McGlone et al., 2011; Neilsen, 2015; Paulin et al., 2014; Schweitzer & Lyons, 2010; Weber & Urick, 2017). This research explores their views and attitudes regarding social responsibility and ethical considerations relating to both corporate (CSR) and personal behaviour (CnSR). The aim being to offer beneficial insight, furthering research relating to a better understanding of the demographic that enables more effective, meaningful or relevant corporate CSR strategies and pertinent marketing communications targeted at them. A heterogeneous ideology required an interpretivist approach and interviews were used to gain insights of eighteen Millennials: undergraduate students at a UK university Business School. Transcripts were thematically analysed to disclose their ethical / pro-environmental value priority that produced three themes: convenience & indifference, self-reasoning & justification, and distrust. Value priority for both CSR and CnSR was low and the three themes uncovered findings pertinent to meeting the research aims. The sample indicated that the late-adolescent life stage they were experiencing was indicative of an undefined role in a responsible adult society; as acknowledged by Erikson as early as 1963 with conflict experienced - self-identity and peer approval needs vs those of society. This was reflected in a combination of factors including the influence of significant others (noted by Beckmann, 2007), a deflection of responsibility to act or reluctance to take responsibility for the consequences of the previous generation’s misgivings, and an apathy or indifference to the topic in general. Moreover, their transitioning life-stage including temporary accommodation, friendship groups, identity formation and employment purpose was evident (Batemann & Phippen, 2016) as an antecedent to this and the alternate priorities that emanate from this situation. The findings concluded that empathy was evident, but action was more ‘locally’ focused such as on UK animal welfare rather than international (human) labour or socio-economic conditions. For marketing communications, the data revealed cynicism and scepticism was evident, relating to global brands, but more ominously, all forms of information. A topic that has been raised on occasion by previous authors (notably Quinby, 1999) and in reference to socially responsible behaviour has been acknowledged to negate responsibility to act, or assign blame elsewhere (Detert et al., 2008). The concept of pro-environmental corporate strategy to appeal to the demographic was found to be uncertain. Findings suggested some admiration may arise for a majority but added patronage was uncommitted.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Thesis advisor - Gilligan, Christine
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
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Depositing User: Colin Knott
Date Deposited: 23 Dec 2020 13:01
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2023 14:54

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