Junior Management Science, Volume 7, Issue 3, July 2022, 826-873

Corporate Social Responsibility and the Effects of Sustainable Corporate Practices and Various Greenwashing Methods on Corporate Reputation

Simon Mütze, Leibniz Universität Hannover (Master Thesis)

As awareness of sustainable consumption continues to grow, corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly relevant. However, when it comes to communicating corporate sustainability (green marketing), false or vague claims, so-called greenwashing, have now reached epidemic dimensions. For this reason, many consumers have built up a fundamental skepticism towards this type of communication. The purpose of this study is to help marketers establish and communicate effective as well as sincere corporate practices to address the challenges posed by greenwashing. Therefore, this study uses a field experiment to investigate how often greenwashing is recognized by consumers in the first place, what companies need to consider for successful CSR and, in particular, what effects different CSR initiatives, greenwashing methods and greenwashing scandals have on corporate reputation.

Keywords: CSR; Greenwashing; Unternehmensreputation; Unternehmerische Nachhaltigkeit; Umweltsiegel.