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Can socially responsible firms increase their profits? - The case of 'The Body Shop'

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  1. Presentation
    1. Research background
    2. Research Problem
    3. Purpose Statement
    4. Research Question
    5. Project Method
    6. Project Structure
  2. Methodology
    1. The steps to solve a research question
    2. The qualitative and quantitative methods
    3. The inductive and deductive methods
    4. Data collection
    5. The case study
    6. Limitation
  3. Theoretical background
    1. Corporate Social Responsibility
    2. The Pyramidal Model of Carroll
    3. The Triple Bottom Line
    4. The Stakeholder Theory
    5. Marketing Theory
    6. Profit Maximization
    7. Competitive Advantage
  4. Case study
    1. History and company profile
    2. The Body Shop values
    3. The campaigns and foundation
    4. The Body Shop Responsibility according to the CSR pyramid
  5. Analysis
    1. The Body Shop corporate social responsibility
    2. The Body Shop responsibility according to the pyramidal model of Carroll
    3. The Body Shop benefits of having good CSR
    4. The Body Shop image and reputation
    5. The Body Shop CSR as a marketing tool
    6. The Body Shop CSR as a competitive advantage

Corporate Social Responsibility is a topic of prime importance that has been doing the rounds for long. Since the 1960s, social responsibility has become an important argument not only for business but in the context of law, politics and economics. In fact, in the new context of globalization, firms have to face the economical and social environment and they are becoming more aware of the fact that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a necessary element of their business actions. Nevertheless, there is still a general attitude towards CSR as its implementation requires spending money that could result in an economic loss. The objective of this project is to investigate the role of CSR and demonstrate that CSR is a factor that can, instead, contribute to the competitiveness of the firms and therefore, improve their financial performances. The priority of a company is to generate profit but at the same time, it can contribute to reach social and environmental purposes, by integrating CSR as a strategic investment in its business. In order to answer the research question and to understand the role of CSR in the economic profitability of the firms, we have chosen as a case study of The Body Shop Company. If customers have the choice between a common product and a product created in a responsible way, they will prefer to buy the second one because they know that they are also acting in a good way. So, CSR plays a role in the purchase intentions of customers.

[...] As mentioned in chapter 3 we are not going to apply all the theories we have presented in the theoretical framework but we will use the pyramidal model of Carroll, part of the marketing theory and the competitive advantage theory in order to answer to our research question: Can socially responsible companies increase their profit in the new competitive environment ? In chapter 4 we have described corporate social responsibility by presenting the case of The Body Shop company, which is one of the most successful socially responsible company. [...]

[...] We not only describe the situation but also we explain it in order to analyze it and understand it Limitation In this paper, we have presented only one case study to know if a socially responsible company can increase its profits in a competitive environment. The case study is about The Body Shop International company, famous in the entire world for its social actions. However, this is the only case study. The BSI case has to be read as an example that gives us an answer that can be different from another socially responsible firm. [...]

[...] We can affirm that firms are obviously not responsible for the world's problems but they can take care of some of them, if it is in their capacities, to gain the greatest competitive benefit. Chapter Case study Case study is a qualitative method that plays an important role in our research. For our project report we have chosen the descriptive type of case study. Therefore, it requires describing a theory used as a framework for the research to follow throughout the study. [...]

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