A Methodological Problem: “Created Artifical Awareness” in CSR Research
When studies on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) are examined, it is seen that most of the studies assume awareness of CSR or create artificial awareness. This is a methodological problem and can be named as “Created Artificial Awareness”. “Created Artificial Awareness” can be defined as generating subjects’ awareness for CSR projects of brands by providing examples through the use of scenarios and / or survey items that include CSR related expressions when collecting data for CSR studies. In this research, two studies were conducted to highlight the effect of “Created Artificial Awareness”. The first objective of the research is to explore real awareness levels of young consumers for CSR projects of the brands they preferred. For this purpose, an open-ended questionnaire was used and participants were asked for explaining the reasons of preference for a brand in Study 1. The main interest is to explore the rate of CSR as a reason of preference without “Created Artificial Awareness” effect. The second objective of the research is to reveal the difference between two studies that have methodological differences in terms of “Created Artificial Awareness”. For this purpose, in Study 2, a close-ended questionnaire that measures attribute preferences including CSR attributes was conducted to the same sample. The results of two studies were compared. The last research objective is to display the effect of “Need for Social Desirability” on indication of CSR related attributes as a reason of preference when “Created Artificial Awareness” effect is in charge due to the close-ended questions.