Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is an useful tool for companies to engage in environmental and social projects and is, moreover, an effective marketing tool which gains more and more popularity within companies. However, CSR communication is a difficult undertaking because it bears a variety of threats and opportunities. For this reason the right CSR communication strategy is essential to effectively influence consumer attitude and behavior. In this thesis two studies were conducted to, firstly, gain an insight into the actual status of CSR in the Netherlands and, secondly, to analyze how the degree of proactivity in a company’s CSR communication strategy influences consumer attitude and, finally, consumer behavior.
In the study about the general insight about CSR in the Netherlands it was found that Dutch consumers have a positive attitude regarding CSR and are interested in this topic. They see companies, the government but also themselves in obligation to contribute in environmental and social causes. Dutch consumers state that they already have some knowledge about environmental and social topics but are also interested to get more information about these topics.