Title: Customers' perceived priority areas and overall attitudes toward Saudi retail banks that pursue corporate social responsibility

Authors: Robert A. Opoku

Addresses: Donald School of Business, Red Deer College, 4909 49th Street, Red Deer AB, T4N 5H5, Canada

Abstract: Companies in Saudi Arabia are presented with a distinctive set of CSR agenda challenges which appear to be quite different from those faced by their counterparts elsewhere. This study therefore explores retail banking customers' perceived priority areas for CSR and their overall attitudes toward retail banks that pursue such initiatives in Saudi Arabia. Data collected from 348 valid respondents through a structured self-administered survey in the major urban areas of the country was used in this study. Supporting youth employment is the most important social cause respondents expect banks to embark upon. This is followed by support for vocational training; financial support for entrepreneurs; monetary support to the poor and sponsoring orphans' education in that order. CSR activities were influential in predicting the overall attitudes toward Saudi retail banks. Customers' behavioural intentions toward such retail banks were also overwhelming positive. As the first research examining these phenomena in Saudi Arabia, this study contributes to multinational literature in this area. Some recommendations are outlined for Saudi and GCC retail banks.

Keywords: consumer attitudes; CSR priority areas; Middle East; corporate social responsibility; Saudi Arabia; retail banks; banking industry; GCC; Gulf Cooperation Council; youth employment; vocational training; financial support; entrepreneurship; orphans education; customer behaviour; behavioural intentions; poverty; poor; orphan sponsorship.

DOI: 10.1504/MEJM.2015.072487

Middle East Journal of Management, 2015 Vol.2 No.3, pp.268 - 282

Available online: 14 Oct 2015 *

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