CSR Effect on Brand Image – Research Proposal Sample

CSR Effect on Brand Image – Research Proposal Sample



1. Introduction

1.1 Concept of the research

The proposed research shall highlight the effectiveness of CSR in influencing the brand image of TATA Group in India. CSR responsibility is an important aspect of a multinational organization. TATA group is a renowned organization that operates its business in different geographies and India is one of them. The TATA group’s CSR program aims to “keep disadvantaged communities as the focus based on globally agreed sustainable development principles” (Tatasustainability.com, 2022). Various CSR programs and activities will be discussed in the dissertation to identify the impact of CSR strategies on the brand image of the TATA group.

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1.2 Research background

Secondary research showed that the TATA group has announced that for over 150 years they are contributing to the community where they operate. Community is “Pivotal to the TATA mission” and CSR responsibility is the heart of the business. The CSR responsibility of the TATA group includes the local and national community for their well-being. “The group has spent INR 1,095 crore on CSR expenditure and has positively impacted 11.7 million lives” in the financial year 2019 (TATAsustainability.com, 2020). The CSR responsibility of the TATA group includes “education, livelihoods and skill development, rural development, water and sanitation, healthcare and strengthening services”. CSR responsibility of the company improve its brand image in the country.

CSR responsibility of TATA group
Figure 1.1: CSR responsibility of TATA group (Source: TATAsustainability.com, 2020)

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1.3 Research rationale

In India, there are various challenges to implementing CSR, as the community cannot participate in CSR responsibility (Kumar, 2019). The local community lacks pieces of knowledge to give importance to CSR responsibility. It has been derived that “India was ranked fourth in the list, according to social enterprise CSR Asia’s Asian Sustainability Ranking (ASR)” (Thehindu.com, 2019). Suitable NGOs cannot be found in India to implement CSR responsibility with the use of sufficient funds. TATA group is a renowned organization that has partnerships with different NGOs and government organizations to implement their CSR responsibilities in the country.

CSR responses of the TATA group
Figure 1.2: CSR responses of the TATA group (Source: TATAmotors.com, 2021)


In this context, Tanejaet al.(2021) propounded that the multiple governments of India are one of the reasons for India to face CSR challenges. Moreover, the author added that “Shrinking government resources, coupled with a distrust of regulations” increases the CSR issues in the country. Due to improving supplier relations and increasing demand in the labor market, CSR is affected in India. This research is necessary to identify the key issues of CSR responsibility in India. Besides this, the CSR responsibility of the TATA group will be very beneficial for India to overcome the CSR challenges.

Focus areas of TATA Group for CSR
Figure 1.3: Focus areas of TATA Group for CSR(Source: TATAmotors.com, 2021)


Geological bias is the main issue in India to implement CSR and most companies like TATA implement their CSR strategies in their nearest location. “91 % of the Consumers” go for those companies that work towards “addressing various environmental and social issues” (Rai, 2020). That is why the CSR responsibility of TATA is important for organizational growth and social well-being

1.4 Aims and objectives of the research

The research will aim to analyze the effectiveness of CSR on the brand image of the TATA group in India.

The objectives of the research are:

  • To identify the brand image of TATA Group and the CSR challenges in India
  • To explain the strategies of CSR for enhancing the brand reputation of the TATA group
  • To evaluate the challenges of the TATA group and their possible mitigation by the CSR

1.5 Research Question

  • What are the Strategies of CSR for enhancing the brand image?
  • What are the CSR challenges of the TATA group in India?
  • How brand image can be affected by the irrelevant CSR activities of the TATA group?


2. Literature review

2.1 Concept of CSR

CSR is a management concept, that highlights that besides economic consequences corporations possess a degree of responsibility towards their surrounding society and environment. In this context, Carroll and Laasch (2020) propounded that balancing business with CSR highlights the responsible management of an organization. Corporate social responsibility plays a very crucial role in enhancing customer loyalty as well as trust. According to Okafor et al. (2021), the implementation of corporate social responsibility is an integral part of enhancing the business functions of a particular country. On the other hand, Huoet al. (2021) has suggested that the importance of using CSR principles and strategy lies in mitigating some risk factors within the internal sectors of this company. Managing CSR has a benefit for selected organizations to obtain competitive advantages within the marketplace.

importance of CSR
Figure 2.1:Importance of CSR (Created by Researcher)

Brand image is the perception of customers regarding a particular brand. The concept of brand image is based on an aggregate of ideas, impressions, and beliefs of customers towards a brand. Brand image is an essential factor to every organization, as it assists in obtaining significant competitive advantages. Brand Image depends on various factors including product quality, service pattern, consistency, brand association, and various others. As per the views of Carroll (2021), some other factors also help a company to improve their brand image, which is attached to loyalty and visual identity. CSR helps to enhance customer loyalty and satisfaction, which increases customer attachment and thereby improves brand image simultaneously.

Concept of Brand Image
Figure 2.2: Concept of Brand Image (Created by Learner)

2.3 The necessity of CRS policies in the TATA business

Inside India, the maintenance of CSR policies is a mandatory condition for any business and marketing. CSR is the heart of any business in India, which indicates the significance of carrying out the importance of this. With a positive reputation and feedback, it is necessary to maintain CSR policies in the area of business. Every Indian company has invested a sufficient amount of profit in the application of CSR policies. Almost 2% of the total profit of any reputed organization has been invested in the application of CSR policies (Impactonnet.com, 2018).  The application of CSR principles inside the business of TATA will be effective give a positive social response to the excessive profit growth. Besides this, in the presence of CSR applications, the chance to attract consumers can be increased smoothly.

Spending value of CSR in India
Figure 2.3: Spending value of CSR in India (Source: Statista.com, 2021)

This structure indicates the significance of CSR application in India to proceed smoothly in the business field without any complications. AAbovementionedfigurehighlights from 2015 to 2021 show the rate of application of the CSR principle in business. This indicates the spontaneous growth rate of the use of the CSR principle for marketing and business. In 2015, it was 55.61 billion and increased by almost 120.69 billion based on Indian rupees (Statista.com, 2021). This gives a piece of clear information for the application of CSR policies in India.

2.4 Application of “corporate social responsibility theory” (CSR)

Based on the framework displayed above, Carroll’s Pyramid of Social Responsibility enables a company to think holistically.

2.5 Impact of CSR principles on the business of TATA

The application of CSR should give a long-term stable plan to give a clear direction for a successful one. Almost 82% of people in India always prefer to buy products from reputed organizations that have a positive social reputation (Impactonnet.com, 2018). Therefore, adhering to CSR is vital, as it helps to increase the customer chain. By using the CSR policies, TATA has already achieved a standardized position throughout the whole of India. This indicates the excessive level of profit growth of TATA. By applying CSR, the chance of enhancing the business growth rate of TATA is increased effectively (Tanimoto, 2019). The higher authority of TATA has used CSR policies as an integral part of business, which indicates the prestigious approach from consumers towards TATA. They maintain a sustainable and healthy lifestyle with the production of eco-friendly products for customers.

Rate of using CSR policies in various organizations
Figure 2.5: Rate of using CSR policies in various organizations (Source: Timesofindia.com, 2022)

This figure has a clear presentation of various organizations applying CSR principles inside the business field. In this figure, TATA gets a top position, with 999 numbers in the case of CSR applications during their production and servicing process (Timesofindia.com, 2022).

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2.6 Probable solutions to achieve CSR policies

This is necessary to balance both the CSR activities and profit growth of businesses of any organization. In this aspect, the higher authority should focus on the environmental policies to make them clear and pure (LatapíAgudeloet al. 2019). The use of biodegradable and eco-friendly raw materials is the primary source to maintain the CSR policies during the production process of business. In this aspect, the reduction of carbon footprint during the production process is an example of CSR strategic application in the business of TATA (Tatapower.com, 2021).

 Impact of COVID-19 on the financial aspect
Figure 2.6: Impact of COVID-19 on the financial aspect (Source: Statista.com, 2022)

At present, due to COVID-19, the financial condition of every industry is unstable, which indicates the difficulties in maintaining the CSR policies in the business. This figure indicates the reduction of financial growth in 2020, which affects business growth (Statista.com, 2022). Therefore, it is mandatory to increase financial stability with excessive profit growth. In this way, the application of CSR policies can be successful in the business field.      

2.7 Literature gap

Through the conduction of a literature review of peer-reviewed journals, it has been identified, that there is a lack of information regarding the impacts of CSR on Tata Group’s brand image. Furthermore, there is no case study analysis of the Tata Group post-Covid-19. The researchers have also not found some relevant pieces of information regarding data and information regarding CSR. Thus, the lack of this data may create a literature gap in this study.

3. Methodology

3.1 Research philosophy

PA pragmatic research philosophy will be used here to meet the objectives of the study.t this research will be completed based on the secondary and primary methods; hence, this mixed research philosophy will help to get a conclusion from this report. For innovatively conducting the research and finding the solutions to the research, problem pragmatic research philosophy is appropriate (Allmark&Machaczek, 2018). Due to the lack of data accuracy, positivism and interpretive will not be used here.

3.2 Research Strategy

Qualitative and quantitative strategies will be used to meet the demand for the research questions and objectives. In the research work, the primary data collection process will help to collect real-time information on the impacts of CSR for enhancing the business brand image of the TATA group in the world. The qualitative data collection process will help to find out the key points of CSR and how it impacts the TATA group brand by collecting information from experts of the TATA group(Ahmad et al. 2019). Numerical data and graphs will be used here for quantitative analysis and words will be used in the qualitative research strategy.

3.3 Data collection method

Primary and secondary data collection methods will be used here to meet the objectives of the research. For the primary data collection process, the interview process will be chosen here to get adequate data from the respondents. Participants will be chosen from the organization and managers are the target population for the research. Fake data collection will not be accepted in this report to manage the ethics of the research. For secondary data collection, various journals, articles, and the company website will be used here to know the previous CSR activity of the company and plans for the company (Puniello, 2018).

3.4 Data analysis method

A quantitative data analysis method with the help of Excel will be used to analyze primary quantitative data. By using Microsoft Excel, various charts and graphs will be prepared based on the primary data. Primary data analysis is a significant method, that enables researchers to obtain real-world information Ahmad et al. 2019. For qualitative data analysis, the thematic analysis will be done by developing various themes based on the research topic.

3.5 Ethical consideration

The research will include authentic data and use reliable sources to meet the ethical considerations of the research. Any conflicts and biased data will be avoided here to meet the objectives of the research. This research will respect individuals and maintain the sustainability of the environment. “Data Protection Act 2018” will be adhered to throughout this research to protect the privacy of participants during the primary data collection process. This act ordered to use of primary data fairly, lawfully, and transparently (Gov. uk, 2018).

3.6 Research limitation

Researchers can face various research limitations due to time and budget shortages. As the primary data collection process is expensive and time-consuming, the research can face challenges to include vast information by the primary data collection method. Due to a lack of positive responses, the researcher cannot provide any representable outcomes from the research.

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3.7. Timeline

[Referred to Appendix]

4. Summary

In this research process, there is a brief description of the research topic to analyze the CSR policies inside the TATA is given. In this aspect, critical analyses are used here with the help of “corporate social responsibility theory” (LatapíAgudeloet al. 2019). With the help of the correct research methodology, the research will proceed to be a successful one. Both primary and secondary methods will be used for data collection.

Reference list

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