French Business Schools’ reaction towards the increasing need of CSR and its impact on brand image. : A qualitative study on the French Business Schools’ behaviour towards CSR and brand image.

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi; Umeå universitet/Företagsekonomi

Sammanfattning: The researchers in this study wanted to focus on Business Schools by using management and marketing knowledge. Therefore, the most attractive subject for them was the link between CSR, Business schools and Brand image. Many studies have been developed for companies regarding the importance of CSR, the impact it has on their strategies, the brand image’s impacts, and the effect that CSR has on a company’s strategy. Researchers thought that it was important to adapt those theories to Business schools because they aim to form students to become managers but the world has changed a lot during the last decades: there was an economic crisis, global warming, and also discrimination and inequalities which are still present. Also, Business Schools need to form future responsible leaders who will integrate these aspects into their decisions inside a company. The purpose of this study is to increase the understanding of how Business Schools act to respond to increased demands for CSR and sustainability in education to strengthen their brand image. In order to reach this purpose, five different aspects will be analysed: how do Business Schools perceive the importance of CSR, what are the actions of the Business Schools in order to become a school respecting CSR, what and how Business Schools have changed in their education to form responsible leaders, if and how is CSR integrated into their marketing strategies, how do they perceive the impact on their brand image in order to answer to our research question: how are Business Schools acting to improve their brand image in terms of sustainability and CSR in education? To do so, researchers have chosen to use a qualitative study by leading interviews with directors, marketing and communication executives but also people who are in charge of CSR in Business School in order to get a better understanding of those issues. The result of this study has shown that CSR is taken into consideration by Business Schools, and therefore they have adapted their teaching methods to improve the awareness and knowledge of students towards CSR issues and that it has an impact on their brand image but only on certain conditions. Researchers concluded with this study by saying that Business Schools improved their brand image in terms of CSR through many actions and new teaching methods but also thanks to accreditations and labels. However, our implications to this study have revealed that CSR is not considered entirely by Business Schools and it could have a bad impact in the long term but also that Business schools should communicate more on their CSR actions. Indeed, students gain interest in those issues, and companies need responsible leaders which means that, by communicating more on it, if their strategy is in line with their actions, they will increase the positive impact on their brand image. Thanks to these conclusions, this research can be useful for business schools, students, and every stakeholders.

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