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Youth consumers' perceptions of corporate social responsibility : an Islamic perspective

Alfakhri, Yazeed Mohammed Mahmoud


Yazeed Mohammed Mahmoud Alfakhri


Dianne Dean

Haseeb Shabbir


As the interest in CSR has increased, the concept has been applied to different sectors and cultures. However, CSR has been founded on liberal, Western foundations and most CSR investigations have been based on Western values as they have considered CSR in European and North American cultures. Hence it is crucial to examine CSR in different religious and cultural contexts. This research has addressed this gap by investigating the concept of CSR from the perspective of Muslim consumers’ perspectives, within an Arab culture. Thus, this research sought to understand the perception of Muslim consumers in Saudi Arabia of the concept of CSR in order to conceptualise an Islamic-based perspective of CSR. Saudi Arabia has been used as the context because it is an exclusively Islamic country and its culture is deeply embedded with Islamic values. An interpretivist paradigm has been selected using an inductive approach; qualitative data has been collected through in-depth semi-structured interviews. The sample for the research is thirty-four young Saudis and includes males and females.

According to the research findings, the majority of participants concurred with the components of Carroll’s (1991) CSR pyramid; however the results lead to minor modifications of the pyramid to better fit the Islamic context. Thus any organisation that practices CSR in Saudi Arabia should take into consideration Islamic Sharia and Islamic ethics as they are the fundamental building blocks. Furthermore, there are two perspectives of CSR in the literature: external social responsibility and internal social responsibility. However, based on the findings of the research, a new perspective, private social responsibility, has been added to the two current perspectives. This perspective is the fundamental and the basic component upon which organisations should base their CSR strategy from an Islamic perspective. The term “private” is used as there part of Islamic CSR is hidden while the other part is visible. To explain the hidden and visible parts, the researcher has developed an “Islamic CSR tree model” which conceptualises the concept of CSR in Islam.

The findings of the research have indicated that, rather than continue with the overt CSR strategies used by Western marketing managers, organisations should use a more covert approach to CSR, one that is embedded in Islamic principles such as modesty. Thus if an organisation promotes their “good acts” this could be seen as Riya (showing-off) which is prohibited in Islam. Therefore, in the Saudi context it is necessary to embed Islamic values in the organisation’s CSR foundations allowing this internalisation to develop throughout the organisation and create its own flow of communications. This research makes a contribution to the academic literature by changing the emphasis of Carroll’s (1991) building blocks of CSR and proposing that Islamic-based CSR is fundamentally concerned with a need for covert forms of CSR.


Alfakhri, Y. M. M. (2014). Youth consumers' perceptions of corporate social responsibility : an Islamic perspective. (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Sep 28, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Dec 1, 2014


Thesis (2.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2014 Alfakhri, Yazeed Mohammed Mahmoud. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

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