A measuring instrument for the active consumer stakeholder concept among South African brand leaders
This study argues that consumers no longer take the actions of brand leaders for granted. Instead, they challenge and are inherently active. Although consumers have long been recognised as stakeholders by brand leaders, the question remains as to what extent their voices are heard and to what extent brand leaders recognise them as active stakeholders. The research problem was addressed by linking aspects of corporate social responsibility, corporate social responsiveness, stakeholder theory, stakeholder communication and accountability to develop a reliable measuring instrument for brand leaders to evaluate to what extent they are attuned to the active consumer stakeholder concept and, through further rankings and qualitative analyses, obtain some indication as to what extent awareness of the active consumer stakeholder concept has taken root among a sample of 51
brand leaders. Through reliability and cluster analyses, the research succeeded in developing a reliable measuring instrument which reflected most of the theoretical tenets of the active consumer stakeholder concept. Further findings, albeit of a limited scope, suggest an interesting dichotomy between recognition of the active consumer stakeholder concept on the one hand, and a strong profit maximisation view on the other, which could become a platform for further research.