Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration
Emerald Article: Behind brand performance
Luu Trong Tuan
To cite this document: Luu Trong Tuan, (2012),"Behind brand performance", Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, Vol. 4
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Behind brand performance
Luu Trong Tuan
University of Finance-Marketing, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Purpose – This investigation into consumer goods manufacturing companies in Vietnam seeks to
discern if such constructs as corporate social responsibility (CSR) and ethics act as antecedents for
brand performance with the mediating role of integrated performance measures.
Design/methodology/approach – A total of 387 responses reverted from self-administered
structured questionnaires despatched to 1,452 middle level managers were dissected via ANOVAs and
structural equation modelling (SEM).
Findings – From the ﬁndings emerged the interconnections between ethics of justice and legal
CSR/economic CSR. Ethics of care, on the other hand, tends to nourish ethical CSR, which in turn
positively impact performance measurement integratedness. The ﬁndings also paved the path from
performance measurement integratedness to high brand performance.
Originality/value – From the results of the study, the insight into the interconnection pattern of
brand performance and its antecedents highlights the magnitude of CSR and ethics training program
as well as the adoption of integrated performance metrics in optimizing brand performance in
consumer goods manufacturers in the Vietnamese market.
Keywords Brand performance, Performance measurement integratedness,
Corporate social responsibility, Ethics of justice, Ethics of care, Business ethics, Social responsibility,
Paper type Research paper
A brand, in Schiffman et al.’s (2005) stance, is a name, symbol, design or an integration of
them. Nonetheless, Raggio and Leone (2007) deﬁne a brand as “a promise of beneﬁts to a
customer or consumer”. Brand is not a, static construct, but a dynamic one. Through its
growth cycle, a brand grows along with new values created for customers as well as
other stakeholders. Brand performance is thus associated with stakeholder relations
(Whysall, 2000). Consequently, organizations, whose performance appraisal system
addresses stakeholders’ interests in a comprehensive manner rather than employees
alone, tend to nurture high brand performance. Organizations were cognizant that to
grow in a, sustainable manner in the current hyper-competitive market scenario, they
must evolve from “doing good” to “doing better” (Stroup and Newbert, 1987) and may be
to “doing best” by hatching added societal values for all stakeholders. Good CSR
practices can build goodwill among stakeholders, reinforce stakeholder relationships
and thereby yield insurance-like protection on brands (Godfrey et al., 2009).
A plethora of empirical enquiries on CSR and corporate ethics denote an
interconnection between social initiatives and enhanced ﬁnancial performance
(Stanwick and Stanwick, 1998). Lin et al. (2009) discerned a positive linkage between
CSR and ﬁnancial performance. More speciﬁcally, they found that whereas CSR does not
have much of a positive effect on short-term ﬁnancial performance, it does produce a
notable long-term ﬁscal advantage. However, the link between CSR/ethics and
integrated performance measures which encompass both ﬁnancial and non-ﬁnancial
metrics remains marginally explored. This study seeks to bridge this gap through
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Asia-Paciﬁc Journal of Business
Vol. 4 No. 1, 2012
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developing a research framework that examines the linkage between brand performance
and such antecedents as CSR, ethics and performance measurement integratedness.
This prelude of the paper is followed by the review of the perspectives and studies
on the variables of the current inquiry. This literature review serves as the foundation
for building the conceptual framework for which the data is then analyzed. The paper
concludes with some practical implications and potential research avenues related to
the concept “brand performance” and its independent variables.
2. Literature review
2.1 Brand performance
The concept of the “brand” is viewed to have a, semantic continuum, at one end of which,
brand embraces a name, a trademark, a, symbol, a logo, or an identity and at the other
end of which, brand contains all tangible and intangible attributes of an organization
(Prasad and Dev, 2000). Franzen and Bouwman (2001) allege that, via brands, their
functional and sentimental values are effectively encoded in customers’ perceptions.
Brand performance denotes a brand’s strength in the market (O’Cass and Ngo,
2007b). Brand performance is reﬂected in its attainment of organisational strategy and
goals. It can be measured through its sales growth, proﬁtability and market share.
It has also been operationalized utilizing stock market returns (Simon and Sullivan,
1993). Ambler (1995) looks upon a brand as a nexus of functional, psychological and
economic beneﬁts for customers, so economic metrics alone appear inadequate for the
construct “brand performance”. As a, stance held by the author of the current study
expresses, brand performance denotes how a brand ﬁnancially and nonﬁnancially
succeeds in the market competition. A number of researchers such as Reid (2002),
Chaudhuri (2002) and Wong and Merrilees (2007) view brand reputation, awareness
and loyalty as a brand’s crucial performance. As Doyle (1990) contends, overwhelmed
with myriads of choices to make daily, customers tend to turn to brands that have
formerly given them the satisfaction.
From Srinivasan’s (1979) standpoint, a customer’s attitude can be valued as the sum
value of a brand’s attributes; however, the author of the present study suggests
replacing the term “the sum value” by “the synergy value”. By discerning how attributes
relate to the performance of the brand, they can be classiﬁed into product-related
attributes and non-product-related attributes (Keller, 1993). The form ation of ingredients
that are key to the performance of the brand and the physical composition of the brand
are some instances of product-related attributes and product appearance, price of the
product, user and usage imagery are some instances of non-product-related attributes.
In Rajagopal’s (2008) view, numerous companies engage a variety of integrated
marketing activities to monitor brand performance indicators by 5As explicated as brand
awareness, acquaintance, association, allegiance and appraisal spread over perceptional,
performance and ﬁnancial factors. Brand acquaintance refers to customers’ familiarity
with the brands ofa company and brand association refersto customers’ buying behavior
towards the acquainted brands. Allegiance and appraisal are, respectively, synonymous
with loyalty and performance of brand against investments made by the company.
O’Cass and Ngo (2007a) developed and tested an integrated model of two
components, external adaptation and internal effectiveness, to reveal that competitive
intensity inﬂuences a company’s strategic type and characteristics that drive superior
brand performance. Rajagopal (2008), furthermore, discussed the crucial components
of a brand metrics strategy and application of brand scorecard as an integrated
approach for measuring the overall performance of brands.
As Cragg (1997) found out, stakeholders tend to differentiate between core and
peripheral, negotiable and non-negotiable values. Stakeholders can discern the
magnitude of certain core and non-negotiable values (Morito, 2010). As a group of
stakeholders, customers also tend to look at non-negotiable values in their brand
cognition process. Branding, therefore, should be a non-negotiable portion of business
and marketing strategies. Whether a corporate brand or a product brand, its brands say
what the company is from the way it operates and the non-negotiable values it delivers to
its customers (Wong et al., 2005). Such a view especially applies to business contexts
such as Vietnam where several companies tend to follow customers’ needs rather than
bringing non-negotiable values to them. The magnitude of values in the setting of
branding in the non-proﬁt sector was also underscored. The distinctive facet of values
and the brand for NPOs resides not in the fact that values are involved but that speciﬁc
values are non-negotiable for NPOs (Stride, 2006).
Whereas non-negotiable values are driving forces for brand performance in
non-negotiable values-driven organizations, business process re-engineering is the
lever of brand performance in re-engineerable organizations. Business process
re-engineering provides the marketing profession a major opportunity to yield more
effective organizational adoption of the central marketing concept (Lynch, 1995).
Business process re-engineering entails a comprehensive overhaul of organizational
perspectives, systems and structures so as to attain a ruthless focus on the underlying
core processes which generate customer satisfaction and competitive edge (Stevens,
1994). Re-engineerable organizations, furthermore, enhance marketing effectiveness
and brand performance by delivering the new environmental imperatives of corporate
ﬂexibility, sensitivity and responsiveness (Lynch, 1995).
2.2 Performance measurement integratedness
Performance measurement integratedness involves the comprehensiveness of diverse
dimensions: ﬁnancial versus non-ﬁnancial measures, subjective versus objective measures,
internal versus external measures and drivers versus outcome measures (Ittner et al., 2003;
Kaplan and Norton, 1996). Hoque and James (2000) and Ittner et al. (2003), refer to
performance measurement integratedness as the multiplicity and variety of performance
measures that can be clustered into ﬁnancial performance and non-ﬁnancial performance.
Myriad models have been built on a me
´lange of ﬁnancial and non-ﬁnancial data. In
Yang et al.’s (2009) view, building an integrated performance measurement model is
crucial for strategic management since organizational success may be contingent on
the compatibility between a performance measurement system in operation at
subordinate organizational levels and an organization’s global goals. Lynch and Cross
(1991) present a performance pyramid that links strategy and operations by translating
strategic objectives from the top down and measures from the bottom up, whereas
Atkinson et al. (1997) construct a, stakeholder model that incorporates measurement
for the primary and secondary objectives of environmental and process stakeholders.
Kaplan and Norton (1992, 1996) propose a balanced scorecard (BSC) – an integrative
framework – integrating ﬁnancial, customer, internal process and learning and growth
perspectives steered by organizational vision and strategy. Thakkar et al.’s (2009)
research delivers an integrated performance measurement framework for supply chain
evaluation and planning in SMEs by integrating the salient attributes of BSC and
supply chain operation reference model.
2.3 Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility (CSR), from Jamali’s (2008) and Jamali et al.’s (2008)
perspectives, is concerned with the commitment of companies to contribute to
sustainable development, stakeholder interests and enhancement of societal conditions.
Also centering on stakeholders’ interests, Hopkins (2007, pp. 15-16) deﬁnes CSR as being:
[...] concerned with treating the stakeholders of the ﬁrm ethically or in a responsible manner.
“Ethically or responsible” means treating stakeholders in a manner deemed acceptable in
civilized societies. Social includes economic and environmental responsibility. Stakeholders
exist both within a ﬁrm and outside. The wider aim of social responsibility is to create higher
and higher standards of living, while preserving the proﬁtability of the corporation, for
peoples both within and outside the corporation”.
Regarding business ﬁrms as the economic engine of society, Carroll (1979) and
Henderson (2005) also highlight proﬁts making is a, social responsibility.
Carroll’s (1979) model of CSR also incorporates proﬁtability as a dimension among
the four responsibilities:
(1) the economic responsibility to generate proﬁts;
(2) the legal responsibility to conform to local, state, federal and relevant
(3) the ethical responsibility to meet other social expectations, not written as law
(e.g. avoiding harm or social injury, respecting moral rights of individuals,
doing what is right, just, fair); and
(4) the discretionary responsibility to meet extra behaviours and activities that
society ﬁnds desirable (e.g. philanthropic initiatives such as ﬁnancial
contribution to various kinds of social or cultural enterprises).
Carroll’s “pyramid of corporate social responsibility” indicated a hierarchy of
responsibilities ascending from economic and legal to more socially oriented
responsibilities, i.e. ethical and philanthropic (Carroll, 1991). Finding this implicit
hierarchy in the pyramid as its limitation Schwarz and Carroll (2003) placed the
dimensions of CSR in a Venn diagram as well as deleted the discretionary dimension as
not justiﬁable as a “social responsibility”.
Lantos (2001) classiﬁed CSR into three types predicated on their nature (required
versus optional) and purpose (for stakeholders’ good, for the company’s good, or for
both): ethical CSR, altruistic CSR and strategic CSR. Ethical CSR is “morally mandatory
and goes beyond fulﬁlling a ﬁrm’s economic and legal duties, to its responsibilities to
avoid social injuries, even if the business might not beneﬁt from this” (Lantos, 2001,
p. 605). Partially based on this deﬁnition, the author of the current study maintains that
ethical CSR is the highest level of CSR and depicted as the outermost circle and economic
CSR is the lowest level a company reaches (Figure 1). Acting within the law is analogous
to acting ethically (Carrigan and Attalla, 2001), so ethical CSR is depicted to embrace
legal CSR. Moreover, as Gaski (1999) wrote: “the ethics of one day may be the law
of the next”, some ethical CSRs will gradually consolidate into legal CSRs and new
ethical CSRs will surface.
In Figure 1, the circles of internal stakeholders and external stakeholders will intersect
the circle of a type of CSR if that CSR type is fulﬁlled. The circle of discretionary CSR is
not displayed due to its integration into ethical CSR type.
Carroll’s (1979) model of CSR with the merge of ethical and discretionary dimensions
is used as a basis in this study as these three dimensions display an extensive spectrum
relating to all stakeholders, both internal and external, as well as the triple bottom line.
2.4 Ethics of justice versus ethics of care
From Potocan and Mulej’s (2009) stance, ethics is an integral sentimental part of
human characteristics and the subjective portion of the starting points of any human
behavior process encompassing business.
Business ethics deals with the linkage between business goals and approaches to
speciﬁcally human ends (Tran, 2008). It denotes the special responsibilities which a
person and a citizen consents to when he becomes a part of the business world. Business
ethics is portrayed by Preuss (2008) as part of a “veritable explosion of concepts that aim
to explain what the proper role of business in society should be,” encompassing such
terms as corporate citizenship, CSR, triple bottom line and sustainability.
This paper looks at two types of ethics, ethics of care and ethics of justice, which tend
to contrast each other (Plot, 2009). Whereas Strike (2003) discerns in ethics of justice the
dualistic tension between beneﬁt maximization and esteem for individual rights, Begley
(2006) views ethics of justice as a foundation for deciding on the actual deeds that will
augment beneﬁts for all while respecting individual rights. Ethics of justice revolves
round such notions as rationality, rights and justice, while ethics of care is concerned
with consideration, sentiments and responsibility (Plot, 2009). Ethics of care tilted the
focus on ethics from individual rights to relational prerequisites (French and Weis, 2000).
That the identity of the self – who one is – is predicated on the caring relationships the
self has with others, serves as the basis for ethics of care (Lantos, 2002). Ethics of care is a
way to sustain the focus of the process on people rather than on policies (Begley, 2006).
Three crucial attributes differentiating ethics of care from ethics of justice, as
Tronto (1993, p. 79) observe, include: ﬁrst, ethics of care focuses on responsibility and
CSR types and
stakeholders ETHICAL CSR
relationships rather than rights and rules; second, it is embeded in speciﬁc
circumstances rather than being abstract, formal and universal; and third, it is best
expressed not as a, set of principles but as an activity, the “activity of care”.
Whereas ethics of justice is embedded in fairness – the equitable allocation of resources
and implementation of rules, ethics of care looks toward the dignity and intrinsic value of
each personand “desires to see that persons enjoy a fully human life” (Starratt, 2003,p. 145)
as well as “focuses on the demands of relationships, not from a contractual or legalistic
standpoint, but from a, standpoint of absolute regard” and “love” (Starratt, 2003, p. 145).
Ethics of care is categorized by Nell Noddings into two types of caring: “caring for”
and “caring about”. “Caring for” stands above “caring about” and denotes direct
encounters in which one person cares for another, whereas “caring about” refers to care
as a virtue and take us to a more public realm and may be foundation of justice
(Debeljak and Krkac, 2008).
3. Conceptual framework and research methodology
3.1 Conceptual framework
The ethical CSR dimension refers to ethical or moral standards and is predicated on
organizations’ voluntary deeds that beneﬁt society (Carroll, 1979). Ethics of care shifted
the focus on ethics from individual rights to relational prerequisites (French and Weis,
2000) or the caring relationships the self has with others (Lantos, 2002). Thus,
the encounter between ethical CSR and ethics of care is responsibility for and caring
relationships with a variety of stakeholders rather than the self. Given this stance, a
positive link between ethical CSR and ethics of care is anticipated to emerge:
H1a. A greater degree of ethical CSR corresponds to a greater level of ethics of care.
Ethics of justice centers on the demands of relationships, from a contractual or
legalistic stance, rather than from a, stance of absolute regard and love (Starratt, 2003,
p. 145), so ethics of justice tends to drive the organization and organisational members
to generate proﬁtability as well as observe legal framework (Carroll, 1979), which is in
line with the orientations of economic CSR and legal CSR. Before Vietnam opened its
doors, its society underwent quantitatively equal sharing of outcomes among members
notwithstanding their different contributions. Consequently, since its doors opened, the
notion of “justice” has tended to be oriented toward economic and legal fairness based
on members’ tangible and intangible contributions towards the value chain of an
organization or the entire society. Thus, the rendezvous between ethics of justice and
economic/legal CSR is expectedly prominent in the current setting of Vietnam.
The ensuing hypotheses are consequently proposed:
H1b. A greater degree of legal CSR corresponds to a greater level of ethics of
H1c. A greater degree of economic CSR corresponds to a greater level of ethics of
Ethical CSR sees organizational members’ behaviors in a more comprehensive fashion,
including economic outcomes as well as environmental concerns, so ethical CSR
presumably shape integrated ways in performance appraisal. The subsequent
hypothesis thus ensued:
H2a. A greater degree of ethical CSR corresponds to greater integratedness of
Legal CSR and economic CSR tend to examine the performance of organizational
members within the frameworks of policies and rules as well as ﬁnancial objectives.
Thus, legal CSR and ecomomic CSR may not advocate behaviors beyond these
frameworks, especially innovative deeds for internal processes as well as customer
values. Since new ethical dilemma tend to emerge, current laws, policies and rules of
the organization as well as the society, may not provide adequate guidelines for new
environmental and social issues, so legal CSR and economic CSR may not support the
implementation of non-ﬁnancial measures in any endeavour for performance
measurement integratedness as posited in the following hypotheses:
H2b. A greater degree of legal CSR corresponds to less integratedness of
H2c. A greater degree of economic CSR corresponds to less integratedness of
Ethics of care centers on caring relationships rather than rules (Tronto, 1993), so relates to
the concept of “integratedness” in performance measurement which appraises how an
organization, at different levels, excels in front of diverse stakeholders including customers
and community. Organizational members, who adhere to rules of economic calculation,
tend to aim at ﬁnancial targets and ignore caring relationships with other stakeholders.
By contrast, ethics of justice underscoring rules and policies (Tronto, 1993; Begley,
2006) and characterized by separation, autonomy and the predominance of individual
rights and self-interest in pursuing individual goals, tends to inhibit the innovative
implementation of non-ﬁnancial metrics which look beyond individual interests and
issues towards a variety of stakeholders as well as the triple bottome line. In the
aftermath of the central planning in Vietnamese society, ethics of justice with a focus on
laws and rules can cause organizational members to withdraw into their “shell” and just
watch others’ non-ﬁnancial contributions drifting into oblivion. The following
hypotheses were hence formulated:
H3a. A greater level of ethics of care corresponds to greater integratedness of
H3b. A greater level of ethics of justice corresponds to less integratedness of
Matsuno et al. (2002) found a positive link between market orientation and brand
performance at macro level, so performance measurement integratedness highlighting
customer dimension and market orientation is prone to augment brand performance.
Furthermore, the success of a brand is contingent on the organizational competence
to innovatively build unique ways of delivering superior value to customers
(O’Cass and Ngo, 2007b). This competence can be activated through an integrated
performance measurement system which nurtures innovation and learning.
Weerawardena et al.’s (2006) ﬁndings display that market focused learning and
internally focused learning impact innovation and that innovation impacts a brand’s
performance. The subsequent hypothesis consequently emerged:
H4. Brand performance is positively associated with performance measurement
The hypothesized linkage between brand performance and its such antecedents
as CSR, ethics and performance measurement integratedness is shown in Figure 2.
3.2.1 Sample. A population of 2,817 consumer goods manufacturing companies listed in
the 2010 Vietnam Trade Directory serves as a base to derive the sample of
1,452 manufacturing companies for this research. Through a, self-administered
structured questionnaire sent to a middle level manager such as operations director or
manager in each of these 1,452 manufacturing companies, data on such constructs as
brand performance, performance measurement integratedness, CSR and ethics were
collated. Middle management members were relied on as the respondents since they
would have more opportunities to observe high as well as low layers of organizational
behavior than lower level members would.
Of 1,452 questionnaires sent to middle level managers, 387 were returned in
completed form for a response rate of 26.65 percent, which is virtually consistent with
the 15-25 percent response rate range found in several studies (Baines and
Langﬁeld-Smith, 2003; Lee et al., 2001; Spanos and Lioukas, 2001) where middle and
top managers with hectic working schedules acted as informants.
3.2.2 Quantitative measures.
Brand performance. Brand market share and brand sales volume were utilized as
metrics of market performance of a brand. Keller and Lehmann’s (2003) “Brand Value
Chain” model underscored the link between the customer mindset and brand market
share. Brand market share and brand sales volume indicate the relative market share
and sales volume of a brand compared to other brands. Respondents were invited to
rate the market share, sales volume and overall brand performance of their brand on a,
seven-point Likert scale (1 – very poor, 7 – very good).
Ethics of justice
Ethics of care
Performance measurement integratedness. The instrument to measure performance
measurement integratedness was adapted from that used by Hoque and James (2000)
and Hoque et al. (2001) and based on the frameworks of Keegan et al. (1989), Fitzgerald
et al. (1991), Azzone et al. (1991), Lynch and Cross (1991), Kaplan and Norton (1996),
Brown (1996) and Neely et al. (2002). This instrument investigates the frequency of use
of 20 performance measures, encompassing both ﬁnancial and non-ﬁnancial measures,
ranging on a, seven-point Likert-type scale. A higher mean score indicates that the
company employs all of the measures to a greater extent, or reaches a greater
performance measurement integratedness.
Corporate social responsibility. A 22-item instrument adapted from Aupperle et al.
(1985) and Maignan (2001) was utilized to measure CSR dimensions. However, like
Podnar and Golob’s (2007) ﬁndings, the exploratory factor analysis revealed that a
three-factor rather than a four-factor solution was more stable. Therefore, ethical and
discretionary dimensions merge, reducing the factors extracted to economic, legal and
ethical CSRs. The three CSR dimensions then were: economic CSR which consists of
six items; legal CSR – ﬁve items; and ethical CSR – 11 items. The 22 statements of
the questionnaire were measured with a, seven-point Likert-type scoring system
applied to a, scale anchored by “strongly disagree” (1) to “strongly agree” (7).
Ethics of justice and care. Nine moral dilemmas containing the ﬁrst component of
the measure of moral orientation (Liddell et al., 1992; Liddell and Davis, 1996) were
employed to measure leader inclinations to ethics of justice and care. Each of the nine
dilemmas was pursued by six to nine potential responses, half of which denoted
the justice dimension and half of which denoted the care dimension. Respondents
were asked to study each dilemma and indicate on a four-point Likert scale
(1 – strongly agree, 4 – strongly disagree) how they consented to each of the potential
responses. Leaders were supposed to possess a propensity to justice when the mean
score across all dilemmas on responses reﬂected a justice orientation and possess a
propensity to care when the mean score across all dilemmas on responses reﬂected a
care orientation.). Adequate internal consistencies, 0.73 and 0.84 for the justice and care
scales, respectively, were found in Liddell et al.’s (1992) study.
With their Cronbach’
coefﬁcients exceeding the recommended cut-off point of
0.70 (Nunnally, 1967), the reliability of each construct and its speciﬁc dimensions was
4. Results and discussion
4.1 Results from ANOVAs
As the results from ANOVAs (Table I) show, ethics of care is more correlated with
ethical CSR ( p,0.01) than ethics of justice and ethics of justice is more correlated with
legal CSR and economic CSR than ethics of care ( p,0.05). The data, moreover,
denotes a greater degree of performance measurement integratedness for ethics of care
than for ethics of justice ( p,0.01).
4.2 Results from the structural equation model
The results from Table II show positive and signiﬁcant path coefﬁcients between:
.ethics of care and ethical CSR ( p,0.01);
.ethics of justice and legal CSR/economic CSR ( p,0.05);
.ethical CSR and performance measurement integratedness ( p,0.05);
.ethics of care and performance measurement integratedness ( p,0.01); and
.performance measurement integratedness and brand performance.
The positive and signiﬁcant relationship between ethical CSR and performance
measurement integratedness (0.171; p,0.05) veriﬁes H2a. A, signiﬁcant relationship
found in Table II between ethical CSR and ethics of care (0.168; p,0.01) corroborates
H1a. Ethics of care is a way to sustain the focus of the process on people rather than on
policies (Begley, 2006) and “desires to see that persons enjoy a fully human life” (Starratt,
2003, p. 145). Ethics of care, thus, elevate organizational members to the responsibility
for optimization of beneﬁts for a great number of stakeholders, beyond the respon sibility
to observe laws, policies and rules of the organization as well as the community where it
is located and beyond the responsibility to yield productivity and proﬁtability. Put
another way, ethics of care is prone to nurture ethical CSR since ethics of care guides
organizational members along the long-term strategy to build sense of care and
dedication toward sustainable growth of the organization, rather than sense of exchange
or calculation in the relationship with other individuals as well as the organization as an
Hypothesis Description of path
H1a Ethics of care/ethics of justice !ethical CSR 0.168 3.46 *** Supported
H1b Ethics of care/ethics of justice !legal CSR 0.144 2.29 ** Supported
H1c Ethics of care/ethics of justice !economic CSR 0.138 2.08 ** Supported
H2a Ethical CSR !performance measurement
0.171 2.08 ** Supported
H2b Legal CSR !performance measurement
0.159 1.24 Not
H2c Economic CSR !performance measurement
0.151 1.31 Not
H3 Ethics of care/ethics of justice !performance
0.133 3.56 *** Supported
H4 Performance measurement integratedness !brand
0.136 3.37 *** Supported
Note: Signiﬁcant at: *p,0.10, **
p,0.05 and ***
Results from the
structural equation model
measurement integratedness Ethics of care Ethics of justice FSigniﬁcance
Ethical CSR 5.71 (0.84) 5.28 (1.01) 5.77 0.00
Legal CSR 4.48 (1.02) 4.71 (0.89) 5.15 0.01
Economic CSR 5.37 (0.82) 5.62 (1.05) 4.07 0.03
Performance measurement integratedness 4.64 (0.67) 4.31 (0.72) 9.65 0.00
Notes: The mean scores are displayed for CSR dimensions and performance measurement
integratedness; standard deviations are displayed in brackets
Results from ANOVAs
Besides, the bridge of ethical CSR through which ethics of care is correlated with
higher degree of performance measurement integratedness, ethics of care was found to
directly and signiﬁcantly go hand in hand with higher degree of performance
measurement integratedness from the ﬁndings of the structural equation model (0.133;
p,0.01). Integrated performance measurement system such as BSC commenced to
penetrate few foreign-invested companies in Vietnam over ten years ago. However, in
recent years, there has been a growing trend in companies of different ownership to
adopt as well as work with consulting ﬁrms on the adoption of integrated performance
metrics with focus on customer and societal/environmental dimensions after the event
that consumers in Ho Chi Minh City of Vietnam demonstrated their consumer social
responsibility by boycotting all the products of factories which released toxic waste
into rivers or which launched a product of harmful level of a chemical substance. The
readiness of numerous companies for the integration of societal/environmental
dimension into their performance appraisal system results from the still
Confucian-style education in Vietnam which underscored the human world in terms
of members’ moral obligation to the community (Le, 1995).
H2b and H2c were conﬁrmed due to no lucid link found between legal CSR/economic
CSR and performance measurement integratedness. The data from the ANOVA and the
structural equation model denote that ethics of justice is more correlated with legal CSR
and economic CSR than ethics of care, which corroborates H1b and H1c. Ethics of justice
refers to fairness in a calculative manner, implying the fair exchange between
legal/economic commitment and individual interests. Calculative fairness tends to
cultivate organizational members’ legal/economic commitment to their organization, but
is not a, strong drive for sense of belonging. Calculative fairness remains strictly seen as
individualistic in Vietnamese culture where collectivism amongst the Vietnamese, as Do
and Phan (2002) found, still prevails over individualism. A company, which merely
“observes” Vietnam standards on health, safety, or environment even though it knows
these are low standards compared with international ones, is still seen by consumers as
well as other stakeholders as individualistic and lacking ethical CSR when they realize
that the company is harming consumers’ health or the environment.
H4 which posits the correspondence between performance measurement
integratedness and brand performance is supported by the result (0.136; p,0.01).
Integrated performance measurement system appraise not merely internal
perspectives of performance but external perspectives of performance as well. As an
external perspective of performance, market orientation yields higher brand
performance (O’Cass and Ngo, 2007b). Moreover, aligning internal and external
perspectives is a prerequisite of superior corporate brand performance (Brown et al.,
2006; Schultz, 2005), so performance measurement integratedness which align internal
and external dimensions of performance tends to cultivate high brand performance.
With the inﬁltration of Confucianism into and its still robust dissemination in Vietnam
culture, companies with internal stakeholder orientation are not likely to gain as high
velocity and high intensity of the spread of brand image as those with external
stakeholder orientation and care for community. Thus, a company’s integrated
performance measurement system which highlights the orientation towards external
stakeholders or ethical CSR, will linger its corporate brand and product brands in the
cognitive association of customers, which may in turn act as new ambassadors for its
corporate brand and product brands in the market.
5. Concluding comments
The hypothesized framework shown in Figure 2 was passably supported by the
ﬁndings. Legal CSR and economic CSR, within expectation, were associated with ethics
of justice. On the other hand, ethics of care tended to cultivate ethical CSR, which in
turn positively inﬂuenced the performance measurement integratedness. A direct
bridge between ethics of care and performance measurement integratedness was
discerned as well. Performance measurement integratedness was also found to
inﬂuence brand performance.
As these ﬁndings suggest, to optimize brand performance, non-ﬁnancial measures
should be incorporated into an organisational performance measurement system. The
implementation of integrated performance measures can be further facilitated if it is
germinated in the settings of such values as ethical and caring relationships. Such
values may take time to grow, but are not hard to grow, as, though partly unconscious
and historically based, values can be learned (Williams, 1995, cited in Holbeche, 2006,
p. 175). Moreover, purely via planning of ethics can organizational ethical behaviour be
attained. For effective adoption of the plan of ethics of care, the plan should be
internalized by all organizational stakeholders (Belak et al., 2010).
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which respondents may overstate the performance of their brand (Noble et al., 2002).
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About the author
Luu Trong Tuan is currently a Business Administration (BA) teacher at University of
Finance-Marketing, Ho Chi Minh City. He received his Master’s degree from Victoria University,
Australia in 2004. His research interest includes organisational behaviour, performance
management, and business ethics. Luu Trong Tuan can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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