Cross-cultural differences and their effects on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) perceptions and expectations may be a source of risks and opportunities for managers of multinational or international companies. Moving from this assumption, this paper focuses on the relatively underdeveloped topic of CSR in Eastern European, post- Communist countries, with the aim to compare how CSR is perceived and affect consumers’ behaviours in Albania (EU candidate only in March 2020) compared to Germany and Italy. Through an empirical study of CSR perceptions of Albanian master degree students in comparison with their German and Italian colleagues, we found, first, that Albanian students share with their Western counterparts a perception of firm duties encompassing the economic, legal, environmental, and voluntariness dimensions; second, that for Albanian students a firm behaves in a socially responsible manner to the extent it acts responsibly toward the environment and achieves economic success; third, that they have stronger expectations in terms of CSR and more positive attitudes toward responsible buying than Western European students. Overall, our study suggests that cultural differences affect CSR perceptions and expectations, which, in turn, influence the purchasing behaviours. Thus, from a cross-cultural management perspective, managers need to be aware of these differences, assess their potential impact on stakeholders’ behaviours and attitudes toward a firm, identify risks and opportunities, and finally decide their strategic responses.
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