CSR and facets of value creation: the role of key moderators

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University of Alabama Libraries

The value corporate social responsibility (CSR) creates for consumers still remains unexplored although its importance has been demonstrated in several contexts including pricing (Chang and Wildt 1994), retailing (Baker, Parasuraman, Grewal, and Voss 2002), and across cultures (Xiao and Kim 2009). Monroe (2003) argues that consumers would be willing to pay a higher price when they perceive a substantial value associated with making a purchase. In order to resolve many of the inconsistent findings in the CSR literature, such as the inconsistencies of CSR's ability to influence attitude (Sen, Bhattacharya, and Korschun 2006; Webb and Mohr 1998) and purchase intent (Mohr and Webb 2005; Trudel and Cotte 2009), it is necessary to explore which facets of perceived value consumers derive from CSR. However, without knowing what type of perceived value consumers gain from CSR, researchers and managers lack the information they need to understand why consumers are willing (or not willing) to pay a higher price in the context of CSR. The value created by CSR depends on the type of CSR activity that the company engages in (Peloza and Shang 2011). This study utilized cause-related marketing (CrM) as a type of CSR and proposed that it will influence consumers' values. Specifically, the value consumers derive from CrM will be moderated by perceptual and attitudinal factors. The perceptual factors examined in this study include the company's reputation, the authenticity of the CSR action, and the consumer's perceived personal role. The attitudinal factors included in the study are cynicism, moral disengagement, and consumer alienation. Two experiments were conducted, and the results show that an authentic CSR image accompanied with CrM influences consumers' esteem and spiritual values. This study also finds that consumer values of esteem and spirituality create favorable consumer responses. Finally, the consumer's perception that he or she has a personal role in impacting a cause enhances the value derived from CrM.

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