An examination of the formation of consumer CSR association: the effectiveness of CSR initiatives [thesis]

Haodong Gu
Corporate Social Responsibility is becoming a central agenda item for companies as well as capturing the burgeoning interest of academic researchers. Taking a broad overview of the recent working in this area, only embryonic research has been dedicated thus far to the consumer cognition process towards the CSR information. Motivated by this, we construct a cognitive model to investigate why some CSR initiatives are highly valued by consumers while others go unacknowledged. We test the model
more » ... r experimental conditions using university students in China and Australia. The results suggest that different types of CSR initiatives, in terms of commitment, timing and fit, stimulate different levels of consumer CSR association by affecting their information cognition process, which is motivation attribution and consequence expectation. The mediating effect of consumer attribution and awareness of consequence is supported in both the hypothetical brand context and real brand context, with some slight difference in cognitive structure possibly due to the unequal familiarity and size of the companies used in the scenarios. In addition, the effect of consumer moral identity on the model is also examined to address the growing concern in the literature that moral judgment should reflect the heterogeneity of moral personalities. The results indicate that moral identity has a # direct impact on consumer attribution and awareness of consequence. However, the interaction between respondents' moral identity and the properties of initiatives, as hypothesized in the thesis, is not supported by the data. This paper launches a new perspective of explanation for the under-performance of some CSR initiatives, offering managerial implications on how companies can structure their next wave of social-oriented initiatives (or initiative portfolios).
doi:10.26190/unsworks/14159 fatcat:74oc52v42zbijbh723klupw4je