Firm-Determined or Consumer-Determined Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)? Examining the Effects of Choice-of-Cause in Cause-Related Marketing

Weiting Tao, Yi Grace Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

As a widely practiced form of corporate social responsibility (CSR), cause-related marketing (CRM) programs have been considered effective in generating reputational, relational, and financial returns for companies. This study examines a new form of CRM: choice-of-cause programs, in which companies empower consumers to determine which social causes to support. Based on self-determination theory, reputation management literature, and CSR research, this study proposes a conceptual framework that theorizes the effectiveness of the choice program, mapping out consumers’ psychological experiences and consequential attitudinal and behavioral intention responses toward companies and their nonprofit partners. Results of an online experiment offer partial support to the framework. They showed the relative advantage of the choice program over traditional cause-without-choice practice and highlighted the importance of creating an autonomy-supportive CSR program environment where consumers can exercise self-determination. Furthermore, results demonstrated the crucial role of corporate reputation in influencing consumer responses in CSR programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalInternational Journal of Business Communication
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • cause-related marketing
  • choice of cause
  • corporate reputation
  • corporate social responsibility
  • self-determination theory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)

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