Article

Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 84, Issue 1, pp 1-15

The Missing Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Trust: The Case of Fair Trade Products

  • Sandro CastaldoAffiliated withDepartment of Management/CSR Unit, Institute of Marketing, Bocconi University Email author 
  • , Francesco PerriniAffiliated withDepartment of Management/CSR Unit, Institute of Strategy, Bocconi University
  • , Nicola MisaniAffiliated withDepartment of Management/CSR Unit, Institute of Strategy, Bocconi University
  • , Antonio TencatiAffiliated withDepartment of Management/CSR Unit, Institute of Technology and Innovation Management, Bocconi University

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Abstract

This paper investigates the link between the consumer perception that a company is socially oriented and the consumer intention to buy products marketed by that company. We suggest that this link exists when at least two conditions prevail: (1) the products sold by that company comply with ethical and social requirements; (2) the company has an acknowledged commitment to protect consumer rights and interests. To test these hypotheses, we conducted a survey among the clients of retail chains offering Fair Trade products. The results show that socially oriented companies can successfully leverage their reputation to market products with high symbolic values.

Keywords

consumer behavior Corporate Social Responsibility Fair Trade retail structural equation models trust