Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 70, Issue 2, pp 125–140

A Framework for Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility Programs as a Continuum: An Exploratory Study


    • Department of MarketingVillanova University
  • Shruti Gupta
    • The Pennsylvania State University
  • Stacy Landreth Grau
    • Texas Christian University

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-006-9100-y

Cite this article as:
Pirsch, J., Gupta, S. & Grau, S.L. J Bus Ethics (2007) 70: 125. doi:10.1007/s10551-006-9100-y


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs are increasingly popular corporate marketing strategies. This paper argues that CSR programs can fall along a continuum between two endpoints: Institutionalized programs and Promotional programs. This classification is based on an exploratory study examining the variance of four responses from the consumer stakeholder group toward these two categories of CSR. Institutionalized CSR programs are argued to be most effective at increasing customer loyalty, enhancing attitude toward the company, and decreasing consumer skepticism. Promotional CSR programs are argued to be more effective at generating purchase intent. Ethical and managerial implications of these preliminary findings are discussed.


Corporate social responsibilitycause-related marketingcustomer loyaltysatisfactionstakeholder theoryskepticism
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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006