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


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

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie Pirsch
    • 1
  • Shruti Gupta
    • 2
  • Stacy Landreth Grau
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of MarketingVillanova UniversityVillanovaUSA
  2. 2.The Pennsylvania State UniversityAbingtonUSA
  3. 3.Texas Christian UniversityFt. WorthUSA