Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 80, Issue 3, pp 597–611 | Cite as

Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility and Product Perceptions in Consumer Markets: A Cross-cultural Evaluation

  • Jaywant SinghEmail author
  • Maria del Mar Garcia de los Salmones Sanchez
  • Igancio Rodriguez del Bosque


The concept of corporate social responsibility is becoming integral to effective corporate brand management. This study adopts a multidimensional and cross-country perspective of the concept and analyses consumer perceptions of behaviour of four leading consumer products manufacturers. Data was collected from consumers in two countries – Spain and the UK. The study analyses consumers’ degree of interest in corporate responsibility and its impact on their perception about the company. The findings here suggest a weak impact of company-specific communication on consumers’ perception. The implications of this study are relevant to companies for strengthening their social responsibility associations with the consumers.


Corporate Social Responsibility consumer perceptions corporate communication product evaluations 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ahmed M., Chung K., J. Eichenseher: 2003, ‹Business Students’ Perception of Ethics and Moral Judgment: A Cross Cultural Study’, Journal of Business Ethics 43, 89–102CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Al-Khatib J., S. J. Vitell, M. Y. A. Rawwas: 1997 Consumer Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Investigation. European Journal of Marketing 31(11/12):750–767CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Anderson C. H.: 1986, ‹Hierarchical Moderated Regression Analysis: A Useful Tool for Retail Management Decisions’, Journal of Retailing 62(2), 186–203Google Scholar
  4. Anderson J. C., D. W. Gerbing: 1988, ‹Structural Equation Modelling in Practice: A Review and Recommended Two-Step Approach’, Psychological Bulletin 103(3), 453–460CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Andreassen T., B. Lindestad: 1998, ‹Customer Loyalty and Complex Services’, International Journal of Service Industry Management 9(1), 7–23CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Arbuthnot J.: 1977, ‹The Roles of Attitudinal and Personality Variables in the Prediction of Environment Behaviour and Knowledge’, Environment and Behaviour 9(2), 217–232CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Arlow P.: 1991, ‹Personal Characteristics in College Students: Evaluations of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility’, Journal of Business Ethics 10, 63–69CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Aupperle K. E., A. B. Carroll, J. D. Hatfield: 1985, ‹An Empirical Examination of the Relationship Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Profitability’, Academy of Management Journal 28(2), 446–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Aydin S., G. Ozer, O. Arasil: 2005, ‹Customer Loyalty and the effect of switching costs as a moderator variable: A case in the Turkish mobile phone market’, Marketing Intelligence & Planning 23, 89–103CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Babakus E., B. Cornwell, V. Mitchell, B. Schlegelmilch: 1994 Reactions to unethical consumer behavior across six countries. Journal of Consumer Marketing 21(4):254–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Babakus E., T. Cornwell, V. Mitchell, B. Schlegelmilch: 2004, ‹Reactions to Unethical Consumer Behaviour Across Six Countries’, Journal of Consumer marketing 21(4), 254–263CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bacon T.: 2004, ‹You Are How You Behave: Customer Can’t Be Fooled’, Journal of Business Strategy 25(4), 35–40CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bagozzi R. P., Y. Yi: 1988, ‹On the Evaluation of Structural Equation Models’, Journal of the Academy of Management Science 16(1), 74–94CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Balmer J. M. T.: 1995, ‹Corporate Branding and Connoisseurship’, Journal of General Management 21(1), 24–47Google Scholar
  15. Barich H., P. Kotler: 1991, ‹A Framework for Marketing Image Management’, Sloan Management Review Winter, 32(2), 94–109Google Scholar
  16. Barich H., V. Srinivasan: 1993, ‹Prioritizing Marketing Image Goals Under Resource Constraints’, Sloan Management Review Summer, 34(4), 69–76Google Scholar
  17. Barnard N. R., A. S. C. Ehrenberg: 1990, ‹Robust Measures of Consumer Brand Beliefs’, Journal of Marketing Research 27(4), 477–484CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Barwise T. P., A. S. C. Ehrenberg: 1985, ‹Consumer Beliefs and Brand Usage’, Journal of the Market Research Society 27(2), 81–93Google Scholar
  19. Bigne, E., R. Chumpitaz, L. Andreu and V. Swaen: 2005, ‹Percepción de la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa: Un Análisis Cross-Cultural’, Primer Trimestre, 14–27Google Scholar
  20. Beggs J., M. Lane: 1989, ‹Corporate Goal Structures and Business Students: A Comparative Study of Values’, Journal of Business Ethics 8(6), 471–478CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Bentler P. M.: 1995, EQS Structural Equations Program Manual, Multivariate Software Inc. Encino, CAGoogle Scholar
  22. Berens G., C. Van Riel, G. Van Bruggen: 2005, ‹Corporate Associations and Consumer Product Responses: The Moderating Role of Corporate Brand Dominance’, Journal of Marketing, 69, 35–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Bloemer J., K. De Ruyter: 1998, ‹On the Relationship Between Store Image, Store Satisfaction and Store Loyalty’, European Journal of Marketing, 32(5/6), 499–513CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Bobko P., C. J. Russell: 1994, ‹On Theory, Statistics and the Search for Interactions in the Organizational Sciences’, Journal of Management 20(1), 193–200CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Bohata M.: 1997, ‹Business Ethics in Central and Eastern Europe with Special Focus on the Czech Republic’, Journal of Business Ethics 16(14), 537–400CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Boulstridge E., M. Carrigan: 2000, ‹Do Consumers Really Care About Corporate Responsibility? Highlighting the Attitude Behaviour Gap’, Journal of Communication Management 4(4), 355–368CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Brown, T. J., P. A. Dacin: 1997, ‹The Company and the Product: Corporate Associations and Consumer Product Responses’, Journal of Marketing 61(1), 68–84Google Scholar
  28. Burtin B., Farh J., H. Hegarty: 2000, ‹A Cross Cultural Comparison of Corporate Social Responsibility Orientation: Hong Kong Vs United States Students’, Teaching Business Ethics 4, 151–167CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Carroll A. B.: 1979, ‹A Three Dimensional Conceptual Model of Corporate Social Performance’, Academy of Management Review 4, 497–505CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Carroll, A. B.: 1991, ‹Corporate Social Performance Measurement: A Comment on Methods for Evaluating an Elusive Construct’, in L.E. Post (ed.), Research in Corporate Social Performance and Policy 12, 385–401 Google Scholar
  31. Caruana A.: 1997, ‹Corporate Reputation: Concept and Measurement’, Journal of Product & Brand Management 6(2), 109–118CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Clarkson M. B.: 1995, ‹A Stakeholder Framework for Analyzing and Evaluating Corporate Social Performance’, Academy of Management Review 20(1), 92–117CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. De Ruyter K., M. Wetzels, J. Bloemer: 1998, ‹On the Relationship Between Perceived Service Quality, Service Loyalty and Switching Costs’, International Journal of Service Industry Management 9(5), 436–453CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. De La Cuesta M., C. Valor: 2003, ‹Responsabilidad Social de la Empresa. Concepto, Medición y Desarrollo en España’, Boletín Económico del ICE 2813, 45–58Google Scholar
  35. Donaldson T., L. E. Preston: 1995, ‹The Stakeholder Theory of the Corporation: Concepts, Evidence and Implications’, Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65–91CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Esrock S., G. Leichty: 1998, ‹Social Responsibility and Corporate Web Pages: Self Presentation or Agenda Setting?’, Public Relations Review, 24(3), 305–319CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Fombrun C.: 1996, Reputation: Realizing Value from the Corporate Image. Boston: MAGoogle Scholar
  38. Fombrun C., M. Shanley, 1990: ‹What’s in a Name? Reputation Building and Corporate Strategy’, Academy of Management Journal 33, 233–258CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Forética: 2006, Evolución de la Responsabilidad Social de las Empresas en España ( Scholar
  40. Frederick W.: 1994, ‹From CSR1 to CSR2: The Maturing of Business and Society Thought’, Business and Society August, 33(2), 150–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Friedman M.: 1962, Capitalism and Freedom. Chicago, University of Chicago PressGoogle Scholar
  42. Fundación Ecología y Desarrollo: 2004, Responsabilidad Social Corporativa y Políticas Públicas ( Scholar
  43. Garcia De Los Salmones M. M., A. Herrero, I. Rodriguez del Bosque: 2005, ‹Influence Of Corporate Social Responsibility On Loyalty And Valuation Of Services’, Journal of Business Ethics 61(4), 369–385CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Graafland J., S. C. W. Eiffinger, H. Smid: 2004, ‹Benchmarking of Social Corporate Responsibility: Methodological Problems and Robustness’, Journal of Business Ethics 53, 137–152CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Gray R., R. Kouhy, S. Lavers: 1995 Corporate Social and Environmental Reporting: A Review of the Liternature and a Longitudinal Study of UK Disclosure. Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal 8(2):47–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Grünham L.: 1997, ‹Attitudes of Future Managers Towards Business Ethics: A Comparison of Finnish and American Business Students’, Journal of Business Ethics 16(4), 451–463CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Hair, J. Jr., R. Anderson, R. Tatham and W. Black: 1999, Multivariate Analysis, editorial, Prentice HallGoogle Scholar
  48. Handelman J., S. Arnold: 1999, ‹The Role of Marketing Actions with a Social Dimension: Appeals to the Institutional Environment”, Journal of Marketing 63, 33–48CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Hofstede G. 1983, ‹National Cultures in Four Dimensions: A Research Based Theory of Cultural Differences among nations’, International Studies of Management & Organization Spring/Summer, 13, 46–47Google Scholar
  50. Keller K. L.: 1993, ‹Conceptualizing, Measuring and Managing Customer Based Brand Equity’, Journal of Marketing 57(1), 1–22CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Lafferty B., Goldsmith: 1999, ‹Corporate Credibility’s Role in Consumers’ Attitudes and Purchase Intentions when a High Versus a Low Credibility Endorser is Used in the Ad’, Journal of Business Research 44(2), 141–159CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Lance C. E.: 1988, ‹Residual Centering, Exploratory and Confirmatory Moderator Analysis and Decomposition of Effects in Path Models Containing Interactions’, Applied Psychology Measurement 12(2), 163–175CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Lewin A., T. Sakano, C. Stevens, B. Victor: 1995, ‹Corporate Citizenship in Japan: Survey from Japanese Firms’, Journal of Business Ethics 14(2), 83–101CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Lysonski S., W. Gaidis: 1991, ‹A Cross Cultural Comparison of the Ethics of Business Students’, Journal of Business Ethics 10(2), 141–150CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Maignan I.: 2001, ‹Consumer Perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility: A Cross Cultural Comparison’, Journal of Business Ethics 30(1), 57–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Maignan I., O. C. Ferrell: 2001, ‹Corporate Citizen as a marketing Instrument – Concepts, Evidence and Research Directions’, European Journal of Marketing 35(3/4), 457CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Maignan I., O. C. Ferrell: 2004, ‹Corporate Social Responsibility and Marketing: An Integrative Framework’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 32(1), 3–19CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Maignan I., O. C. Ferrell, G. T. Hult: 1999, ‹Corporate Citizenship: Cultural Antecedents and Business Benefits’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 27(4), 455–469CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Marckwill N., C. Fill: 1997, ‹Towards a Framework for Managing Corporate Identity’, European Journal of Marketing 31(5/6), 396–409CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Mcguire J. B.: 1963, Business and Society. McGraw Hill, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  61. Miesing P., J. Preble: 1985, ‹A Comparison of Five Business Philosophies’, Journal of Business Ethics 4(6), 465–476CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Micheals R., A. Dixon: 1994, ‹Sellers and Buyers on the Boundary : Potential Moderators of Role Stress-Job Outcome Relationships’, The Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 22(1), 62–73CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Mitchell A. A., P. A. Dacin: 1996, ‹The assessment of alternative measures of consumer Expertise’, Journal of Consumer Research 23(3), 219–239CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Mohr L., D. Webb, K. Harris: 2001, ‹Do Consumers Expect Companies to be Socially Responsible? The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Buying Behaviour’, The Journal of Consumer Affair 35(1), 45–72CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Mohr L., D. Webb: 2005 The Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility and Price on Consumer Responses. The Journal of Consumer Affairs 39(1):121–147CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Park C., L. Feick, D. Mothersbaugh: 1992, ‹Consumer Knowledge Assessment: How Product Experience and Knowledge of Brands, Attributes and Features Affects What We Think’, Advances in Consumer Research 19, 193–198Google Scholar
  67. Polonsky M., P. Brito, J. Pinto, N. Higgs Kleyn: 2001, ‹Consumer Ethics in the European Union: A Comparison of Northern and Southern Views’, Journal of Business Ethics 31(2), 117–130CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Quazi A., D. O’Brien: 2000, ‹An Empirical Test of a Cross National Model of Corporate Social Responsibility’, Journal of Business Ethics 25(1), 33–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Rawwas M., J. Vitell, A. Al Khatib: 1994, ‹Consumer Ethics: The Possible Effects to Terrorism and Civil Unrest on Ethical Values of Consumers’, Journal of Business Ethics 13(9), 223–231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Rawwas M.: 2001, ‹Culture, Personality and Morality: A Typology of International Consumers’ Ethical Beliefs’, International Marketing Review 18(2), 181–211CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Rawwas M., S. Ziad, O. Mine: 2005, ‹Consumer Ethics: A Cross-Cultural Study of the Ethical Beliefs of Turkish and American Consumers’, Journal of Business Ethics 57(2), 183CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Robin D., E. Reidenbach: 1987, ‹Social Responsibility, Ethics and Marketing Strategy: Closing the Gap Between Concept and Application’, Journal of Marketing 51(1), 44–58CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Rossouw G.: 1994: ‹Business Ethics in Developing Countries’, Business Ethics Quaterly 4(1), 43–51CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Rust R., V. Zeithaml, K. Lemmon: 2000, Driving Customer Equity. The Free Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  75. Selnes F.: 1993, ‹An Examination of the Effect of Product Performance on Brand Reputation, Satisfaction and Loyalty’, European Journal of Marketing 27(9), 19–35CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Sen S., C. B. Bhattacharya: 2001, ‹Does Doing Good Always Lead to Doing Better? Consumer Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility’, Journal of Marketing Research May, 38(2), 225–243CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Schröder M., M. McEachern: 2005, ‹Fast Foods and Ethical Consumer Value: A Focus on McDonald’s and KFC’, British Food Journal 107(4), 212–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Sharma S., R. M. Durand, O. Gur-Arie: 1981, ‹Identification and Analysis of Moderator Variables’, Journal of Marketing Research 18(3), 291–300Google Scholar
  79. Soderlund M.: 2002, ‹Customer Familiarity and Its Effects on Satisfaction and Behavioural Intentions’, Psychology & Marketing October 19(10), 861–883CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. Steenkamp J. B., H. Van Trijp: 1991, ‹The Use of LISREL in Validating Marketing Constructs’, International Journal of Research in Marketing 8, 283–299CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Swaen V., J. Vanhamme: 2005, ‹The Use of Corporate Social Responsibility Arguments in Communication Campaigns: Does Source Credibility Matter?’, Advances in Consumer Research 32(1), 302–303Google Scholar
  82. Van Liere K. D., Dunlap, R.: 1980, ‹The Social Bases of Environment Concern: A Review of Hypothesis, Explanations and Empirical Evidence’, Public Opinion Quarterly 4, 181–197CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  83. Vitell S., J. Paolillo: 2004, ‹A Cross Cultural Study of the Antecedents of the Perceived Role of Ethics and Social Responsibility’, Business Ethics: A European Review 13, 185–199CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  84. Vitell S., E. Ramos: 2006, ‹The Impact of Corporate Ethical Values and Enforcement of Ethical Codes on the Perceived Importance of Ethics in Business: A Comparison of US and Spanish Managers’, Journal of Business Ethics 64(1), 31–43CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jaywant Singh
    • 1
    Email author
  • Maria del Mar Garcia de los Salmones Sanchez
    • 2
  • Igancio Rodriguez del Bosque
    • 2
  1. 1.Kingston Business SchoolKingston UnversityKingstonUK
  2. 2.Business Administration and Economic FacultyUniversity of CantabriaSantanderSpain

Personalised recommendations