The Missing Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility and Consumer Trust: The Case of Fair Trade Products
- 8.4k Downloads
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.
Keywordsconsumer behavior Corporate Social Responsibility Fair Trade retail structural equation models trust
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Bagozzi R. P., H. Baumgartner 1994. The Evaluation of Structural Equation Models and Hypothesis Testing, in R. P. Bagozzi (ed.), Principles of Marketing Research (Blackwell, Cambridge, MA), pp. 386–422Google Scholar
- Barber B. 1983 The Logic and Limits of Trust. Rutgers University Press, New Brunswick, NJGoogle Scholar
- Barbetta, G. P. 2006 ‹Il commercio equo e solidale in Italia’, Working paper n. 3, CRC – Università Cattolica, Milan, Italy.Google Scholar
- Barnett M. L. 2007 Stakeholder Influence Capacity and the Variability of Financial Returns to Corporate Social Responsibility. Academy of Management Review 32(3), 794–816Google Scholar
- Bhattacharya C. B., S. Sen 2004 Doing Better at Doing Good: When, Why, and How Consumers Respond to Corporate Social Initiatives. California Management Review 47(1), 9–24Google Scholar
- Bowen H. R. 1953 Social Responsibilities of the Businessman. Harper and Brothers, New York, NYGoogle Scholar
- Browne M. W., R. Cudeck 1993 Alternative Ways of Assessing Model Fit, in K. A. Bollen, J. S. Long (eds.), Testing Structural Equation Models (Sage, Newbury Park, CA), pp. 136–162Google Scholar
- Byrne B. M. 1998 Structural Equation Modeling with Lisrel, Prelis, and Simplis. Erlbaum, Mahwah, NJGoogle Scholar
- Castaldo, S.: 2007, Trust in Market Relationships (Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, UK).Google Scholar
- Castaldo, S. and F. Perrini: 2004, ‹Corporate Social Responsibility, Trust Management, and Value Creation’, presented at EGOS 2004 “Trust in Hybrids”, Ljubljana, Slovenia.Google Scholar
- Commission of the European Communities: 2001, Green Paper ‹Promoting a European Framework for Corporate Social Responsibility’, COM (2001) 366 final, Brussels, Belgium.Google Scholar
- Commission of the European Communities: 2007, Opportunity and Responsibility. How to Help More Small Businesses to Integrate Social and Environmental Issues into What they do (Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, Belgium).Google Scholar
- Coop: 2005, ‹Prospettive per il Commercio Equo e Solidale in Italia e in Europa’, Coop Meeting, Genoa, Italy.Google Scholar
- EFTA (European Fair Trade Association): 2002, EFTA Yearbook: Challenges of Fair Trade 2001–2003 (EFTA, Maastricht, Netherlands), http://www.european-fair-trade-association.org/Efta/Doc/yb01-en.pdf.
- EFTA (European Fair Trade Association): 2007, Annual Report 2006, http://www.eftafairtrade.org.
- FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International): 2007, Shaping Global Partnerships. Annual Report 2006/2007, http://www.fairtrade.net.
- Freeman R. E. 1984 Strategic Management: A Stakeholder Approach. Pitman, Boston, MAGoogle Scholar
- Gebben C., M. Gitsham 2007 Food Labeling: Understanding Consumer Attitudes and Behaviour. Ashridge Business School, Berkhamsted, UKGoogle Scholar
- Harford T. 2005 The Undercover Economist. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UKGoogle Scholar
- Hyscox, M. J. and N. F. B. Smyth: 2007, ‹Is There Consumer Demand for Improved Labor Standards? Evidence from Field Experiments in Social Product Labeling’, Working paper, Department of Government, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
- Joreskog K. G, D. Sorbom 1993 Structural Equation Modeling with the SIMPLIS Command Language. Scientific Software International, Chicago, ILGoogle Scholar
- Joreskog K. G, D. Sorbom 2002 LISREL 8: Structural Equation Modeling with the SIMPLIS Command Language, 5th printing. Scientific Software International, Lincolnwood, ILGoogle Scholar
- Oliver, R. L.: 1999, ‹Whence Consumer Loyalty’, Journal of Marketing, Special Issue, 33–44Google Scholar
- Perrini F., S. Pogutz, A. Tencati 2006, Developing Corporate Social Responsibility. A European Perspective. Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, Cheltenham, UKGoogle Scholar
- Porter M. E., M. R. Kramer 2006, Strategy & Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility. Harvard Business Review 84(12), 78–92Google Scholar
- Potts, N. J.: 2004, Fairness with your Coffee? (Ludwig von Mises Institute, Auburn, AL), http://www.mises.org/.
- Rubbens, C. and C. Wessels: 2004, ‹The Business Case for CSR: In What Way does CSR Contribute to Competitiveness?’, E-discussion, The World Bank, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
- Schoorman F. D., R. C. Mayer, J. H. Davis 2007, An Integrative Model of Organizational Trust: Past, Present, and Future. Academy of Management Review 32(2), 344–354Google Scholar
- Sellers, F. S.: 2005, ‹Gift-Wrapped Guilt?’, Washington Post, December 18, B01.Google Scholar
- Smith N. C. 2003, Corporate Social Responsibility: Whether or How? California Management Review 45(4), 52–76Google Scholar
- Tencati A.: 2002, Managing Sustainability, in L. Zsolnai (ed.), Ethics in the Economy. Handbook of Business Ethics (Peter Lang Academic Publisher, Oxford and Bern), pp. 187–209Google Scholar
- Weber J. 2007, Fair Trade Coffee Enthusiasts Should Confront Reality. Cato Journal 27(1), 109–117Google Scholar
- Zadek, S., S. Lingayah and M. Forstater: 1998, Social Labels: Tools for Ethical Trade, Final Report (Commission of the European Communities, Brussels, Belgium).Google Scholar