Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 97, Issue 4, pp 581–597 | Cite as

Longitudinal Effects of Corporate Social Responsibility on Customer Relationships

Article

Abstract

Despite the emergence of corporate social responsibility, the impact of CSR efforts on customer relationships remains decidedly unclear. Moreover, previous studies have examined CSR in cross-sectional, experimental, and/or artificial settings. Through field survey data collected at both the beginning (n = 750) and conclusion (n = 469) of the 2007–2008 NBA season, the authors investigate linkages between customers’ perceptions of the CSR performance of an NBA team and the strength of their relationship with this same organization. With all respondents of the latter survey participating in both samples, the authors assess how CSR performance impacts customer relationships over time. The findings show how a firm that engages in CSR initiatives may reap rewards by building trusting and committed customer relationships which, in turn, help forge desirable customer behaviors. The results also demonstrate how CSR’s influence strengthens over the course of the tested business cycle, thus yielding revealing insights to academics and practitioners when it comes to understanding the real-world impact of CSR performance for strengthening customer relationships.

Keywords

corporate social responsibility customer relationships longitudinal sports 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Anderson, EW: 1998, ‘Customer Satisfaction and Word-of-Mouth’, Journal of Service Research 1(1): 5–17.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. C. and J. A. Narus: 1990, ‘A Model of Distributor Firm and Manufacturer Firm Working Partnerships’, Journal of Marketing 54(1): 42–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Babiak, K. and R. Wolfe: 2009, ‘Determinants of Corporate Social Responsibility in Professional Sport: Internal and External Factors’, Journal of Sport Management 23 (6): 717-742.Google Scholar
  4. Bagozzi, R.P. and Y. Yi: 1988, ‘On the Evaluation of Structural Equation Models’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 16(2), 74-94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bartikowski, B. and G. Walsh: 2009, ‘Investigating Mediators Between Corporate Reputation and Customer Citizenship Behavior’, Journal of Business Research. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2009.09.018.
  6. Becker-Olsen, K.L., B.A. Cudmore, and R.P. Hill: 2006, ‘The Impact of Perceived Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Behavior’, Journal of Business Research 59(1): 46-53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Berger, I.E., P.H. Cunningham and M.E. Drumwright: 2007, ‘Mainstreaming Corporate Social Responsibility: Developing Markets for Virtue’, California Management Review 49(4): 132-57.Google Scholar
  8. Bergkvist, L. and J.R. Rossiter: 2007, ‘The Predictive Validity of Multiple-item Versus Single-Item Measures of the Same Constructs’, Journal of Marketing Research 44(2): 175-84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bhattacharya, C.B. and S. Sen: 2003, ‘Consumer-company Identification: A Framework for Understanding Consumers’ Relationships with Companies’, Journal of Marketing 67(April): 76-88.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bhattacharya, C.B. and S. Sen: 2004, ‘Doing Better at Doing Good: When, Why, and How Consumers Respond to Corporate Social Initiatives’, California Management Review 47(1): 9-24.Google Scholar
  11. Boulstridge, E. and M.Carrigan: 2000, ‘Do Consumers Really Care About Corporate Responsibility? Highlighting the Attitude-behavior Gap’, Journal of Communication Management 4(4): 355-68.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bowden, J.L.H.: 2009, ‘The Process of Customer Engagement: A Conceptual Framework’, Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice 17(1): 63-74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Brammer, S. and A. Millington: 2008, ‘Does it Pay to be Different? An Analysis of the Relationship Between Corporate Social and Financial Performance’, Strategic Management Journal 29(12): 1325-43.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Brock, E.: 2005, ‘CSR: Altruism or Corporate Benefit?’, Consumer Policy Review 15(2): 58-63.Google Scholar
  15. Bronn, P. S. and A. B. Vrioni: 2001, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility and Cause Related Marketing: An Overview’, International Journal of Advertising 20(2):207-222.Google Scholar
  16. Brown, T.J., T.E. Barry, P.A. Dacin and R.F. Gunst: 2005, ‘Spreading the Word: Antecedents of Consumers’ Positive Word-of-mouth Intentions and Behaviors in a Retailing Context’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 33(2): 123-38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Brown, T. and P.A. Dacin: 1997, ‘The Company and the Product: Corporate Associations and Consumer Product Responses’, Journal of Marketing 41(May): 68-84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Cashman, B.: 2004, ‘Winning On and Off the Field’, in M. Falls (ed.), Inside the Minds: The Business of Sports (Aspatore Inc., Boston, MA).Google Scholar
  19. Cone/Roper: 1999, ‘Cone/Roper Cause-related Trends Report: The Evolution of Cause Branding’, (Cone, Inc., Boston, MA).Google Scholar
  20. Curtis, J.: 2006, ‘Why Don’t They Trust You with CSR?’, Marketing September 13: 30-1.Google Scholar
  21. Day, G.S.: 1970, ‘Using Attitude Change Measures to Evaluate New Product Introductions’, Journal of Marketing Research 7(4): 474-82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. De Wulf, K, G. Odekerken-Schroder and D. Iacobucci: 2001, ‘Investments in Consumer Relationships: A Cross-country and Cross-industry Exploration’, Journal of Marketing 65(October): 33-50.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Docherty, S. and S. Hibbert: 2003, ‘Examining Company Experiences of a UK Cause-related Marketing Campaign’, International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing 8 (4): 378-89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Doney, P.M., and J.P. Cannon: 1997, ‘An Examination of the Nature of Trust in Buyer-seller Relationships’, Journal of Marketing 61(April): 35-51.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Du, S., C.B. Bhattacharya and S. Sen: 2007, ‘Convergence of Interests – Cultivating Consumer Trust Through Corporate Social Initiatives’, Advances in Consumer Research 34: 687.Google Scholar
  26. EIAA: 2008, ‘EIAA: Sport and the Shift to Interac- tive Media’, February 6, http://www.noticias.info/Asp.aspCommunicados.asp?nid=361273. Accessed 01 Sept 2009.
  27. Epstein, E.M.: 1989, ‘Business Ethics, Corporate Good Citizenship and the Corporate Social Policy Process: A View from the United States’, Journal of Business Ethics 8 (8): 583-95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Ferrin, D.I, M.C. Bligh and J.C. Kohles: 2008, ‘It Takes Two to Tango: An Interdependence Analysis of the Spiraling of Perceived Trustworthiness and Cooperation in Interpersonal and Intergroup Relationships’, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 107(2): 161-78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Fullerton, G.: 2005, ‘The Impact of Brand Commitment on Loyalty to Retail Service Brands’, Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences 22 (2): 97-110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Garbarino, E. and M.S. Johnson: 1999, ‘The Different Roles of Satisfaction, Trust, and Commitment in Customer Relationships’, Journal of Marketing 63: 70-87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Giving USA Foundation: 2009, ‘U.S. Charitable Giving Estimated to be $307.65 billion in 2008’, Press Release June 10.Google Scholar
  32. Gremler, D.D. and K.P. Gwinner: 2000, ‘Customer-employee Rapport in Service Relationships’, Journal of Service Research 3(1): 82-104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Gundlach, G.T., R.S. Achrol and J.T. Mentzer: 1995, ‘The Structure of Commitment in Exchange’, Journal of Marketing 59(1): 78-92.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hagenbach, D.J., M.D. Wiese, J.J. Dose, and M.L. Bruce: 2008, ‘Understanding Satisfied and Affectively Committed Clients’ Lack of Referral Intent’, Services Marketing Quarterly 29(3): 24-74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hair, J.F., W.C. Black, B.J. Babin, R.E. Anderson, and R.L. Tatham: 2006, Multivariate Data Analysis, (Pearson Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River).Google Scholar
  36. Harrison-Walker, L.J.: 2001, ‘The Measurement of Word-of-mouth Communication and an Investigation of Service Quality and Customer Commitment as Potential Antecedents’, Journal of Service Research 4(1): 60-76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Herzberg F.: 1959, The Motivation to Work, (John Wiley, New York).Google Scholar
  38. Homburg, C. and A. Giering: 2001, ‘Personal Characteristics as Moderators of the Relationship Between Customer Satisfaction and Loyalty – An Empirical Analysis’, Psychology & Marketing 18(1): 43-66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. HRFOCUS: 2007, ‘HR Focus News Brief: Corporate Social Responsibility Practices are on the Rise’, June 9.Google Scholar
  40. Husted, B.W., and J.J. Salazar: 2006, ‘Taking Friedman Seriously: Maximizing Profits and Social Performance’, Journal of Management Studies 43(1): 75-91.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Joreskog K. and D. Sorbom: 2006, LISREL 8.80: User’s Reference Guide, (Scientific Software International, Chicago, IL).Google Scholar
  42. Ketola, T.: 2008, ‘A Holistic Corporate Responsibility Model: Integrating Values, Discourses and Actions’, Journal of Business Ethics 80: 419-435 doi: 10.1007/s10551-007-9428y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Lafferty, B.: 2007, ‘The Relevance of Fit in a Cause-brand Alliance When Consumers Evaluate Corporate Credibility’, Journal of Business Research 60(5): 447-53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lee, H., T. Park, H. K. Moon, Y. Yang and C. Kim: 2008, ‘Corporate Philanthropy, Attitude Towards Corporations, and Purchase Intentions: A South Korea Study’, Journal of Business Research. doi:10.1016/j.jbus.res.2008.08.007.
  45. Lichenstein, D.R., M.E. Drumwright, and B.M. Braig: 2004, ‘The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibility on Customer Donations to Corporate-supported Nonprofits’, Journal of Marketing; 68(4): 16-32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McWilliams, A., D.S. Siegel, and P.M. Wright: 2006, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: Strategic Implications’, Journal of Management Studies 43(1): 1-18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Meenaghan, T.: 2001, ‘Understanding Sponsorship Effects’, Psychology & Marketing 18(2): 95-122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Mendoza, M.: 2007, ‘Breakthroughs in Corporate Social Responsibility in the Phillipines’, Best Practices in Asian Corporate Governance, (Asian Productivity Organization, Tokyo, Japan).Google Scholar
  49. Mohr, L.A., D.J. Webb, and K.E. Harris: 2001, ‘Do Consumers Expect Companies to be Socially Responsible? The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Buying Behavior’, Journal of Consumer Affairs 35(1): 45-72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Moorman, C., G. Zaltman, and R. Desphande: 1992, ‘Relationships Between Providers and Users of Marketing Research: The Dynamics of Trust Within and Between Organizations’, Journal of Marketing Research 29(August): 314-29.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Morgan, R.M. and S.D. Hunt: 1994, ‘The Commitment-trust Theory of Relationship Marketing’, Journal of Marketing 58(July): 20-38.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Moser, M.R.: 1986, ‘A Framework for Analyzing Corporate Social Responsibility’, Journal of Business Ethics 5: 69-72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. National Basketball Association: 2009, ‘NBA Cares’, http://www.nba.com/nba_cares. Accessed 01 Sept 2009.
  54. Nunnally, J.C. and I. Bernstein: 1994, Psychometric Theory, (McGraw-Hill, New York).Google Scholar
  55. Orlitzky, M., F.L. Schmidt, and S.L. Rynes: 2003, ‘Corporate Social and Financial Performance: A Meta-analysis’, Organizational Studies 24(3): 403-41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Palmatier, R.W., R.P. Dant, and K.R. Evans: 2006, ‘Factors Influencing the Effectiveness of Relationship Marketing: A Meta-analysis’, Journal of Marketing 70(October): 136-53.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Palmatier, R.W., C.B. Jarvis, J.J. Bechkoff, and F.R. Kardes: 2009, ‘The Role of Customer Gratitude in Relationship Marketing’, Journal of Marketing 73(5): 1-18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Parnell, L.: 2005, ‘Making the Business Case for Corporate Social Responsibility: Why It Should Be Part of a Comprehensive Communications Strategy’, The Strategist (Spring), 49–51.Google Scholar
  59. Phua, J.: 2008, ‘Consumption of Sports Team-Related Media: Its Influence on Sports Fan Identity Salience and Self-esteem’, Paper Presented at the Annual Meeting of the International Communication Association, Montreal, QC, Canada, May 21. Retrieved from http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p230720_index.html. Accessed 01 Sept 2009.
  60. Pirsch, J., S. Gupta and S.L. Grau: 2007, ‘A Framework for Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility Programs as a Continuum: An Exploratory Study’, Journal of Business Ethics 70: 125-140. d.o.i.: 10.1007/s10551-006-9100-y.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Pivato, S., N. Misani, and A. Tencati: 2008, ‘The Impact of Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Trust: The Case of Organic Food’, Business Ethics: A European Review 17(1): 3-12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Plunkett Research Ltd.: 2009, ‘Sports Industry Overview’, http://www.plunkettresearch.com/Industries/Sports/SportsStatistics/tabid/273/Default.aspx. Accessed 01 Sept 2009.
  63. Porter, M.E. and M.R. Kramer: 2002, ‘The Competitive Advantage of Corporate Philanthropy’, Harvard Business Review 80(12): 56-69.Google Scholar
  64. Porter, M.E. and M.R. Kramer: 2006, ‘Strategy and Society: The Link Between Competitive Advantage and Corporate Social Responsibility’, Harvard Business Review 84(12): 78-92.Google Scholar
  65. Roberts, K., S. Varki, and R. Brodie: 2003, ‘Measuring the Quality of Relationships in Consumer Services: An Empirical Study’, European Journal of Marketing 37(1/2): 169-96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Ross, S.D.: 2007, ‘Segmenting Sport Fans Using Brand Associations: A Cluster Analysis’, Sport Marketing Quarterly 16(1): 15-24.Google Scholar
  67. Schnietz, K. E., S. Advani, T. Henderson, H. McIntyre, D. Simms and S. V. Valkenburg: 2005, ‘A Look at Porter’s 5-Forces Industry Analysis as a Tool to Assess the Key Success Factors in the National Basketball Association’, Graziadio Business Report 8(4), http://gbr.pepperdine.edu/054/nba.html. Accessed 15 Jan 2009.
  68. Sen, S. and C.B. Bhattacharya: 2001, ‘Does Doing Good Always Lead to Doing Better? Consumer Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility’, Journal of Marketing Research 38(May): 225-44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Sen, S., C.B. Bhattacharya, and D. Korschun: 2006, ‘The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility in Strengthening Multiple Stakeholder Relationships: A Field Experiment’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 34(2): 158-66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. Shani, D. and D.M. Sandler: 1998, ‘Ambush Marketing: Is Confusion to Blame for the Flickering of the Flame?’, Psychology & Marketing 15(4): 367-83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Sheth, H. and K.M. Babiak: 2010, ‘Beyond the Game: Perceptions and Practices of Corporate Social Responsibility in the Professional Sport Industry’, Journal of Business Ethics 91:433-450. doi: 10.1007/s10551-009-0094-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Simmons, C.J. and K.L. Becker-Olsen: 2006. ‘Achieving Marketing Objectives through Social Sponsorships’, Journal of Marketing 70(4): 154-169.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Sirdeshmuckh, D., J. Singh, and B. Sabol: 2002, ‘Consumer Trust, Value, and Loyalty in Relational Exchanges’, Journal of Marketing; 66(1): 15-37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  74. Smith, A.C.T. and H.W. Westerbeek: 2007, ‘Sport as a Vehicle for Deploying Corporate Social Responsibility’, Journal of Corporate Citizenship 25(Spring): 43-54.Google Scholar
  75. Steenkamp, J.B.E.M. and H. Baumgartner: 1998, ‘Assessing Measurement Invariance in Cross-national Consumer Research’, Journal of Consumer Research 25(June): 78-90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. Stohl, C., M. Stohl, and L. Popova: 2009, ‘A New Generation of Corporate Codes of Ethics’, Journal of Business Ethics 90: 607-622. d.o.i. 10.1007/s10551-009-0064-6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  77. Trail, G.T. and J.D. James: 2001, ‘The Motivation Scale for Sport Consumption: Assessment of the Scale’s Psychometric Properties’, Journal of Sport Behavior 24(1): 108-27.Google Scholar
  78. Varadarajan, P.R. and A. Menon: 1988, ‘Cause-related Marketing: A Coalignment of Marketing Strategy and Corporate Philanthropy’, Journal of Marketing 52(July): 58-74.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  79. Verhoef, P.C., P.H. Francis, and J.C. Hoekstra: 2002, “The Effect of Relational Constructs on Customer Referrals and Number of Services Purchased from Multiservice Provider: Does Age of Relationship Matter?’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 30(3): 202-13.Google Scholar
  80. Vlachos, P.A., A. Tsamakos, A.P. Vrechopoulos, and P.K. Avramidis : 2009, ‘Corporate Social Responsibility: Attributions, Loyalty, and the Mediating Role of Trust’, Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science 37(2): 170-180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  81. Walker, M., B. Heere, M. M. Parent and D. Drane: 2010, ‘Social Responsibility and the Olympic Games: The Mediating Role of Consumer Attributions’, Journal of Business Ethics. doi:10.1007/s10551-010-0445-x.
  82. Walker, M., and A. Kent: 2009, ‘Do Fans Care? Assessing the Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Attitudes in the Sport Industry’, Journal of Sport Management 23(6): 743-769.Google Scholar
  83. Wang, H., J. Choi and J. Li: 2005, ‘Too Little or Too Much? Reexamining the Relationship Between Corporate Giving and Corporate Social Performance’, Academy of Management Proceedings G1–G6.Google Scholar
  84. Warhurst, A.: 2008, ‘The Future of Corporate Philanthropy’, Business Week Online December 9, 16.Google Scholar
  85. Webb, D.J.. L.A. Mohr, and K.E. Harris: 2008, ‘A Re-examination of Socially Responsible Consumption and its Measurement’, Journal of Business Research 61(2): 91-8.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. White, E.: 2008, ‘Wooing Customers with Social Good Efforts’, Wall Street Journal Online, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122816696112070087.html. Accessed 15 Jan 2009.
  87. Wulfson,M.: 2001, ‘The Ethics of Corporate Social Responsibility and Philanthropic Ventures’, Journal of Business Ethics 29:135-45.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  88. Zablah, A.R., D.N. Bellenger, and W.J. Johnston: 2004, ‘Customer Relationship Management Implementation Gaps’, Journal of Personal Selling and Sales Management 24(4): 279-95.Google Scholar
  89. Zeigler, E.F.: 2007, ‘Sport Management Must Show Social Concern as it Develops Tenable Theory’, Journal of Sport Management 21: 297-318.Google Scholar
  90. Zeithaml, V.A., L.L. Berry, and A. Parasuraman: 1996, ‘The Behavioral Consequences of Service Quality’, Journal of Marketing 60(2): 31-46.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of New OrleansNew OrleansU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations