Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 118, Issue 2, pp 265–286 | Cite as

Measuring CSR Image: Three Studies to Develop and to Validate a Reliable Measurement Tool

  • Andrea Pérez
  • Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque


Although research on the corporate social responsibility (CSR) dimension of corporate image has notably increased in recent years, the definition and measurement of the concept for academic purposes still concern researchers. In this article, literature regarding the measurement of CSR image from a customer viewpoint is revised and areas of improvement are identified. A multistage method is implemented to develop and to validate a reliable scale based on stakeholder theory. Results demonstrate the reliability and validity of this new scale for measuring customer perceptions regarding the CSR performance of their service providers. With regard to this, CSR includes corporate responsibilities towards customers, shareholders, employees and society. The scale is consistent among diverse customer cohorts with different gender, age and level of education. Furthermore, results also confirm the applicability of this new scale to structural equation modelling.


CSR CSR image Measurement tool Scale development 


  1. Anderson, W. T., & Cunningham, W. (1972). Socially conscious consumer. Journal of Marketing, 36(3), 23–31.Google Scholar
  2. Arlow, P. (1991). Personal characteristics in college students’ evaluations of business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 10(1), 63–69.Google Scholar
  3. Aupperle, K. E., Carroll, A. B., & Hatfield, J. D. (1985). An empirical examination of the relationship between corporate social responsibility and profitability. Academy of Management Journal, 28(2), 446–463.Google Scholar
  4. Balmer, J. M. T., & Greyser, S. A. (2006). Corporate marketing: Integrating corporate identity, corporate branding, corporate communications, corporate image and corporate reputation. European Journal of Marketing, 40(7/8), 730–741.Google Scholar
  5. Barbarossa, C., Miceli, G., & de Pelsmacker, P. (2012). Measuring eco-friendly consumption motivation: Development and validation of an efficient measurement scale. In 41st EMAC conference, 22–25 May, Lisbon.Google Scholar
  6. Bergami, M., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2000). Self-categorization, affective commitment and group self-esteem as distinct aspects of social identity in the organization. British Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 555–577.Google Scholar
  7. Barone, M. J., Miyazaki, A. D., & Taylor, K. A. (2000). The influence of cause-related marketing on consumer choice: Does one good turn deserve another? Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28(2), 248–262.Google Scholar
  8. Bhattacharya, C. B., Korschun, D., & Sen, S. (2009). Strengthening stakeholder-company relationships through mutually beneficial corporate social responsibility initiatives. Journal of Business Ethics, 85, 257–272.Google Scholar
  9. Bigné, E., & Currás, R. (2008). Does corporate social responsibility image influence on purchase intent? The role of consumer–company identification. Universia Business Review, 19, 10–23.Google Scholar
  10. Bigné, E., Andreu, L., Chumpitaz, R., & Swaen, V. (2005). Percepción de la responsabilidad social corporativa: Un análisis cross-cultural. Universia Business Review, first quarter, pp 14–27.Google Scholar
  11. Bigné, E., Currás, R., Ruiz, C., & Sanz, S. (2010). Consumer behavioural intentions in cause-related marketing. The role of identification and social cause involvement. International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, 7, 127–143.Google Scholar
  12. Boal, K. B., & Peery, N. (1985). The cognitive structure of corporate social responsibility. Journal of Management, 11(3), 71–83.Google Scholar
  13. Borkowski, S. C., & Ugras, Y. J. (1992). The ethical attitudes of students as a function of age, sex and experience. Journal of Business Ethics, 11(12), 961–979.Google Scholar
  14. Bravo, R., Matute, J., & Pina, J. (2012). Corporate social responsibility as a vehicle to reveal the corporate identity: A study focused on the websites of Spanish financial entities. Journal of Business Ethics.
  15. Brown, T. J., & Dacin, P. A. (1997). The company and the product: Corporate associations and consumer product responses. Journal of Marketing, 61(1), 68–84.Google Scholar
  16. Burke, L., & Logsdon, J. M. (1996). How corporate social responsibility pays off. Long Range Planning, 29, 492–502.Google Scholar
  17. Burke, C., MacKenzie, S. B., & Podsakoff, P. M. (2003). A critical review of construct indicators and measurement model misspecification in marketing and consumer research. Journal of Consumer Research, 30(2), 199–218.Google Scholar
  18. Burton, B. K., & Hegarty, W. H. (1999). Some determinants of student corporate social responsibility orientation. Business and Society, 38(2), 188–205.Google Scholar
  19. Campbell, J. L. (2007). Why would corporations behave in socially responsible ways? An institutional theory of corporate social responsibility. The Academy of Management Review, 32(3), 946–967.Google Scholar
  20. Carrigan, M., & Attalla, A. (2001). The myth of the ethical consumer—do ethics matter in purchase behaviour? The Journal of Consumer Marketing, 18(7), 560–577.Google Scholar
  21. Carroll, A. B. (1979). A three-dimensional conceptual model of corporate performance. The Academy of Management Review, 184, 497–505.Google Scholar
  22. Carroll, A. B. (1991). Corporate social performance measurement: A comment on methods for evaluating an elusive construct. In Post, L. E. (Eds.), Research in Corporate Social Perfomance and Policy. EmeraldGoogle Scholar
  23. Carroll, A. B. (1999). Corporate social responsibility: Evolution of a definitional construct. Business and Society, 38(3), 268–295.Google Scholar
  24. CECA. (2008). Libro verde de la responsabilidad social corporativa en el sector financiero. Conferencia Española de Cajas de Ahorro Google Scholar
  25. Cho, J., & Hu, H. (2009). The effect of service quality on trust and commitment varying across generations. International Journal of Consumer Studies, 33(4), 468–476.Google Scholar
  26. Clarkson, M. B. E. (1995). A stakeholder framework for analyzing and evaluating corporate social performance. Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 92–117.Google Scholar
  27. Creyer, E. H., & Ross, W. T, Jr. (1996). The impact of corporate behaviour on perceived product value. Markeitng Letters, 7(2), 173–185.Google Scholar
  28. Currás, R., Bigné, E., & Alvarado, A. (2009). The role of self-definitional principles in consumer identification with a socially responsible company. Journal of Business Ethics, 89, 547–564.Google Scholar
  29. Darley, W. K., & Smith, R. E. (1995). Gender differences in information processing strategies. Journal of Advertising, 24(1), 41–65.Google Scholar
  30. Dahlsrud, A. (2008). How corporate social responsibility is defined: An analysis of 37 definitions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 15(1), 1–13.Google Scholar
  31. David, P., Kline, S., & Dai, Y. (2005). Corporate social responsibility practices, corporate identity, and purchase intention: A dual-process model. Journal of Public Relations Research, 17(3), 291–313.Google Scholar
  32. Decker, O. S. (2004). Corporate social responsibility and structural change in financial services. Managerial Auditing Journal, 19(6), 712–728.Google Scholar
  33. Deegan, C. (2000). Financial accounting theory. Roseville, NSW: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  34. Dietz, T., Kalof, L., & Stern, P. C. (2002). Gender, values, and environmentalism. Social Science Quarterly, 83(1), 353–364.Google Scholar
  35. Donaldson, T., & Dunfee, T. W. (1994). Toward a unified conception of business ethics: Integrative social contracts theory. Academy of Management. The Academy of Management Review, 19(2), 252–284.Google Scholar
  36. Donaldson, T., & Preston, L. E. (1995). The stakeholder theory of the corporation: Concepts, evidence and implications. The Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 65–91.Google Scholar
  37. Driver, M. (2006). Beyond the stalemate of economics versus ethics: Corporate social responsibility and the discourse of the organizational self. Journal of Business Ethics, 66(4), 337–356.Google Scholar
  38. Drumwright, M. E. (1994). Socially responsible organizational buying: Environmental concern as a noneconomic buying criterion. Journal of Marketing, 58, 1–19.Google Scholar
  39. Du, S., Bhattacharya, C. B., & Sen, S. (2007). Convergence of interests—cultivating consumer trust through corporate social initiatives. Advances in Consumer Research, 34(6), 687.Google Scholar
  40. Dunfee, T. W. N., Smith, C., & Ross, W. T, Jr. (1999). Social contracts and marketing ethics. Journal of Marketing, 63, 14–32.Google Scholar
  41. Eells, R., & Walton, C. (1974). Conceptual foundations of business (3rd ed.). Burr Ridge, IL: Irwin.Google Scholar
  42. Forehand, M. R., & Grier, S. (2003). When is honesty the best policy? The effect of stated company intent on consumer skepticism. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13(3), 349–356.Google Scholar
  43. Fornell, C., & Larcker, D. F. (1981). Structural equation models with unobservable variables and measurement error: Algebra and statistics. Journal of Marketing Research, 18(3), 382–388.Google Scholar
  44. Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Boston: Pittman.Google Scholar
  45. Fukukawa, K., Balmer, J. M. T., & Gray, E. R. (2007). Mapping the interface between corporate identity, ethics and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 76(1), 1–5.Google Scholar
  46. Gable, M., & Topol, M. T. (1988). Machiavellianism and the department store executive. Journal of Retailing, 64(1), 68–84.Google Scholar
  47. García de los Salmones, M. M., Herrero, A., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2005). Influence of corporate social responsibility on loyalty and valuation of services. Journal of Business Ethics, 61, 369–385.Google Scholar
  48. García de los Salmones, M. M., Pérez, A., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2009). The social role of financial companies as a determinant of consumer behaviour. The International Journal of Bank Marketing, 27(6), 467–485.Google Scholar
  49. Garriga, E., & Melé, D. (2004). Corporate social responsibility theories: Mapping the territory. Journal of Business Ethics, 53(1–2), 51–71.Google Scholar
  50. Goirigolzarri, J. I. (2006). La responsabilidad social en el sector financiero: el BBVA. Working paper, Fundación Carolina.Google Scholar
  51. Gupta, S., & Pirsch, J. (2008). The influence of a retailer’s corporate social responsibility program on re-conceptualizing store image. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 15, 516–526.Google Scholar
  52. Hair, J. F., Black, W. C., Babin, B. J., & Anderson, R. E. (2010). Multivariate data analysis (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  53. Handelman, J. M., & Arnold, S. J. (1999). The role of marketing actions with a social dimension: Appeals to the institutional environment. Journal of Marketing, 63(3), 33–48.Google Scholar
  54. Harris, L. C., & Goode, M. M. H. (2004). The four levels of loyalty and the pivotal role of trust: A study of online service dynamics. Journal of Retailing, 80(2), 139.Google Scholar
  55. Hemingway, C. A., & Maclagan, P. W. (2004). Managers’ personal values as drivers of corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 50(1), 33–44.Google Scholar
  56. Homburg, C., Wieseke, J., & Hoyer, W. (2009). Social identity and the service–profit chain. Journal of Marketing, 73(2), 38–54.Google Scholar
  57. Jamrozy, U. (2007). Marketing of tourism: a paradigm shift toward sustainability. International Journal of Culture, Tourism and Hospitality Research, 1(2), 117–130.Google Scholar
  58. Jones, T. M. (1995). Instrumental stakeholder theory: A synthesis of ethics and economics. The Academy of Management Review, 20(2), 404–437.Google Scholar
  59. Joyner, B. E., & Payne, D. (2002). Evolution and implementation: A study of values, business ethics and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 41(4), 297–311.Google Scholar
  60. Kelley, S. W., Donnelly, J. H, Jr, & Skinner, S. J. (1990). Customer participation in service production and delivery. Journal of Retailing, 66(3), 315–335.Google Scholar
  61. Kim, S. W., & Choi, C. J. (2007). Habits, self-control and social conventions: The role of global media and corporations. Journal of Business Ethics, 76(2), 147–154.Google Scholar
  62. Kim, S., & Park, H. (2011). Corporate social responsibility as an organizational attractiveness for prospective public relations practitioners. Journal of Business Ethics, 103, 639–653.Google Scholar
  63. Klein, J., & Dawar, N. (2004). Corporate social responsibility and consumers’ attributions and brand evaluations in a product-harm crisis. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21, 203–217.Google Scholar
  64. Lai, C. S., Chiu, C. J., Yang, C. F., & Pai, D. C. (2010). The effects of corporate social responsibility on brand performance: The mediating effect of industrial brand equity and corporate reputation. Journal of Business Ethics, 95(3), 457–469.Google Scholar
  65. Lichtenstein, D., Drumwright, M., & Braig, B. (2004). The effect of corporate social responsibility on customer donations to corporate-supported nonprofits. Journal of Marketing, 68, 16–32.Google Scholar
  66. Lin, C., Chen, S., Chiu, C., & Lee, W. (2011). Understanding purchase intention during product-harm crises: Moderating effects of perceived corporate ability and corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 102, 455–471.Google Scholar
  67. Maignan, I. (2001). Consumers’ perceptions of corporate social responsibilities: A cross-cultural comparison. Journal of Business Ethics, 30, 57–72.Google Scholar
  68. Maignan, I., & Ferrell, O. C. (2001). Antecedents and benefits of corporate citizenship: An investigation of French businesses. Journal of Business Research, 51(1), 37–51.Google Scholar
  69. Maignan, I., & Ferrell, O. C. (2004). Corporate social responsibility and marketing: An integrative framework. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 32, 3–19.Google Scholar
  70. Maignan, I., Ferrell, O. C., & Hult, G. T. (1999). Corporate citizenship: Cultural antecedents and business benefits. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 27(4), 455–469.Google Scholar
  71. Mandell, L., Lachman, R., & Orgler, Y. (1981). Interpreting the image of banking. Journal of Bank Research, Summer, 96–104.Google Scholar
  72. Marín, L., & Ruiz, S. (2007). I need you too! Corporate identity attractiveness for consumers and the role of social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 71, 245–260.Google Scholar
  73. Martínez, P., Pérez, A., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. Measuring corporate social responsibility in tourism: Development and validation of an efficient measurement scale in the hospitality industry. Journal of Travel and Tourism Marketing (in press).Google Scholar
  74. Matute, J., Bravo, R., & Pina, J. M. (2010). The influence of corporate social responsibility and price fairness on customer behaviour: Evidence from the financial sector. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, 18(6), 317–331.Google Scholar
  75. Menon, A., & Menon, A. (1997). Enviropreneurial marketing strategy: The emergence of corporate environmentalism as market strategy. Journal of Marketing, 61(1), 51–67.Google Scholar
  76. Mercer, J. J. (2003). Corporate social responsibility and its importance to consumers. Doctoral Thesis. Claremont Graduate University.Google Scholar
  77. Meyers-Levy, J. (1989). The influence of a brand name’s association set size and word frequency on brand memory. Journal of Consumer Research, 16(2), 197–207.Google Scholar
  78. Morris, M. G., & Venkatesh, V. (2000). Age differences in technology adoption decisions: Implications for a changing work force. Personnel Psychology, 53(2), 375–403.Google Scholar
  79. Murray, K. B., & Montanari, J. R. (1986). Strategic management of the socially responsible firm: Integrating management and marketing theory. The Academy of Management Review, 11(4), 815–827.Google Scholar
  80. Netemeyer, R. G., Johnston, M. W., & Burton, S. (1990). Analysis of role conflict and role ambiguity in a structural equations framework. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75(2), 148–157.Google Scholar
  81. Oliver, R. L. (1997). Satisfaction: A behavioral perspective on the consumer. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  82. Orlitzky, M., Schmidt, F. L., & Rynes, S. L. (2003). Corporate social and financial performance: A meta-analysis. Organization Studies, 24(3), 403–441.Google Scholar
  83. Panapanaan, V. M., Linnanen, L., Karvonen, M., & Phan, V. T. (2003). Roadmapping corporate social responsibility in Finnish companies. Journal of Business Ethics, 44(2/3), 133–148.Google Scholar
  84. Panwar, R., Rinne, T., Hansen, E., & Juslin, H. (2006). Corporate responsibility: Balancing economic, environmental, and social issues in the forest products industry. Forest Products Journal, 56(2), 4–12.Google Scholar
  85. Peloza, J., & Shang, J. (2011). How can corporate social responsibility activities create value for stakeholders? A systematic review. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 39, 117–135.Google Scholar
  86. Pérez, A., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2012a). The role of CSR in the corporate identity of banking service providers. Journal of Business Ethics. doi: 10.1007/s10551-011-1067-7.
  87. Pérez, A., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2012b). Corporate social responsibility image in a financial crisis context: The case of the Spanish financial industry. Universia Business Review, 33((first quarter)), 14–29.Google Scholar
  88. Pérez, A., García de los Salmones, M. M., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2013). The effect of corporate associations on consumer behaviour. European Journal of Marketing 47(1/2).Google Scholar
  89. Podnar, K., & Golob, U. (2007). CSR expectations: The focus of corporate marketing. Corporate Communications: An International Journal, 12(4), 326–340.Google Scholar
  90. Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J. Y., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 879–903.Google Scholar
  91. Poolthong, Y., & Mandhachitara, R. (2009). Customer expectations of CSR, perceived service quality and brand effect in Thai retail banking. International Journal of Bank Marketing, 27(6), 408–427.Google Scholar
  92. Quazi, A. M. (2003). Identifying the determinants of corporate managers perceived social obligations. Management Decision, 41(9), 822–831.Google Scholar
  93. Roberts, J. A. (1995). Profiling levels of socially responsible consumer behavior: A cluster analytic approach and its implications for marketing. Journal of Marketing Theory and Practice, 3(4), 97–117.Google Scholar
  94. Roberts, J. A. (1996). Will the real socially responsible consumer please step forward? Business Horizons, 39(1), 79–83.Google Scholar
  95. Ruiz, M., de los Ríos, A., & Tirado, P. (2009). La responsabilidad social y la crisis económica. ¿Responden las entidades financieras españolas a los grupos de interés? CIRIEC-España, Revista de Economía Pública, Social y Cooperativa, 65, 33–58.Google Scholar
  96. Sarro, M. M., Cuesta, P., & Penelas, A. (2007). La responsabilidad social corporativa (RSC): Una orientación emergente en la gestión de las entidades bancarias españolas. In J. C. Ayala (Ed.), Conocimiento, Innovación y emprendedores: Camino al futuro. Argentina: Universidad de La Rioja.Google Scholar
  97. Schwartz, M. S., & Carroll, A. B. (2003). Corporate social responsibility: A three-domain approach. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13(4), 503–530.Google Scholar
  98. Selvi, Y., Wagner, E., & Turiel, A. (2010). Corporate social responsibility in the time of financial crisis: Evidence from Turkey. Annales Universitatis Apulensis Series Oeconomica, 12(1), 281–290.Google Scholar
  99. Sen, S., & Bhattacharya, C. B. (2001). Does doing good always lead to doing better? Consumer reactions to corporate social responsibility. Journal of Marketing Research, 38(2), 225–243.Google Scholar
  100. Server, R. J., & Capó, J. (2009). La Responsabilidad Social Empresarial en un contexto de crisis. Repercusión en las Sociedades Cooperativas. CIRIEC-España, Revista de Economía Pública, Social y Cooperativa, 65, 7–31.Google Scholar
  101. Singh, J., García de los Salmones, M. M., & Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2008). Understanding corporate social responsibility and product perceptions in consumer markets: A cross-cultural evaluation. Journal of Business Ethics, 80(3), 597–611.Google Scholar
  102. Sobczak, A., Debucquet, G., & Havard, C. (2006). The impact of higher education on students’ and young managers’ perception of companies and CSR: An exploratory analysis. Corporate Governance, 6(4), 463–474.Google Scholar
  103. Soto, M. (2006). La responsabilidad social en el sector financiero: el Grupo SCH. Working paper, Fundación Carolina.Google Scholar
  104. Stanaland, A. J., Lwin, M. O., & Murphy, P. E. (2011). Consumer perceptions of the antecedents and consequences of corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 102(1), 47–55.Google Scholar
  105. Steenkamp, J., & Van Trijp, H. (1991). The use of LISREL in validating marketing constructs. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 8, 283–299.Google Scholar
  106. Suchman, M. C. (1995). Managing legitimacy: Strategic and institutional approaches. The Academy of Management Review, 20(3), 571–610.Google Scholar
  107. Swanson, D. L. (1995). Addressing a theoretical problem by reorienting the corporate social performance model. The Academy of Management Review, 20(1), 43–64.Google Scholar
  108. Tian, Z., Wang, R., & Yang, W. (2011). Consumer responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 101(2), 197–212.Google Scholar
  109. Timur, S., & Getz, D. (2009). Sustainable tourism development: How do destination stakeholders perceive sustainable urban tourism. Sustainable Development, 17, 220–232.Google Scholar
  110. Torres, A., Bijmolt, T. H. A., Tribó, J. A., & Verhoef, P. (2012). Generating global brand equity through corporate social responsibility to key stakeholders. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 29, 13–24.Google Scholar
  111. Truscott, R. A., Bartlett, J. L., & Tywoniak, S. A. (2009). The reputation of the corporate social responsibility industry in Australia. Australasian Marketing Journal, 17(2), 84–91.Google Scholar
  112. Turker, D. (2009). Measuring corporate social responsibility: A scale development study. Journal of Business Research, 85, 411–427.Google Scholar
  113. UN World Commission on Environment and Development (1987). Report of the 96th plenary meeting of the World Commission on Environment and Development, 11th December. URL:
  114. Varadarajan, P. R., & Menon, A. (1988). Cause-related marketing: A coalignment of marketing strategy and corporate philanthropy. Journal of Marketing, 52(3), 58–74.Google Scholar
  115. van Herpen, E., Pennings, J., & Meulenberg, M. (2003). Consumers’ evaluations of socially responsible activities in retailing. Wageningen University Marketing and Consumer Behaviour Group.Google Scholar
  116. van Marrewijk, M. (2003). Concepts and definitions of CSR and corporate sustainability: Between agency and communion. Journal of Business Ethics, 44(2–3), 95–105.Google Scholar
  117. Voss, C., Tsikriktsis, N., & Frohlich, M. (2002). Case research in operations management. International Journal of Operations & Production Management, 22(2), 195–219.Google Scholar
  118. Wartick, S. L., & Cochran, P. L. (1985). The evolution of the corporate social performance model. Academy of Management Review, 10, 758–769.Google Scholar
  119. Wood, D. J. (1991). Corporate social performance revisited. The Academy of Management Review, 16(4), 691–718.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Área de Comercialización e Investigación de MercadosUniversidad de CantabriaSantanderSpain

Personalised recommendations