Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 124, Issue 1, pp 101–115 | Cite as

Consumers’ Perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility: Scale Development and Validation

  • Magdalena Öberseder
  • Bodo B. Schlegelmilch
  • Patrick E. MurphyEmail author
  • Verena Gruber


Researchers and companies are paying increasing attention to corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs and the reaction to them by consumers. Despite such corporate efforts and an expanding literature exploring consumers’ response to CSR, it remains unclear how consumers perceive CSR and which “Gestalt” consumers have in mind when considering CSR. Academics and managers lack a tool for measuring consumers’ perceptions of CSR (CPCSR). This research explores CPCSR and develops a measurement model. Based on qualitative data from interviews with managers and consumers, the authors develop a conceptualization of CPCSR. Subsequently, model testing and validating occurs on three large quantitative data sets. The conceptualization and the measurement scale can assist companies to assess CPCSR relative to their performance. They also enable managers in identifying shortcomings in CSR engagement and/or communication. Finally, the paper discusses implications for marketing practice and future research.


Corporate social responsibility Scale development Consumer perceptions of CSR Gestalt of CSR CSR measurement tools CSR policies CSR programs 



Thanks to Victoria Crittenden, Tim Gilbride, Thomas Salzberger and an anonymous JBE reviewer for their very valuable feedback on an earlier version of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Magdalena Öberseder
    • 1
  • Bodo B. Schlegelmilch
    • 2
  • Patrick E. Murphy
    • 3
    Email author
  • Verena Gruber
    • 2
  1. 1.GFKViennaAustria
  2. 2.Institute for International Marketing ManagementWirtschafts UniversitätViennaAustria
  3. 3.Mendoza College of BusinessUniversity of Notre DameNotre DameUSA

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