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The Impact of Corporate Volunteering on CSR Image: A Consumer Perspective

Abstract

Corporate volunteering (CV) is known to be an effective employee engagement initiative. However, despite the prominence of corporate social responsibility (CSR) in academia and practice, research is yet to investigate whether and how CV may influence consumer perceptions of CSR image and subsequent consumer behaviour. Data collected using an online survey in Australia show perceived familiarity with a company’s CV programme to positively impact CSR image and firm image, partially mediated by others-centred attributions. CSR image, in turn, strengthens affective and cognitive loyalty as well as word-of-mouth. Further analysis reveals the moderating effect of perceived leveraging of the corporate volunteering programme, customer status and the value individuals place on CSR. The paper concludes with theoretical and managerial implications, as well as an agenda for future research.

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Fig. 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    To further validate the model, the sample was split randomly into a 60 % analysis sample and a 40 % hold-out sample, then used to reanalyse the model. Both models show good fit (χ²(df) = 2.07, p = .29, GFI = .98, AGFI = .90, CFI = .99, NFI = .98, RMSEA = .08; χ²(df) = 1.33, p = .39, GFI = .99, AGFI = .95, CFI = .99, NFI = .99, RMSEA = .04), indicating the same significant effects as reported above, with one main exception. While the path between others-centred attributions and firm image only emerges as moderately significant in the model with the hold-out sample (p = .06), CSR image does not show a significant direct effect on word-of-mouth in the model based on the analysis sample, even though the standardized total effects of CSR image on word-of-mouth remain the same across all models. Hence, while the results generally hold well across all models, future research should further examine the partial mediation of the CSR image WOM association reported here.

Abbreviations

AVE:

Average variance extracted

CSR:

Corporate social responsibility

CV:

Corporate volunteering

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Acknowledgments

The authors express their sincere gratitude for the support of this research by the Commonwealth Government as part of the ARC Linkage Grant Scheme as well as our industry partner.

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Correspondence to Carolin Plewa.

Appendix

Appendix

See Table 4.

Table 4 Measurement items

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Plewa, C., Conduit, J., Quester, P.G. et al. The Impact of Corporate Volunteering on CSR Image: A Consumer Perspective. J Bus Ethics 127, 643–659 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2066-2

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Keywords

  • Corporate volunteering
  • CSR image
  • Consumer
  • Attribution
  • Loyalty
  • Word-of-mouth