Skip to main content
Log in

The Role of Environmental Management in Consumers Preferences for Corporate Social Responsibility

  • Published:
Environmental and Resource Economics Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Consumers in modern societies are increasingly sensitive to environmental performance by large and small corporations, making it a crucial issue in the overall policy of corporate social responsibility. The objective of this paper is to study the role of environmental performance in the profile of corporate social responsibility as perceived by consumers. We utilize a stated preference approach to the study of consumer’s preferences. This approach allows for the evaluation in monetary terms of the trade-offs that individuals can make between various aspects of corporate policy decisions, including the extent of environmental performance. The data is modelled by means of a mixture heuristics approach that allows us to study the utilization of various decision rules in the choice of products with various degrees of environmental performance. The results show that the linear compensatory heuristic is the most extended across individuals and these subjects value most the policies concerned with environmental management. Those subjects opting for the non-compensatory decision rule tend to focus on the attribute of good labour relations as the most salient factor defining corporate social responsibility. In addition, policy measures are relatively more valued for some products rather than for others, suggesting that consumers discriminate between products when valuing companies’ environmental profiles.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Araña JE, León CJ, Hanemann WM (2008) Emotions and decision rules in discrete choice methods for valuing health care programmes for the elderly. J Health Econ 27(3): 753–769

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Auger P, Burke P, Devinney TM, Louviere J (2003) What will consumers pay for social product features?. J Bus Ethics 42: 281–304

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Brown TJ, Dacin PA (1997) The company and the product: corporate associations and consumer product responses. J Mark 61: 68–84

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Campbell D, Hutchinson G, Scarpa R (2008) Incorporating discontinuous preferences into the analysis of discrete choice experiments. Environ Res Econ, forthcoming

  • Cantillo V, Heydecker B, de Dios Ortuzar J (2006) A discrete choice model incorporating thresholds for perception in attribute values. Transp Res B 40(9): 807–825

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Creyer E, Ross W (1997) The influence of firm behaviour on purchase intentions: do consumers really care about bussiness ethics?. J Consum Mark 14(6): 421–436

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Davids M (1990) The champion of corporate social resposibility. Bus Soc rev 74: 40–43

    Google Scholar 

  • DeShazo JR, Fermo G (2002) Designing choice sets for stated preference methods: the effects of complexity on choice consistency. J Environ Econ Manage 43(3): 360–385

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ellen P, Mohr L, Webb D (2000) Charitable programs and the retailer: do they mix?. J Retailing 76(3): 393–406

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gilbride TJ, Allenby GM (2004) A choice model with conjunctive, disjunctive and compensatory screening rules. Mark Sci 23: 391–406

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gilbride TJ, Allenby GM (2006) Estimating heterogeneous EBA and economic screening rule choice models. Mark Sci 25: 494–509

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Harrison R (2003) Corporate social responsibility and the consumer movement. Consum Policy Rev 13(4): 127–131

    Google Scholar 

  • Hensher DA (2006) How do respondents handle stated choice experiments?—attribute processing strategies under varying information load. J Appl Econ 21: 861–878

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Hensher DA, Rose J (2009) Simplifying choice through attribute preservation or non-attendance: implications for willingness to pay. Transp Res E, forthcoming

  • Isa M (2003) Applying the triple bottom line approach. Bus Times, May 12

  • Kinder Lydenberg Domini & Co. Inc (1999) Socrates: the corporate social ratings monitor. Kinder, Lydenberg and Domini Co. Inc, Cambridge

  • Lafferty B, Goldsmith R (1999) Corporate credibility’s role in consumer’s attitudes and purchase intentions when a high versus a low credibility endorser is used in the Ad. J Bus Res 44(2): 109–116

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Louviere JJ, Hensher D, Swait J (2000) Stated choice methods. analysis and applications. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

  • McFadden D (1974) Conditional logit analysis of qualitative choice behavior. In: Zarembka P (eds) Frontiers in econometrics. Academic Press, New York, pp 105–142

    Google Scholar 

  • Puckett SM, Hensher DA (2008) The role of attribute processing strategies in estimating the preferences of road freight stakeholders under variable road user charges. Transp Res E 44(3): 379–395

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Sen S, Bhattarcharya C (2001) Does going good always lead to doing better? Consumer reactions to corporate social responsibility. J Mark Res 38: 225–243

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Smith HJ (2003) The shareholders vs. stakeholders debate. MIT Sloan Manage Rev 44(4): 85–90

    Google Scholar 

  • Swait J, Louviere J (1993) The role of the scale parameter in the estimation and comparison of multinomial logit models. J Mark Res 30: 305–314

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Swait J, Adamowicz W (2001) The influence of task complexity on consumer choice: a latent class model of decision strategy switching. J Cons Res 28: 135–148

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Tanner TA, Wong WH (1987) The calculation of posterior distributions by data augmentation. J Am Stat Assoc 82: 528–549

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Train K (2003) Discrete choice methods with simulation. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jorge E. Araña.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Araña, J.E., León, C.J. The Role of Environmental Management in Consumers Preferences for Corporate Social Responsibility. Environ Resource Econ 44, 495–506 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: