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The Role Of Corporate Social Responsibility In Consumer Behaviour: An Unresolved Paradox

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  • Rosetta Lombardo

    ()
    (Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica, Università della Calabria)

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    Abstract

    Business activity and consumption activities are recognised as impacting, often negatively, on the environment. The challenge of ‘satisfying the needs of the present generation without compromising the chance for future generations to satisfy theirs’ requires, however, contributions by all societal actors. A growing number of firms “overcomply” with environmental regulation for several reasons. Firms satisfy consumer demand and try to shape that demand. In doing so, they may create a taste for environment protection and sustainability. Corporate social responsibility has received considerable attention. The concept of ‘consumer social responsibility’ has received comparatively little attention probably because of the dominance of the notion of consumer sovereignty. If consumers’ perception of corporate social responsibility practices drives their purchase behaviour, firms are motivated to invest in socially responsible practices. However, there exists a wide gap between positive attitudes toward social responsibility and actual purchase behaviours. This paper tries to shed some light on what affects individuals’ perceptions about their responsibilities as citizens/consumers and their consumption behaviour.

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    File URL: http://www.ecostat.unical.it/RePEc/WorkingPapers/WP15_2011.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2011-11
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza (Ex Dipartimento di Economia e Statistica) in its series Working Papers with number 201115.

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    Length: 14 pages
    Date of creation: Nov 2011
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201115

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    Postal: Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza, Ponte Pietro Bucci, Cubo 0/C, I-87036 Arcavacata di Rende, CS, Italy
    Phone: +39 0984 492413
    Fax: +39 0984 492421
    Web page: http://www.unical.it/portale/strutture/dipartimenti_240/disesf/
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    Related research

    Keywords: Environment; Sustainability; Corporate Social Responsibility; Consumer Sovereignty; Consumer Social Responsibility; Preferences; Social norms;

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    References

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    1. Gintis, Herbert, 1972. "Consumer Behavior and the Concept of Sovereignty: Explanations of Social Decay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 267-78, May.
    2. Fehr, Ernst & Schmidt, Klaus M., 1998. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition and Cooperation," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 1812, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
    4. Gowdy, John M., 2008. "Behavioral economics and climate change policy," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 68(3-4), pages 632-644, December.
    5. Cerin, Pontus, 2006. "Bringing economic opportunity into line with environmental influence: A discussion on the Coase theorem and the Porter and van der Linde hypothesis," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 209-225, February.
    6. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2007. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective," Working Papers, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy 2007-16, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    7. Cameron Hepburn, 2010. "Environmental policy, government, and the market," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 734-734, Winter.
    8. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-48, September.
    9. Tversky, Amos & Kahneman, Daniel, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-61, November.
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