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When consumers doubt, Watch out! The role of CSR skepticism

Author

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  • Skarmeas, Dionysis
  • Leonidou, Constantinos N.

Abstract

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a hot topic in management today. More than ever before, companies engage in CSR initiatives to make a positive contribution to society or support their strategic goals. Yet, in the face of a plethora of CSR claims and numerous reported incidents of corporate misconduct, many people doubt the extent to which companies live up to their professed standards, and consumer skepticism toward corporate social involvement is on the rise. Drawing on attribution theory, this study proposes and tests a model that explains both how consumer skepticism toward the CSR of grocery retailers develops and its influence on important consumer-related outcomes. The findings reveal that attributions of egoistic- and stakeholder-driven motives elicit consumer skepticism toward CSR, while values-driven attributions inhibit skepticism. The results also indicate that CSR skepticism hurts retailer equity, decreases resistance to negative information about the retailer, and stimulates unfavorable word of mouth.

Suggested Citation

  • Skarmeas, Dionysis & Leonidou, Constantinos N., 2013. "When consumers doubt, Watch out! The role of CSR skepticism," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1831-1838.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:66:y:2013:i:10:p:1831-1838
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.02.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. repec:dau:papers:123456789/4687 is not listed on IDEAS
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