IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/kap/jbuset/v158y2019i1d10.1007_s10551-017-3702-4.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Deeds Not Words: A Cosmopolitan Perspective on the Influences of Corporate Sustainability and NGO Engagement on the Adoption of Sustainable Products in China

Author

Listed:
  • Dirk C. Moosmayer

    () (Nottingham University Business School China)

  • Yanyan Chen

    () (Nottingham University Business School China)

  • Susannah M. Davis

    () (University of Passau)

Abstract

To make a business case for corporate sustainability, firms must be able to sell their sustainable products. The influence that firm engagement with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) may have on consumer adoption of sustainable products has been neglected in previous research. We address this by embedding corporate sustainability in a cosmopolitan framework that connects firms, consumers, and civil society organizations based on the understanding of responsibility for global humanity that underlies both the sustainability and cosmopolitanism concepts. We hypothesize that firms’ sustainability engagement and their NGO engagement influence consumer adoption of sustainable products. Empirically, we investigate the adoption of sustainable Eco-circle products made from recycled fibers marketed by Li Ning, a China-based global sportswear brand. We apply a stepwise regression approach to test our hypotheses with paper-and-pencil survey data from 217 Chinese consumers. We find adoption to be positively associated with consumers’ sustainability attitude but not with firms’ sustainability engagement. For firm–NGO engagement, these relationships are reversed: Adoption is positively associated with firm–NGO engagement, but not with consumers’ related attitude. Our results present a picture of the Chinese context in which there is a business case for corporate sustainability if firms’ words about sustainable product strategies are supported by signals from civil society about firm deeds. The results imply that in a Chinese context, firms need to be particularly aware of the role of NGOs when hoping to be rewarded for sustainability.

Suggested Citation

  • Dirk C. Moosmayer & Yanyan Chen & Susannah M. Davis, 2019. "Deeds Not Words: A Cosmopolitan Perspective on the Influences of Corporate Sustainability and NGO Engagement on the Adoption of Sustainable Products in China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 158(1), pages 135-154, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:158:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3702-4
    DOI: 10.1007/s10551-017-3702-4
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://link.springer.com/10.1007/s10551-017-3702-4
    File Function: Abstract
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Shangkun Xu & Rudai Yang, 2010. "Indigenous Characteristics of Chinese Corporate Social Responsibility Conceptual Paradigm," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 93(2), pages 321-333, May.
    2. Raghuram Iyengar & Christophe Van den Bulte & Jae Young Lee, 2015. "Social Contagion in New Product Trial and Repeat," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 34(3), pages 408-429, May.
    3. Thomas Beschorner & Thomas Hajduk, 2017. "Responsible Practices are Culturally Embedded: Theoretical Considerations on Industry-Specific Corporate Social Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(4), pages 635-642, July.
    4. Niamh M. Brennan & Doris M. Merkl-Davies, 2014. "Rhetoric and argument in social and environmental reporting: the Dirty Laundry case," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 602-633, April.
    5. Xinming Deng & Yang Xu, 2017. "Consumers’ Responses to Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives: The Mediating Role of Consumer–Company Identification," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 142(3), pages 515-526, May.
    6. MacKenzie, Scott B. & Podsakoff, Philip M., 2012. "Common Method Bias in Marketing: Causes, Mechanisms, and Procedural Remedies," Journal of Retailing, Elsevier, vol. 88(4), pages 542-555.
    7. Robert Caruana & Michal J. Carrington & Andreas Chatzidakis, 2016. "“Beyond the Attitude-Behaviour Gap: Novel Perspectives in Consumer Ethics”: Introduction to the Thematic Symposium," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 215-218, June.
    8. Oliver Parts & Irena Vida, 2011. "The Effects of Consumer Cosmopolitanism on Purchase Behavior of Foreign vs. Domestic Products," Managing Global Transitions, University of Primorska, Faculty of Management Koper, vol. 9(4 (Winter), pages 355-370.
    9. Niamh Brennan & Doris Merkl-Davies & Annika Beelitz, 2013. "Dialogism in Corporate Social Responsibility Communications: Conceptualising Verbal Interaction Between Organisations and Their Audiences," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 115(4), pages 665-679, July.
    10. Jianxin Li & Hao He & Hongshen Liu & Chenting Su, 2017. "Consumer Responses to Corporate Environmental Actions in China: An Environmental Legitimacy Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 143(3), pages 589-602, July.
    11. Thomas Maak & Nicola Pless, 2009. "Business Leaders as Citizens of the World. Advancing Humanism on a Global Scale," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 537-550, September.
    12. Dirk C. Moosmayer & Susannah M. Davis, 2016. "Staking Cosmopolitan Claims: How Firms and NGOs Talk About Supply Chain Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 403-417, May.
    13. Simona Romani & Silvia Grappi & Richard P. Bagozzi, 2016. "Corporate Socially Responsible Initiatives and Their Effects on Consumption of Green Products," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 253-264, May.
    14. Renzo Junior & Peter Best & Julie Cotter, 2014. "Sustainability Reporting and Assurance: A Historical Analysis on a World-Wide Phenomenon," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 120(1), pages 1-11, March.
    15. Anika Kozlowski & Cory Searcy & Michal Bardecki, 2015. "Corporate sustainability reporting in the apparel industry: An analysis of indicators disclosed," International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 64(3), pages 377-397, March.
    16. Petra Riefler & Adamantios Diamantopoulos & Judy A Siguaw, 2012. "Cosmopolitan consumers as a target group for segmentation," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 43(3), pages 285-305, April.
    17. David Doorey, 2011. "The Transparent Supply Chain: from Resistance to Implementation at Nike and Levi-Strauss," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 103(4), pages 587-603, November.
    18. Michal Carrington & Benjamin Neville & Gregory Whitwell, 2010. "Why Ethical Consumers Don’t Walk Their Talk: Towards a Framework for Understanding the Gap Between the Ethical Purchase Intentions and Actual Buying Behaviour of Ethically Minded Consumers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(1), pages 139-158, November.
    19. Dorothea Baur & Hans Schmitz, 2012. "Corporations and NGOs: When Accountability Leads to Co-optation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 106(1), pages 9-21, March.
    20. Paolo Perego & Ans Kolk, 2012. "Multinationals’ Accountability on Sustainability: The Evolution of Third-party Assurance of Sustainability Reports," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 110(2), pages 173-190, October.
    21. Yingjun Lu & Indra Abeysekera, 2017. "What Do Stakeholders Care About? Investigating Corporate Social and Environmental Disclosure in China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 169-184, August.
    22. Breeda Comyns, 2016. "Determinants of GHG Reporting: An Analysis of Global Oil and Gas Companies," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 349-369, June.
    23. Thompson, Craig J & Tambyah, Siok Kuan, 1999. "Trying to Be Cosmopolitan," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 214-241, December.
    24. Giacomo Manetti & Simone Toccafondi, 2012. "The Role of Stakeholders in Sustainability Reporting Assurance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 107(3), pages 363-377, May.
    25. Simona Romani & Silvia Grappi & Richard P. Bagozzi, 2016. "Erratum to: Corporate Socially Responsible Initiatives and Their Effects on Consumption of Green Products," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(2), pages 399-399, May.
    26. Thomas Maak, 2009. "The Cosmopolitical Corporation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 84(3), pages 361-372, February.
    27. Krittinee Nuttavuthisit & John Thøgersen, 2017. "The Importance of Consumer Trust for the Emergence of a Market for Green Products: The Case of Organic Food," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(2), pages 323-337, January.
    28. Po Ip, 2009. "Is Confucianism Good for Business Ethics in China?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 88(3), pages 463-476, September.
    29. Baron, David P., 2011. "Credence attributes, voluntary organizations, and social pressure," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1331-1338.
    30. Doh, Jonathan & McGuire, Steven & Ozaki, Toshiya, 2015. "The Journal of World Business Special Issue: Global governance and international nonmarket strategies: Introduction to the special issue," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 256-261.
    31. Adam K. Webb, 2016. "Can the global South take over the baton? What cosmopolitanism in ‘unlikely’ places means for future world order," Third World Quarterly, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(6), pages 1016-1034, June.
    32. Darby, Michael R & Karni, Edi, 1973. "Free Competition and the Optimal Amount of Fraud," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 67-88, April.
    33. Robert Caruana & Andreas Chatzidakis, 2014. "Consumer Social Responsibility (CnSR): Toward a Multi-Level, Multi-Agent Conceptualization of the “Other CSR”," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(4), pages 577-592, June.
    34. S. Prakash Sethi & Terrence F. Martell & Mert Demir, 2017. "Erratum to: Enhancing the Role and Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports: The Missing Element of Content Verification and Integrity Assurance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 83-84, August.
    35. Dubbink, G.W. & Graafland, J.J. & Liederkerke, L., 2008. "CSR: Transparency and the role of intermediate organisations," MPRA Paper 17892, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    36. Michael G. Luchs & Minu Kumar, 2017. "“Yes, but this Other One Looks Better/Works Better”: How do Consumers Respond to Trade-offs Between Sustainability and Other Valued Attributes?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 140(3), pages 567-584, February.
    37. Andreas Georg Scherer & Guido Palazzo, 2011. "The New Political Role of Business in a Globalized World: A Review of a New Perspective on CSR and its Implications for the Firm, Governance, and Democracy," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 899-931, June.
    38. Juelin Yin & Yuli Zhang, 2012. "Institutional Dynamics and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) in an Emerging Country Context: Evidence from China," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 111(2), pages 301-316, December.
    39. Louise M. Hassan & Edward Shiu & Deirdre Shaw, 2016. "Who Says There is an Intention–Behaviour Gap? Assessing the Empirical Evidence of an Intention–Behaviour Gap in Ethical Consumption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 136(2), pages 219-236, June.
    40. Arno Kourula & Guillaume Delalieux, 2016. "The Micro-level Foundations and Dynamics of Political Corporate Social Responsibility: Hegemony and Passive Revolution through Civil Society," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(4), pages 769-785, June.
    41. S.A. Horn, 2009. "Product adoption and innovation diffusion: the case of Japanese marketing to China," Asia Pacific Business Review, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(3), pages 389-409, July.
    42. Mano, Haim & Oliver, Richard L, 1993. "Assessing the Dimensionality and Structure of the Consumption Experience: Evaluation, Feeling, and Satisfaction," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 451-466, December.
    43. S. Prakash Sethi & Terrence F. Martell & Mert Demir, 2017. "Enhancing the Role and Effectiveness of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Reports: The Missing Element of Content Verification and Integrity Assurance," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 59-82, August.
    44. repec:ucp:bkecon:9780226316529 is not listed on IDEAS
    45. Alessandra De Chiara, 2016. "Eco-labeled Products: Trend or Tools for Sustainability Strategies?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 161-172, August.
    46. Verena Gruber & Bodo Schlegelmilch, 2014. "How Techniques of Neutralization Legitimize Norm- and Attitude-Inconsistent Consumer Behavior," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 121(1), pages 29-45, April.
    47. Sungchul Choi & Alex Ng, 2011. "Environmental and Economic Dimensions of Sustainability and Price Effects on Consumer Responses," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 104(2), pages 269-282, December.
    48. Hye Jung Jung & HaeJung Kim & Kyung Wha Oh, 2016. "Green Leather for Ethical Consumers in China and Korea: Facilitating Ethical Consumption with Value–Belief–Attitude Logic," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 483-502, May.
    49. Amir Grinstein & Petra Riefler, 2015. "Citizens of the (green) world? Cosmopolitan orientation and sustainability," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 46(6), pages 694-714, August.
    50. Kate Grosser, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Multi-Stakeholder Governance: Pluralism, Feminist Perspectives and Women’s NGOs," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 65-81, August.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Melissa Monika Wagner & Tincuta Heinzel, 2020. "Human Perceptions of Recycled Textiles and Circular Fashion: A Systematic Literature Review," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 12(24), pages 1-28, December.

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Warren Maroun, 2020. "A Conceptual Model for Understanding Corporate Social Responsibility Assurance Practice," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 161(1), pages 187-209, January.
    2. Dirk C. Moosmayer & Susannah M. Davis, 2016. "Staking Cosmopolitan Claims: How Firms and NGOs Talk About Supply Chain Responsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 403-417, May.
    3. Li Yan & Hean Tat Keh & Xiaoyu Wang, 2021. "Powering Sustainable Consumption: The Roles of Green Consumption Values and Power Distance Belief," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 169(3), pages 499-516, March.
    4. Susannah M. Davis & Dirk C. Moosmayer, 2014. "Greening the Field? How NGOs Are Shaping Corporate Social Responsibility in China," Journal of Current Chinese Affairs - China aktuell, Institute of Asian Studies, GIGA German Institute of Global and Area Studies, Hamburg, vol. 43(4), pages 75-110.
    5. Thomas Maak & Nicola M. Pless & Christian Voegtlin, 2016. "Business Statesman or Shareholder Advocate? CEO Responsible Leadership Styles and the Micro-Foundations of Political CSR," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 463-493, May.
    6. Elena Kossmann & Mónica Gómez-Suárez, 2018. "Decision-making processes for purchases of ethical products: gaps between academic research and needs of marketing practitioners," International Review on Public and Nonprofit Marketing, Springer;International Association of Public and Non-Profit Marketing, vol. 15(3), pages 353-370, September.
    7. Giorgia Miotto & Marc Polo López & Josep Rom Rodríguez, 2019. "Gender Equality and UN Sustainable Development Goals: Priorities and Correlations in the Top Business Schools’ Communication and Legitimation Strategies," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(2), pages 1-18, January.
    8. Lee, Jihyun & Lee, Yuri, 2015. "The interactions of CSR, self-congruity and purchase intention among Chinese consumers," Australasian marketing journal, Elsevier, vol. 23(1), pages 19-26.
    9. Thomas Maak & Nicola Pless & Christian Voegtlin, 2016. "Business Statesman or Shareholder Advocate? CEO Responsible Leadership Styles and the Micro-Foundations of Political CSR," Post-Print hal-01480535, HAL.
    10. Rahul Govind & Jatinder Jit Singh & Nitika Garg & Shachi D’Silva, 2019. "Not Walking the Walk: How Dual Attitudes Influence Behavioral Outcomes in Ethical Consumption," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 155(4), pages 1195-1214, April.
    11. Cristina Longo & Avi Shankar & Peter Nuttall, 2019. "“It’s Not Easy Living a Sustainable Lifestyle”: How Greater Knowledge Leads to Dilemmas, Tensions and Paralysis," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 154(3), pages 759-779, February.
    12. Henri Kuokkanen & William Sun, 2020. "Companies, Meet Ethical Consumers: Strategic CSR Management to Impact Consumer Choice," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 166(2), pages 403-423, October.
    13. Olivier Boiral & Iñaki Heras-Saizarbitoria & Marie-Christine Brotherton & Julie Bernard, 2019. "Ethical Issues in the Assurance of Sustainability Reports: Perspectives from Assurance Providers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 159(4), pages 1111-1125, November.
    14. Fastoso, Fernando & González-Jiménez, Héctor, 2020. "Materialism, cosmopolitanism, and emotional brand attachment: The roles of ideal self-congruity and perceived brand globalness," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 429-437.
    15. Barry Ackers, 2017. "Independent corporate social responsibility assurance: a response to soft laws, or influenced by company size and industry sector?," International Journal of Disclosure and Governance, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 14(4), pages 278-298, November.
    16. Natalia Vaz Ogando & Silvia Ruiz Blanco & Belen Fernandez-Feijoo, 2018. "A Provider’s Approach to the Assurance Market of Sustainability Reports in Spain," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-27, June.
    17. Gregory Jackson & Julia Bartosch & Emma Avetisyan & Daniel Kinderman & Jette Steen Knudsen, 2020. "Mandatory Non-financial Disclosure and Its Influence on CSR: An International Comparison," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 162(2), pages 323-342, March.
    18. Romilda Mazzotta & Giovanni Bronzetti & Stefania Veltri, 2020. "Are mandatory non‐financial disclosures credible? Evidence from Italian listed companies," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 27(4), pages 1900-1913, July.
    19. Juelin Yin & Ali Quazi, 2018. "Business Ethics in the Greater China Region: Past, Present, and Future Research," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 150(3), pages 815-835, July.
    20. Olivier Boiral & Iñaki Heras-Saizarbitoria & Marie-Christine Brotherton, 2019. "Assessing and Improving the Quality of Sustainability Reports: The Auditors’ Perspective," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 155(3), pages 703-721, March.

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jbuset:v:158:y:2019:i:1:d:10.1007_s10551-017-3702-4. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Springer Nature Abstracting and Indexing). General contact details of provider: http://www.springer.com .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.