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

Author

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  • Rosetta Lombardo

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

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Rosetta Lombardo, 2011. "The Role Of Corporate Social Responsibility In Consumer Behaviour: An Unresolved Paradox," Working Papers 201115, Università della Calabria, Dipartimento di Economia, Statistica e Finanza "Giovanni Anania" - DESF.
  • Handle: RePEc:clb:wpaper:201115
    as

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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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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert Sugden, 2004. "The Opportunity Criterion: Consumer Sovereignty Without the Assumption of Coherent Preferences," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1033, September.
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    3. Ernst Fehr & Klaus M. Schmidt, 1999. "A Theory of Fairness, Competition, and Cooperation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(3), pages 817-868.
    4. Amos Tversky & Daniel Kahneman, 1991. "Loss Aversion in Riskless Choice: A Reference-Dependent Model," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1039-1061.
    5. Cameron Hepburn, 2010. "Environmental policy, government, and the market," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(4), pages 734-734, Winter.
    6. Thomas P. Lyon & John W. Maxwell, 2008. "Corporate Social Responsibility and the Environment: A Theoretical Perspective," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 2(2), pages 240-260, Summer.
    7. Gintis, Herbert, 1972. "Consumer Behavior and the Concept of Sovereignty: Explanations of Social Decay," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 62(2), pages 267-278, May.
    8. Lutz, Stefan & Lyon, Thomas P & Maxwell, John W, 2000. "Quality Leadership When Regulatory Standards Are Forthcoming," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(3), pages 331-348, September.
    9. 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, vol. 56(2), pages 209-225, February.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

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

    JEL classification:

    • D01 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Microeconomic Behavior: Underlying Principles
    • D21 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Firm Behavior: Theory
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • Q28 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Government Policy

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