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The effect of corporate social responsibility :
b exploring the relationship among CSR, attitude toward the brand, purchase intention, and persuasion knowledge
h [electronic resource] /
by Duangkaew Chaisurivirat.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains 91 pages.
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2009.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
ABSTRACT: The purpose of this study is to test the general belief that CSR leads to positive attitudes toward a brand and results in an increase in consumers' purchase intentions on the basis of the Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH). This study replicates and extends previous research by examining the effect of consumers' persuasion knowledge, based on the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM), as one variable that can affect consumers' attitudes toward CSR initiatives and brands. A post-test only experiment was conducted using stimulus materials derived from Starbuck Coffee Company. Four of the stimulus materials containing CSR messages corresponded with four CSR initiative types identified by Kotler and Lee (2005), and one contains no message related CSR. This study indicates supports for the belief of positive relationships among attitude toward CSR, attitude toward brand, and purchase intention, regardless of the type of CSR initiative. In regard to types of CSR initiatives, only attitude toward CSR was influenced by CSR initiatives. Also, the results indicate that corporate philanthropy produced the most positive attitude among the types of CSR. However, when it comes to consumer's persuasion knowledge, the results are slightly different. Although there is not enough evidence to conclude that people use different levels of persuasion knowledge with different types of CSR, persuasion knowledge influences attitude toward CSR and attitude toward brand, and these relationships are negative. In addition, the study found that corporate volunteering appeared to be the most favorable type of CSR initiative when considering with persuasion knowledge. Finally, the study did not find an interaction effect between CSR initiative type and persuasion knowledge.
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Advisor: Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D.
x Mass Communications
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
The Effect of Corporate Social Responsibil ity: Exploring the Relationship among CSR, Attitude toward the Brand, Purchase Intention, and Persuasion Knowledge by Duangkaew Chaisurivirat A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts School of Mass Communications College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D. Scott S. Liu, Ph.D. Randy Miller, Ph.D. Date of Approval November 12, 2009 Keywords: strategic communication, cor porate communication, affect transfer, Starbucks, experimental research Copyright 2009, Duangkaew Chaisurivirat
Acknowledgements I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have assisted me to succeed in this graduate program and thesis pr ocess. First of all, I would like to thank every faculty and staff member of the School of Mass Communications at the University of South Florida for all the facilitation th roughout my graduate study at USF. Next, I would like to thank Dr. Kelly Page Werder, my thesis supervisor, for all the advice and help throughout the thesis process. Without he r, I will not be able to achieve my thesis. Also, I would like to thank both of my co mmittee members, Dr. Scott Liu and Dr. Randy Miller, for taking time out of their schedules to help comment and give me very helpful advice, which allowed me to complete this thesis. It was a great opportunity for me to work with my thesis supervisor and both of my committee members. Lastly, I would like to thank my family and friends for be ing very supportive, encouraging, and understanding throughout the entire process.
i Table of Contents List of Tables iii List of Figures v Abstract vi Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Chapter 2: Literature Review 5 Corporate Social Responsibility 5 Economic Responsibility 8 Legal Responsibility 9 Ethical Responsibility 9 Philanthropic Responsibility 9 Types of CSR Initiatives 11 Cause Promotion 11 Cause-Related Marketing 12 Cause Social Marketing 12 Corporate Philanthropy 13 Community Volunteering 13 Socially Responsible Business Practices 13 Relationships between CSR, Attitude Toward Brand and 14 Purchase Intention Persuasion Knowledge 17 Theoretical Framework and Hypotheses 25 Chapter 3: Methodology 31 Research Participants 32 Instrumentation 32 Procedures 32 Stimulus Materials 33 Measures 37 Manipulation Check 38 Data Analysis 42 Chapter 4: Results 43 Test of Hypotheses 46
ii Chapter 5: Discussion 61 Discussion of the Findings 61 Limitations and Future Research 68 Implications 70 References 73 Appendices 79 Appendix A: Treatments 80 Appendix B: Questionnaire 86
iii List of Tables Table 1: Cause Promotion Definition Mean Score for Each CSR treatment 39 Table 2: Cause-Related Marketing Definiti on Mean Score for Each CSR Treatment 40 Table 3: Corporate Volunteering Definition Mean Score for Each CSR Treatment 41 Table 4: Corporate Philanthropy Definition Mean Score for Each CSR Treatment 41 Table 5: Item Mean and Standard Deviation 44 Table 6: CronbachÂ’s Alpha for Multiple-Item Indexes 45 Table 7: Attitude toward CSR/Attitude toward Brand/Purchase 47 Intention Correlations Table 8: Regression Model for Att itude toward CSR Predicting 47 Attitude toward Brand Table 9: Regression Model for Att itude toward Brand Predicting 48 Purchase Intention Table 10: Persuasion Knowledge Mean Scor e for Each CSR Initiative Treatment 49 Table 11: Persuasion knowledge/ Attitude toward CSR/ Attitude toward 50 Brand/ Purchase inte ntions Correlations Table 12: Regression Model for Pe rsuasion Knowledge Predicting 51 Attitude toward CSR Table 13: Regression Model for Pe rsuasion Knowledge Predicting 51 Attitude toward Brand Table 14: Regression Model for Pe rsuasion Knowledge Predicting 51 Purchase Intention Table 15: Interaction Effect of CSR Treatments and 53 Persuasion Knowledge on Attitude toward CSR Table 16: Attitude toward CSR Mean Scores for Each CSR Initiative Treatment 54
iv Table 17: Post Hoc Comparison for Attitu de toward CSR across CSR Treatments 55 Table 18: Interaction Effect of CSR Treatment Types and Persuasion Knowledge 56 on Attitude toward Brand Table 19: Attitude toward Brand Mean Scores for Each CSR Initiative Treatment 57 Table 20: Post Hoc Comparison for Attitude toward Brand across CSR Treatments 58 Table 21: Interaction Effect of CSR Treatment Types and Persuasion Knowledge 59 on Purchase Intention Table 22: Purchase Intentions Mean Sc ore for Each CSR Initiative Treatment 60
v List of Figures Figure 1: The Pyramid of Cor porate Social Responsibility 8 Figure 2: Persuasion Knowledge Model 19 Figure 3: Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH) 26 Figure 4: Proposed Model 29
vi The Effect of Corporate Social Responsib ility: Exploring the Relationship Among CSR, Attitude Toward the Brand, Purchase Intention, and Persuasion Knowledge Duangkaew Chaisurivirat ABSTRACT The purpose of this study is to test the general belief that CSR leads to positive attitudes toward a brand and results in an in crease in consumersÂ’ purchase intentions on the basis of the Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH). This study replicates and extends previous research by examining the effect of consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge, based on the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM), as one variable that can affect consumersÂ’ attitudes toward CSR initiativ es and brands. A post-test on ly experiment was conducted using stimulus materials derived from Star buck Coffee Company. Four of the stimulus materials containing CSR messages corres ponded with four CSR initiative types identified by Kotler and Lee (2005), and one contains no message related CSR. This study indicates supports for the belief of positive relationships among attitude toward CSR, attitude toward brand, and purchase inte ntion, regardless of the type of CSR initiative. In regard to types of CSR initiatives, only att itude toward CSR was influenced by CSR initiatives. Also, the re sults indicate that corporate philanthropy produced the most positive attitude among the types of CSR. However, when it comes to consumerÂ’s persuasion knowledge, the results ar e slightly different. Although there is not enough evidence to conclude that people use different levels of persuasion knowledge with different types of CSR, persuasion know ledge influences attitude toward CSR and
vii attitude toward brand, and these relationshi ps are negative. In addition, the study found that corporate volunteering appeared to be th e most favorable type of CSR initiative when considering with persuasion know ledge. Finally, the study did not find an interaction effect between CSR initia tive type and persuasion knowledge.
1 Chapter 1: Introduction Â“Business functions by public consent, and its basic purpose is to serve constructively the needs of societyÂ—to the benefit of society.Â” (The Committee for Economic Development, 1971, as cited in Grunig & Hunt, 1984, p. 52). This philosophy indicates the importance of social respons ibility to organizations operating in a competitive marketplace. Over the past decade, Â“Corporate Social ResponsibilityÂ” (CSR) has become a popular catch-phrase in American corporations. By definition, CSR refers to socially responsible acts performed by companies to benefit their stakeholders, shareholders, and communities (Cetindemar & Husoy, 2007). It has become an important topic among researchers, reflecting its in creasing importance to consumers and the corporate bottom line. According to Catchpole, Â“Â…corporate citizensh ip, or CSR, is no longer a nice-to-have element of business st rategyÂ—it has evolved to must-have status.Â” (2009, p. 8). Recent research demonstrates the significan ce of this topic to organizations (i.e., Baron, 2007; Branco & Rodrigues, 2006; Mc Williams, Siegel, & Wright, 2006). In 2005, a survey conducted by the Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce showed that, of 1,189 bus inesses in the U.S., a large majority consider corporate citizenship their main concern (Price, 2007). Many companies have adopted CSR as part of their mission. For ex ample, Starbucks Coffee Company has made CSR one of its six principles of busine ss. The company states on its Web site:
2 We work together on a daily basis with partners (employees), suppliers, and farmers to help create a more sustai nable approach to high-quality coffee production, to help build stronger local communities, to minimize our environmental footprint and to be res ponsive to our customersÂ’ health and wellness needs. (n.d.). Also, Coca-Cola is significantly concerned abou t this topic. Coke Chairman and CEO E. Neville Isdell stated, Â“The Coca-Cola Compa ny must be both a great business and a great corporate citizenÂ” (as cited in Price, 2007, p. 652). In addi tion, on a global scale, the United Nations showed its considerable c oncern about CSR by offi cially launching The United Nation Global Compact in 2000 hoping to drive companies to adopt environmentally responsible practices (C etindamar & Husoy, 2007). These examples indicate the growing awaren ess of the value of CSR among corporate decision-makers and the accompanying need for greater understanding of the effects of CSR on consumersÂ’ attitudes an d purchase intentions. From a strategic communications perspective, CSR is viewed as an important element in corporate communica tion with stakeholde rs. Some research suggests that CSR produces positive attitudes toward a company, its brand, products, and services (Brown & Dacin, 1997; Creyer & Ross, 1997; Ellen, Mo hr, & Webb, 2000). These findings support the Affect Transfer Hypothesis (A TH), which states that people will transfer their attitude toward one object to a closely associat ed object (Shimp, 1981 ). Favorable public perceptions can lead to organiza tional benefits, such as gains in profits, market share, and brand loyalty.
3 In addition, research on CSR is appearing more frequently in the public relations literature (Capriotti & Moreno, 2007) as this area of inquiry is seen as particularly relevant to public relations management. Bei ng responsible to the public is a significant part of public relations management. As Edward L. Bernays stated in August 1980, in the public relations division of A ssociation for Education in Journalism meeting at Boston University, Â“Public relations is the practice of social respons ibility. It holds the key to AmericaÂ’s futureÂ” (as cited in Grunig & Hunt, 1984, p. 47). According to Grunig and Hunt (1984), two-way symmetri cal communication is the ideal model of public relations, and socially responsible business practices f acilitate this type of communication. Â“Public responsibility is a basic tenet of public rela tions. If the organization does not need to be responsible to its publics, it also does not need a public relations function.Â” (Grunig & Hunt, 1984, p. 52). Thus, the study of CSR is cen tral to the study of public relations. Research suggests that CSR can produce positive outcomes for a company; however, there is little unde rstanding of the relationship between CSR and consumersÂ’ attitude toward brand and purchase intent ions. Some research suggests that these variables are positively associated (i.e., We rder, 2008; Kim, 2006). They argue that CSR leads to positive brand attitudes and can also re sult in an increase in purchase intentions among consumers. Especially in time of ec onomic recession, CSR helps an organization survive. Based on a 2004 survey of 1,800 people from 12 nations, Quelch and Jocz (2009) found that CSR is the key brand factor for global brands. C onsumers prefer to buy products from a brand with good social res ponsibility, even though th ey have to pay a premium price. However, some researchers have found that CSR can negatively impact an organization if consumers are suspicious of a companyÂ’s CSR initiatives, seeing the
4 corporate actions as only profitdriven (Chakaraborty et al., 2004; Friedman, 1970; Smith, 2003). Though a company enacts CSR ini tiatives, those ini tiatives must be genuine commitments, not just short-term maneuvers for a company to cope with economic distress. Â“Consumers have an incr easingly acute radar for hypocrisyÂ” (Quelch & Jocz, 2009, p. 39). This perspective is supported by the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) which explains how people use persua sion knowledge to deal with marketersÂ’ persuasive attempts and how pepople use that knowledge to process th eir attitudes toward a product or marketer (F riestad & Wright, 1994). The inconsistent results of previous res earch provide evidence to warrant further research on the effect of CSR initiatives on the attitudes and behavioral intentions of organizational stakeholders. The purpose of this study is to explore the relationship among CSR initiatives, consumersÂ’attitudes toward brand, and consumersÂ’ purchase intentions. This study seeks to support previ ous research indicating that CSR leads to positive attitudes toward brand and results in an increase in consumersÂ’ purchase intentions. The Affect Transfer Hypothesi s (ATH) and the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) provide the theoretical foundation for this research. An experiment was conducted to determine the effect of consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge on consumersÂ’ attitudes toward CSR initiatives and corporate brands as well as their purchase intentions. Chapter 2 provides a review of relevant literature. Chapter 3 explains the procedures and methods used in this resear ch. Chapter 4 provides the results of this research, and Chapter 5 provides a discussion of the findings, limitations, future research, and implications of the findings of this st udy to strategic communication scholarship and practice.
5 Chapter 2: Review of Literature This chapter provides a review of literatu re relevant to this study. This chapter reviews the concept of corporate social re sponsibility, including types of CSR initiatives, the relationship between CSR, attitude towa rd companies or brands and purchase intentions, and the relationship betw een CSR and persuasion knowledge. Corporate Social Responsibility Much literature indicates that CSR has b ecome a part of corporate practice in the 20th century and has visibly become more widespread since 1970 (i.e., Cetindemar & Husoy, 2007; Quaak, Aalbers, & Goedee, 2007) According to Frederick (1994), CSR became a new practice for many companies in 1 970. He also stated that, at that time, there was a growth of corporat e social responsiveness and th e corporate capacity to react to social pressures. In 1986, he argued that it was essentia l to place an ethical emphasis on the study of business and society (Frederick, 1994). In addition, researchers commonly suggest that the CSR became prevalent due to concerns about negative soci al outcomes from large comp anies or manufacturers, and those companies or manufacturers should be re sponsible for those negative outcomes. For instance, Quaak et al. (2007) argue that the c oncept of CSR grew out of the rapid increase in negative social consequen ces of corporate actions. Thes e negative outcomes lead to societal view that companies should be res ponsible for the negative consequences of their actions. The reason for the increase in CS R provided by Chahal and Sharma (2006) seems to be easy to understand. They state the following:
6 The factors that are driving this move towards corporate social responsibility include new concerns and expectations of stakeholders, citizens, consumers, public authorities and investor s, influence of social cr iteria in the investment decisions of individuals a nd institutions both as consumers and as investors, increased concern about the damage caused by economic activities to the environment, and transparency of busin ess activities brought about by the media and modern information and co mmunication technol ogies. (p. 206) At present, the term CSR is popular in the business and academic sectors. Many companies have become more aware of th e importance of CSR and include their CSR activities in their annual repor t. Cetindamar and Husoy (2007) explain that the year 2000 was a turning point for CSR. They also st ate that many governmen ts began to require companies to be responsible to society. Fo r instance, the Johanne sburg Declaration and Plan of Implementation of the World Su mmit on Sustainable Development indicated governmentÂ’s call for greater corporate envi ronmental and social responsibility and accountability (The United Nations, 2002, 2003, as cited in Cetindamar & Husoy, 2007). In addition, in 2001, there was the publica tion of the Commission of the European Communities, Promoting a European Framework fo r Corporate Social Responsibility (Aaronson & Reeves, 2002; Tencati, Perri ni, & Pogutz, 2004). Moreover, there was supporting evidence that indicated more conc ern about CSR. In Europe, for example, there was a report indicating th at 62% of fund managers and financial analyst noted a growth of Socially Responsib le Investment interest (C SR Europe, 2003, as cited in Cetindarmar & Husoy, 2007). In addition, an online survey indicated that, among FTSE 100 companies, 97 of them had information about CSR on their Web sites, and 81 of
7 them provided a full report of CSR (CTN Communication, 2003, as cited in Cetindamar & Husoy, 2007). Definitions of CSR have been provide d by many academics, researchers, and corporations. For instance, the World Bu siness Council of Sustainable Development (WBCSD) refers to CSR as, Â“Â…the commitment of business to contribute to sustainable economic development, working with employees their families, the local community and society at large to improve their quality of lifeÂ” (2000, p. 10). According to Fox (2007), the three main issues of sustainability are prof its, people, and the planet. If companies can achieve all these aspects, they will be incl uded on the Corporate Citizenship list and the Most Admired Companies list, as well as the Dow Jones Sustaina bility World Index (DJSWI), which includes the top 250 compan ies in terms of economic, environmental, and societal criteria (Fox, 2007). Chahal and Sharma (2006) define CSR as a firmÂ’s commitment to protect and improve society and its organizational welfare by utilizing different business and social actions to ensure that it provides equal and sustainable benefits for diverse stakeholders (Chahal & Sharma, 2006). In addition, Br anco and Rodigues (2006) found that CSR includes many issues, such as human resour ce management, healthy and safe working conditions, and building relationships with lo cal communities, suppliers, and consumers. They also suggest that firms should deal w ith problems resulting from their operation independently, without being forced by laws and governmental regulation. Caroll (1991) considers CSR as a multi-lay er concept encompassing four related responsibilities: economics, le gal, ethical, and philanthropi c. These four levels of responsibility are placed on an organization by society at any given point in time (Caroll
8 & Buchholtz, 2000). In addition, Caroll proposed a model called The Pyramid of Corporate Social responsibility as shown in Figure 1. Figure 1. The Pyramid of Corporate Social Responsibility (Caroll, 1991, p. 42) Economic Responsibility. This facet is the very basic responsibility of business firms. Historically, business firms are re sponsible for properly functioning as an economic unit in a society. They are basica lly responsible for providing products and
9 services needed by a society. This facet is cons idered a basis of subs equent facets (Caroll, 1991). Legal Responsibility. Business firms are also expected by a society to operate within the framework of laws and regulations Laws and regulations are codification of societyÂ’s norms; thus, business firms must co mply with them in order to fulfill their responsibility to a society. All corporations must have this responsibility in order to continue to operate (Caroll, 1991). Ethical Responsibility. This facet reflects the ethical obligation for business firms to do things that are considered right, fair and just by a society, regardless of whether they are codified into law. This facet is not just the next layer of the pyramid; it also has a dynamic interplay with legal responsibility. In other words, ethical responsibility regularly broadens legal res ponsibility and pushes business firms to operate their business above or at the same level required by law (Caroll, 1991). Philanthropic Responsibility. This responsibility is at the top of the pyramid. Business firms are expected to be good co rporate citizens by providing goodwill to a community, such as engaging in charitable ev ents and providing fina ncial resources to a non-profit organization. This facet is distin ct from ethical responsibility. That is, philanthropic responsibility is not required by society like ethical responsibility is. People will not consider a business firm unethical if it does not have philanthropic responsibility, but it is the desire of society (Caroll, 1991). Cetindamar and Husoy (2007) see CSR as including Â“sustainable economic development,Â” reflecting its economic side, a nd Â“working with stakeholders,Â” reflecting its ethical side (p.166). Yet, theoreticians may differently interpret what motivates a
10 company to adopt CSR practices, depending on which field (economic or ethical) they come from (Cetindamar & Husoy, 2007). From an ethical perspective, a company may adopt CSR because it is purely the right thi ng to do for the good of society. On the other hand, from an economic aspect, CSR may be used as a tool to achieve a companyÂ’s economic purpose and wealth creation, which is a part of it responsibility to shareholders. From this perspective, a company will adop t CSR as long as it contributes to profits (Cetindamar & Husoy, 2007). Similar to Cetindamar and Husoy, Smith (2003) argues that it is viable to divide CSR into two cases: the normative case, wh ich focuses on doing good, and the business case, which is motivated by corporate self-inter est. He explains that if a company views CSR as the normative case, it is because it beli eves in socially responsible behaviors. In contrast, if a company views CSR as the business case, it is because a company believes that investing in social responsibility w ill further its economic success. Although the two cases are obviously different, companies might engage in CSR for reasons associated with both cases. In fact, it is typical for companies to combine these motivations. For example, the production of environmentally sound technology is a good example of how the two motivations are combined. On one hand, a companyÂ’s concern about environmental issues is based on the su stainable development and the common good approach. On the other hand, adopting that action can be seen to be economically practical (Cetindamar & Husoy, 2007). Fr om an economic perspective, being environmentally responsible to society mi ght cause companies to invest in new technology, methods, tools, and material. Yet, these investments might also lead to financial advantages for a company (Cetindamar & Husoy, 2007).
11 Therefore, it is not easy to separate CSR from economic or business concerns. Many business practitioners and sc holars still believe that CSR is a way for companies to increase profits. And it is difficult to say that those companies that launch CSR initiatives aim only to be socially responsible without seeking to gain pr ofit. For example, Friedman (1970) considers CSR as business ca se. He stated that the responsibility of corporations is Â“Â…to conduct the business in accord with [s hareholdersÂ’] desires, which generally will be to make as much money as possible while conforming to the basic rules of the society, both those embodied in law a nd those embodied in ethical custom.Â” (as cited in Baron, 2007, p. 683). He also suggests that CSR is the way to maximize companiesÂ’ profits. Similarly, Chakaraborty et al. (2004) view CSR as a way to achieve business success through ethical behavi ors, valuing people, communities and environment, and maintaining organizational pr actices that have an impact on societal well being. Types of CSR initiatives CSR includes a variety of socially res ponsible activities. Kotler and Lee (2005) identified six different types of CSR in itiatives: cause promotion, cause-related marketing, corporate social marketing, cor porate philanthropy, co mmunity volunteering, and socially responsib le business practice. Cause Promotion A goal of this initiative is to build awareness and concern for social causes by informing the public of the fact s and statistics about a cause. It tries to persuade people to find out more about th e cause, donate time, donate money, donate nonmonetary resources, and pa rticipate in events. Contribut ions or support provided to a cause are not tied to the sa le of specific products. Cause promotion does not intend to
12 change peopleÂ’s behaviors, related to the cause; it only calls for action related to buying certain products over others. Also, it involve s business activities su ch as developing and distributing material, volunteer ing, participating in public relations activities, and engaging in sponsorship s (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Cause-Related Marketing Â“A corporation commits to making a contribution or donating a percentage of revenues to a speci fic cause based on product sales. Most commonly this offer is for an announced pe riod of time and for a specific product and a specified charityÂ” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 81-82). In this CSR initiative type, the distinctive feature is the relationship with product sale s. A company cooperates with a non-profit organization to create a mutual relationship that intentionally provides increased product sales as well as financial s upport to the charity. Moreover, it usually involves the marketing department because its intention is to incr ease sales (Kotler & Lee, 2005). However, according to Smith (2003) this initiative potentially causes a problem when customers assume that a comp any is engaging in this activity only to increase the companyÂ’s profits. Corporate Social Marketing. According to Kotler and Lee (2005), intention to change behavior is the focus of this initiative. They refer to corporate social marketing as when Â“a corporation supports the development and/or implementation of a behavior change campaign intended to improve public health, safety, the environment, or community well-beingÂ” (p. 23). In additi on, it tends to be a cooperation between a company and the public sector su ch as federal, state, health department, and utilities. Examples of this initiative are the Philip Mo rris campaign to encourage parents to talk to
13 their children about tobacco and Home Depot Â’s collaboration with a water utility to promote water conservation tips. Corporate Philanthropy In this type of CSR initiative, a company directly contributes to charity or cau ses in the form of cash, donati ons, and/or inkind services. This is the most traditional form of CSR. Typical programs include donating cash/products/services, providing technical expertise, offering the use of equipment, and allowing the use of facilities and distri bution channels. Corporate philanthropy, sometimes known as community giving, commun ity relations, corpor ate citizenship, or community affairs, has been strategically used to build good images for companies (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Community Volunteering Kotler and Lee indicate community volunteering is an initiative in which Â“a corpor ation supports and encourages employees, retail partners, and/or franchise members to volunteer their time to support local community organizations and causesÂ” (2005, p. 24). They al so state that a corporation may mandate a form of community volunteering itself or let employees choose an activity to be supported by a company in the form of getting pa id time off. This ini tiative is perceived as the most genuine and satisfying of all types of CSR. Thus, this initiative can build the strongest relationship between a corporation and a community as a result of a sincere corporate spirit of doing something good for a community. Community volunteering employs a real commitment and requires more effort by a corporation and its employees to actually do something rather than ju st write a check (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Socially Responsible Business Practices In this initiative, Â“A corporation adopts and conducts discretionary busin ess practices and investments that support social causes
14 to improve community well-being and protec t the environmentÂ” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 24). The concepts of discretionary activities, community, and well-being distinguish this type of CSR initiatives from others. Discre tionary activities are not mandated by law. They are about the morality and ethics of a corporation. Community refers to everyone who is involved with a business. Well-being re fers to psychological and emotional health and safety (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Relationship between CSR, attitude toward brand, and purchase intention Many researchers have demonstrated a positive relationship between CSR and consumersÂ’ attitudes toward companies or brands (Brown & Dacin 1997; Maignan & Ferrell, 2001; Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001). Since organizations are a part of society, they have to rely on societyÂ’s acceptance to c ontinue to operate without interference. Consequently, acceptance from society allows organizations to build positive consumer attitudes toward their bra nds and services (Duagherty, 2001; Werder, 2008). Consumers expect business firms to c ontribute to the public (Quelc h & Jocz, 2009). Branco and Rodrigues (2006) state that firms are expected to fulfill stakeholdersÂ’ expectations to gain reputations. Thus, engaging in CSR is one of th e most effective ways to demonstrate that firms care about stakeholders and their expe ctations. Moreover, Fo mbrun, Gardberg, and Barnett (2000) argue that CSR will provide companies a positive image and help those companies tie themselves to stakeholders Because corporate reputation comes from stakeholder support (Branco & Rodrigues, 2006), the more firms illustra te that they care about their stakeholders, the better their corporate reputation will be. Ben and JerryÂ’s Ice Cream is one exampl e of a successful company that enacts CSR campaigns. Ben and JerryÂ’s Ice Cream was founded on the basis of fun, earning a
15 living, and poviding something of value to the community. It also became aware that, if companies hold the same values as their pote ntial customers, they would not have to create a spurious image (Cohen & Greenfi eld, 1997). Likewise, Chahal and Sharma (2006) indicate that CSR initiatives can he lp a company improve its image and build company equity. So, companies that are pe rceived as having strong CSR tend to also have a good reputation. In addition, the belief that CSR initiatives can influence consumersÂ’ beliefs and attitudes toward a company was supported by WerderÂ’s study in 2008. The results of the study demonstrate that salient beliefs predict a ttitudes, and those attitudes, in turn, predict behavioral intentions. Also, CSR initiatives influence consumersÂ’ beliefs about the company in terms of contribu tions to a community and trus tworthiness. Unsurprisingly, a CSR campaign can be perceived as a good stra tegy to build a good image for a company. Perceptions of socially res ponsible behaviors of a compa ny also influence consumersÂ’ valuation of service and long-term loyalty to the company. According to Salmones, Crespo, and del Bosque (2005), in service sect ors, CSR positively influences the overall evaluation of services. As for the consumer sÂ’ loyalty, CSR has an indirect effect on loyalty through serv ice valuation. Many CSR initiatives do not only provide a positive image for companies and result in increases in positive attitudes towa rd companies and their brands, but they also positively affect consumersÂ’ purchase inte ntions. Creyer and Ross (1997) found that ethics and consumer choices have a positive relationship. In other words, since consumers feel favorably toward socially re sponsible companies, they remember those companies and will be more likely to pur chase products and services from them.
16 Consequently, CSR can lead to good financ ial performance. According to Branco and Rodrigues (2006), a relationship between CSR and financial performance has been an important topic since 1960. Although the relationship between CSR and financial performance is still not clear due to a l ack of theory and measurement of social responsibility outcomes, there is limited evid ence about the directi on of the relationship between CSR and increased financial performanc e. There is evidence to suggest that CSR and financial performance have a positive relationship (Branco & Rodrigues, 2006). Many scholars believe that CSR and financial performance are interrelated. They argue that social performance is both a cause a nd a result of financial performance (i.e., Orlitzky, Schmidt, & Rynes, 2003; Waddock & Graves, 1997). Branco and Rodrigues (2006) state that companies can also attian better financial pe rformance by engaging in CSR. For instance, for firms that sell pr oducts that are consumed or used before consumers can evaluate or value them, reputat ion is the primary criteria that consumers use to decide whether they want to buy a pr oduct or not. It is more likely for consumers to choose products from a company with a be tter reputation (Branco & Rodrigues, 2006). In contrast, companies that do not care about CSR can be perceived as socially irresponsible, and this perception can bri ng about a communityÂ’s negative attitudes toward the company and can result in financial problems (Werder, 2008). Especially in todayÂ’s economic recession, CSR has become more significant than ever before. One of the reasons that makes CS R more relevant is that it can reestablish consumersÂ’ trust in a company. In other words, the economic downturn has decreased consumerÂ’s trust in corporations and caused people to reconsider their core values. Materialistic value decreases and is replaced by idealistic value; that is, consumers expect
17 companies to be more trustworthy and soci ally responsible. Therefore, being more socially responsible will provide companies with perceived goodwill and help them build long-term relationships with a community (Quelch & Jocz, 2009). Although there is a lot of agreement on the positive relationship among CSR initiatives, attitudes toward companies, and purchase intentions, some inconsistent findings exist. For example, Kim (2006) did not find support for previous research results that favorable attitudes would be likely to influence purchase intentions. Similarly, Werder (2008) did not find that CSR initia tives influence consumersÂ’ attitudes and behavioral intentions. Moreover, many studi es have found that the effects of CSR initiatives are moderated by other factors, su ch as the type of CSR initiatives and the congruence between a brand and cause (E llen, Mohr, &Webb, 2000; Menon & Kahn, 2003). Due to the inconsistency in research findings related to CSR outcomes, it is important to try to gain more understandi ng about whether CSR actually has a positive effect on consumersÂ’ attitude s and purchase intentions. Persuasion Knowledge Model Even though CSR initiatives appear to benefit companies in many ways, they have some disadvantages. Since some peopl e believe that companies engag in CSR primarily maximize profits (Friedman, 1970) consumers may be suspicious of a companyÂ’s motives for engaging in CSR. Y oon, Gurhan-Canli, and Schwarz (2006) state that CSR activities will Â“backfireÂ” for companies when consumers become doubtful or Â“suspiciousÂ” and assume the real purpose of a companyÂ’s CSR is to improve its image (p. 377). Moreover, if consumer skepticism exists CSR activities will more likely lead to
18 negative perceptions about a company rather than positive perceptions (Yoon, GurhanCanli, & Schwarz, 2006). Based on this literature, it is helpful to consider one relevant model, the Persuasion Knowledge Model The PKM has been used in business, advertising, and public relations. One of the most prominent studies was by Friestad and Wright in 1994. According to Friestad and Wright (1994), the a ssumption of this theory is that consumers judge persuasion attempts based more on persuasion knowledge than product information. Basically, this model explai ns how consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge influences their responses to persuasion atte mpts in ads, campaigns, or sales promotion, and helps them cope with those persuasion attempts. The PKM includes three important elements: 1) Targets, which refer to the pe ople whom persuasion attempts are aimed at; 2) Agent, which refers to whoever targets pe rceive as the source of persuasion attempts; and 3) Persuasion episode, which refers to a situation when agents and targets communicate, as shown in Figure 2. Friestad and Wright (1994) also argue that consumers process messages differently in different settings. In other words, they process information in nonpersuasive settings diffe rently than in pe rsuasive settings.
19 Figure 2. Persuasion Knowledge Model (Friestad & Wright, 1994, p.2) Campbell and Kirmani (2000) indicate that the accessibility of ulterior motives and cognitive capacity on perception of infl uence agents are important factors that determine consumersÂ’ use of persua sion knowledge. Their study focuses on an interpersonal sales setting, a nd they propose the following:
20 Â…when the situation makes ulterior mo tives accessible, or consumers have unconstrained resources, persuasion knowledge will be used to infer an underlying persuasion motive and will thus influence the evaluation of the salesperson. In contrast, when ulterior motives are less accessible and consumers are cognitively constrained, persuasion knowledge will not be used in evaluating the salesperson. (p. 69-70) The accessibility of ulterior motives leads to the formation of suspicion that can result in less favorable impressions of sa lespersons/marketers. If consumers wonder whether a salespersonÂ’s remark is motivat ed by persuasion to buy products, they may perceive the salesperson as insincere. The st rength of influence agentsÂ’ (salespersonsÂ’) association with motives can affect the accessib ility of ulterior motives. To illustrate, in the context of sales, a salesperson is init ially perceived as having the motive of selling rather than building the relationship with consumers because one of the goals for salespersons is to be able to influence someone to buy a product. Thus, the ulterior motive of selling is often the most acce ssible motive (Campbell & Kirmani, 2000). As for advertising, one study used PKM to explain product placement in television shows. Cowley and Baron (2008) study the effect of program liking (high/low) and product placement prominence. They found that the persuasion knowledge of viewers who are higher in program liking is mo re likely to be activated to consider the intent of the prominent placement both with and without a persuasive-intent prime because this condition interrupted their expe rience of viewing television. Also, viewers with higher program liking have a greater negative response to exposure to prominent product placement than viewers with lower program liking. Viewers with lower program
21 liking who are exposed to a persuasive-intent prime reported lower attitude toward brand than ones who were not exposed to a prime. As for the field of mark eting, Wei, Fischer, and Main (2008) use the PKM to investigat e the effects of consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge on their evaluations of a brand em ploying covert marketing. The results of their study supported previous studies that showed the activation of consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge has negative effects on their evaluations of embedded brands. Also, they found that consumersÂ’ perceive d appropriateness of ma rketing tactics and brand familiarity moderate those effects. That is, negative effects of activation of consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge on brand ev aluation were diminished when consumers perceived that a tactic was acceptable and when an embedded brand is highly familiar. Moreover, they found that with highly familiar brands, covert marketing (like disclosing that a brand paid to be mentioned in a radio program) can have positive effects. Within the public relations scholarshi p, many researchers apply the PKM as a theoretical framework. For example, Wood, Ne lson, Atkinson, and Lane (2008) used the PKM to explain peopleÂ’s use of persua sion knowledge when assessing video news releases (VNRs).The study found that positive and negative effects were enhanced when participants read about VNRs and viewed la beled VNRs in a newscast. They also were the least likely to perceive VNRs as credible However, there was no effect on evaluation of a VNRs message or the companies feat ured in the VNRs from people who were in reading or labeling conditions. The PKM has also been applied to CSR initiative areas. Many studies focus on consumersÂ’ suspicions toward a corporat e sponsor and how it affects corporate credibility, attitude toward s the corporation, and purcha se intentions (i.e., Bae &
22 Cameron, 2006; Becker-Olsen, Cudmore, & Hi ll, 2005). ConsumersÂ’ suspicions toward corporate CSR activities may play an importa nt role in consumersÂ’ use of persuasion knowledge (Campbell & Kirmani, 2000). According to Fein (1996), suspicion refers to Â“Â…a dynamic state in which individual activ ely entertains multiple, plausibly rival hypotheses about the motives or genuinene ss of a personÂ’s behaviorÂ” (p. 1165). Applying CSR, Bae and Cameron state, Â“I t is clear that publics (perceivers) become suspicious of a for-profit compa nyÂ’s motives when the company donates money to social causes because a for-profit companyÂ’s main objective is to maximize corporate profitsÂ…Â” (2006, p. 146). They found that public suspicions mediate prior corporate reputation on consumersÂ’ attitude toward a company. That is, prior corporate reputation can prompt consumersÂ’ suspicions toward corporate prosocial activity; then those suspicions can affect consumersÂ’ attitude toward a company. In the same study, the researchers found that low suspicions towa rd corporate charitable giving positively affects consumersÂ’ attitude toward a company and vice versa (Bae & Cameron, 2006). Similarly, Becker-Olsen, Cudmore, and Hill ( 2005) looked at the effect of consumersÂ’ perception of corporationsÂ’ mo tivations (profit-motivated versus social-motivated) in engaging corporate social responsibility with consumersÂ’ perception of the fit between a company and a cause. Overall, the study found that low fit CSR in itiatives negatively affect consumersÂ’ beliefs, attitudes, and inte ntions regardless of the firmÂ’s motivation. Particularly, profit-motivated CSR led to le ss favorable thoughts, focuse on the firm motive, negative attitudes toward a compa ny, and lower purchase intentions. Yet, the profit-motivated CSR did not affect consumer sÂ’ perception of cor porate credibility.
23 As CSR initiatives can have different forms, some evidence suggests that consumers respond differently to and use different levels of their susp icions or persuasion knowledge regarding different types of CSR initiatives. For instance, Menon and Kahn (2003) studied whether two di fferent types of corporate philanthropic activities, cause promotions and advocacy advertising, have diffe rent effects. They used the PKM as the theoretical framework. They suggested that peop le will perceive adve rtisersÂ’ tactics or persuasion attempts in the ad messages when people elaborately process those messages. And, the factor that can cause people to engage in elaborat e thought process is the format of the advertisements. The researcher s uggested that cause promotion provides transparent benefits to corporations because it is designed to increase sales by using a cause as a purchase incentive; thus, consumers perceive it as Â“busin ess-as-usualÂ” (p. 317) and are less likely to elaborat ely think about advertisersÂ’ motives. Meanwhile, consumers are more likely to elaborate on an advocacy advertising messages because consumers perceive them to be more unusual than cau se promotion; it directly provides a philanthropic message but indirectly identifies a corporationÂ’s name or logo. Therefore, consumers are more likely to have favorab le attitudes toward cause promotion as compared to advocacy advertising. Moreover, Menon and Kahn (2003) found that perceived fit between sponsor and social cause is an important factor that m oderates effects of the two types of corporate philanthropic activities, especially with a dvocacy advertising. Ho wever, whether the perceived fit is considered will depend on c onsumersÂ’ focus on corporate sponsorship. In other words, if consumers focus on social i ssues or messages (advocacy advertising), fit between sponsor brand and cause is not neces sary. On the other hand, if consumers focus
24 on corporate sponsors (cause promotion), the perceived fit seems to be necessary, but only when consumers are led to elaborate about its sponsorship activity messages. In addition, some research has attempted to identify what types of CSR initiatives are more likely to be perceived as conditional and hide a corporationÂ’s motives. Many researchers have suggested that cause-rela ted marketing (CRM) can cause negative attitudes toward a company because a company benefits before any commitment to donate is made, and consumers perhaps perceive self-interest motives of a company (i.e., Varadarajan & Menon, 1988; Webb & Mohr, 19 98) Also, CRM is perceived as a strategy for marketing rather than a philanthropic activity (Dean, 2003, 2004; Varadarajan & Menon, 1988). So, it is possible to say that CRM was the least effective way to decrease the effect of unethical corporate activity (C reyer & Ross, 1997). Similarly, sponsorship can be considered to be contaminated prosocial activities because sponsors have the exclusive right to promot e the brand in the sponsored event (Rodgers, Cameron & Brill, 2005). While cause-related marketing can cause the most public suspicions of a companyÂ’s motive, corporat e philanthropy can be perceived as the most effective CSR type because of its un conditional nature (Bae & Cameron, 2006). Similarly, Dean (2003, 2004) studied c onsumer perceptions of corporate donations and the effects of co rporate reputation for social responsibility (firms described as scrupulous, average, or irre sponsible in the discharge of their social responsibilities) and type of donation (conditional, which was CRM, and unconditional). He found that people perceived a conditional donation (CRM) as creating a mercen ary perception than an unconditional one. However, his study demo nstrates different support. Despite the mercenary perception created by the conditional donation, he concludes that it has a small
25 negative effect on firms in pr actice. Specifically, both types of donations were beneficial for an irresponsible firm. As for an average firm, only an unconditional one was beneficial, and a conditional one did not dama ge a firmÂ’s image. As for a scrupulous firm, an unconditional one had a small effect on a firm, but a conditional one damaged a firmÂ’s image. Theoretical Frameworks and Hypotheses As mentioned earlier, many researchers seem to agree on a positive relationship among CSR, attitude toward co mpanies/brands/services, and purchase intentions. This relationship can be explai ned through the process of Â“affect transfer.Â” The Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH) has been mostly applied in the areas of advertising and marketing and was conceived as one of the important models to explain the mediating role of attitude toward an ad (i.e., Moore & Hutchinson, 1983, 1985; Shimp, 1981). According to Mackenzie, Lutz and Belch (1986), the hypothesis posits a direct one-way causal relationship from attitude toward an ad to attitude toward a brand, as shown in Figure 3. The basic assumption of the ATH is that, Â“A t the most general level, we learn to like (or have) favorable attitude s toward objects we associat e with Â‘goodÂ’ things, and we acquire unfavorable feelings toward objects we associate with Â‘b adÂ’ thingsÂ” (Fishbein, Martin, & Ajzen, 1975, as cited in Shimp, 1981, p .12). Therefore, affect transfer occurs when audiences have low invol vement in processing the content of persuasive messages. Rather, they use simple cues, such as attractive sources, in order to decide whether they will believe those messages or not (Macken zie, Lutz, & Belch, 1986). Similarly, Hoyer and MacInnis (2007) state that, in the case th at a consumer has low-effort to process
26 information about products, attitude toward th e ad can be useful. Th ey argue that liking an ad can sometimes be transferred to a pos itive attitude toward an advertised brand. Figure 3. The Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH) (Mackenzie, Lutz, and Belch, 1986, p. 131) C ad represents ad cognitions. C b represents brand cognitions. A ad represent attitude toward the ad. A b represents attit ude toward the brand. PI represents purchase intentions. Shimp (1981) indicates some empirical ev idence that supports this hypothesis; for instance, Mitchell and OlsonÂ’s study in 1979 (as cited in Shim p, 1981) tested the meditational role of attitude toward an ad a nd found that the subjects Â’ affect for the ads determine attitude toward brand and purchase intentions. Moreover, Shimp and YokumÂ’s study in 1980 (as cited in Shimp, 1981) investigated the effect of attitude toward an ad on purchase intentions through two experiments that used hypothetical brands of cola dispensed in cups. The results of the study support the assumption th at the subjectsÂ’
27 attitudes toward an ad were a significant determinant of their pur chase intentions and their taste rating. In terms of corporate soci al responsibility, many resear chers have observed affect transfer. For example, Crimmins and Horn found that consumersÂ’ favorable attitudes toward sponsoring brands were influenced by their positive attitudes toward the sponsoring event (1996). Also, Nan and He o (2007) applied the Affect Transfer Hypothesis to their study of how consumers respond to corporate social responsibility and defined affect transfer as Â“the process wherein peopleÂ’s preexisti ng affect associated with one object is transferred to a closel y related object, toward which people may not hold prior affectÂ” (p. 66). They suggested that the affect transfer pr ocess can be seen in the use of cause-rela ted marketing (CRM). In other wo rds, consumers transfer their general positive attitudes toward a nonprofit organization (s ocial cause) to the sponsoring brand. Additionally, when the br and promises to donate money or be responsible to a social cause, consumers pe rceive the brand as favorable, which leads them to have more positive brand evaluati on. Based on this assumption, they suggested that, Â“Â…consumers will respond more favorably to a company/ brand engaging in CRM versus a similar one that does not engage in this philanthropi c activityÂ” (p. 66). This review of literature suggests furthe r study of the outcomes of CSR initiatives is needed. This study seeks to add more insight into current understand ing of the effect of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Particularly, this study seeks to support previous research indicating that CSR lead s to consumersÂ’ positive attitudes toward a brand and results in increased purchase inte ntions, as posited by the ATH. Also, this study uniquely focuses on consumersÂ’ pers uasion knowledge as having moderating
28 effects on the relationship between CSR initiatives and consumersÂ’ attitudes and intentions. This study argues that the ATH is useful for understanding CSR outcomes and is applicable to the study. T hus, two hypotheses were proposed: H1: Attitude toward CSR positively influences attitude toward brand. H2: Attitude toward brand positively influences purchase intention. Studies about the affect transfer of attitude toward an advertisement to attitude toward a brand sometimes look at some othe r variables that moderate the relationship between them. For example, the study of Machleit and Wilson in 1988 about emotional feelings and attitude toward the advertisem ent examined brand familiarity of ad as a moderating effect on the relationship. They foun d that attitude toward an ad significantly influences attitude toward a brand when it is an unfamiliar one. In the present study, consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge is thought to have a moderating effect on the affect transfer process. The PKM explains how pe ople use their persuasion knowledge to cope with a persuasive situation (F riestad & Wright, 1994). The model proposes that accessibility of ulterior motive and cognitive ca pacity on perception of an influence agent are important factors that determine consum ersÂ’ use of persuasion knowledge. These two factors also determine the stre ngth of an influence agentÂ’s association with motives that can affect the accessibility of ulterior motives (Campbell & Kirmani, 2000). Hence, it is possible to assume that consumersÂ’ persua sion knowledge can have an effect on the relationship between attitude toward CSR and attitude toward brand, as well as purchase intention. Based on this review of literature, it is appropriate to suggest that consumers may respond differently to different kinds of CSR initi atives due to the acce ssibility of ulterior
29 motive. They might perceive a particular CSR initiative to be more sincere than another (Bae & Cameron, 2006; Dean, 2003, 2004; Menon & Kahn, 2001; Varadarajan & Menon, 1988). In the context of CSR, a compan y assumably is an influence agent who sends messages (remarks) of doing good thr ough CSR to consumers (targets). Thus, consumers may use more persuasion knowledge with types of CSR that have a stronger relation with the motive of selling like cause-rela ted marketing than with one that has less relation with the motive of se llingÂ—like volunteerism. This suggests that consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge moderates the relationshi p among CSR initiatives, attitude toward CSR initiatives, attitude toward a brand, a nd purchase intention because consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge changes the direction of the strength of the relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variab le (Baron & Kenny, 1986), This is illustrated in Figure 4. Figure 4. Proposed Model CSR represents CSR initiatives. Att CSR represents attitude toward CSR initiatives. Att B represents atti tude toward brand. PI represents purchase intention. PK represents persuasion knowledge.
30 Based on the model above, four hypotheses were proposed: H3: Persuasion knowledge will differ across CSR initiatives. H4: Persuasion knowledge negatively influe nces (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, a nd (c) purchase intention. H5: CSR initiatives influence (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purcha se intention. H6: The impact of CSR initiatives on (a) at titude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purchase intention will be moderated by consumerÂ’s persuasion knowledge. The next chapter explains the methodol ogy used in this study. It includes information about research participants, instrumentation, procedures, and treatment conditions of the study. Also, results of a manipulation check are revealed.
31 Chapter 3: Methodology This study seeks to add more insight into current understanding of the effect of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Particularly, this study seeks to support previous research indicating that CSR lead s to consumersÂ’ positive attitudes toward a brand and results in increased purchase inte ntions, as posited by the Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH). Also, this study uni quely focuses on consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge as having moderating effects on the relationship between CSR initiatives and consumersÂ’ attitudes and intentions. To achieve the purpose of the study, a c ontrolled experiment was conducted using stimulus materials based on an actual orga nizationÂ’s (Starbucks) CSR initiatives. According to Â“The Best Socially Responsible Corporation 2006Â” from Fortune magazines Starbucks Coffee Company was ranked at the sevent h of the best socially responsible corporations. Not only was it ranked number seve n, it was also perceived as one of the most admired companies by its peer s for social responsibility (Gunther, 2006). This is because Starbucks engages in various corporate social responsibility initiatives. It offers health-care benefits and the Bean St ock Program, which gives an oppurtunity to own Starbucks stock to every employeeÂ—even th e part-time ones,. It partners with coffee growers around the world to offer a fair pri ce for their beans. Al so, it encourages its retailers to be more environmentally friend ly. For example, Starbucks offers a 10 cent discount to customers for br inging their own cups or re usable cups (Gunther, 2006). Since 2001, Starbucks has published a CSR annual report in addition to its annual fiscal
32 report (Werder, 2008). For these reasons, Star bucks Coffee Company was selected as the corporation to be used in this experiment. Research participants The participants used in this research we re undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory mass communication class at a larg e southeastern university. Students were asked to voluntarily particip ate in the study. The responses of 189 were included in data analysis. Of these participants, 109 (57.7%) were female and 79 (41.8%) were male. The average age of participants was 20. The majority of st udents held a class rank of sophomore (51.9%), followed by junior (31.7%), freshman (10.1%), and senior (5.3%). In addition, 128 (67.7%) students were Caucasian, 19 (10.1%) students were African-American, 16 (8.5%) students were Hi spanic, 6 (3.2%) studen ts were Asian, and 13 (6.9%) students were other ethnicities. Instrumentation A questionnaire was administered to meas ure the variables of interest: attitude toward CSR, attitude toward the brand, purchase intention, persuasion knowledge, and demographic variables. The questionnaire was included in a booklet th at also contained instructions and stimulus materials. Procedures The controlled experiment was conducted in a large auditorium-s tyle classroom at the university. The participants were ra ndomly assigned to one of six different conditions: cause promotion, cause-related ma rketing, corporate philanthropy, corporate volunteering, a control conditi on with a message unrelated to CSR, and a control condition with no message. Participants were told about the purpos e of the study after
33 arriving at the research setti ng. Booklets that contained instru ctions, stimulus materials, and a questionnaire to measure the variables of interest were randomly assigned to each participant. After receivi ng the booklet, each participant was exposed to a treatment condition and spent about 3 minutes reading th e material. Then, the participant completed the questionnaire. Stimulus Materials Five treatment conditions and one contro l condition were developed to test the hypotheses. Four treatment c onditions included a type of CSR initiative: cause promotion, cause-related marketing, corpor ate philanthropy, and corporate volunteering, as defined by Kotler and Lee (2005). The tr eatments contained CSR messages from Starbucks about the Ethos water fund. Corporat e social marketing was excluded from the study because it has a very close connection wi th cause-related marketing. In addition, socially responsible business practices, anot her form of CSR init iative, was excluded from this research because of its focu s on internal policie s and procedures. CSR initiatives were taken from the Starbucks Coffee Company 2007 CSR annual report (http://www.starbucks.com/about us/csrreport/Starbucks_CSR_FY2007.pdf ) and used supplemental information gathered from the Ethos water Web site (www.ethoswater.com ). Some initiatives used original messages from the company, while some were adapted to best repres ent each CSR initiative. A fifth treatment condition included a message from Starbucks th at was unrelated to CSR. This treatment was manipulated to control for CSR initiative type. Each of the five treatment conditions was printed in black-and-white on a full-page 8.5x11 paper with iden tical Starbucks logo (see Appendix A).
34 A sixth condition acted as an overall cont rol for the experiment. This condition contained no message from Starbucks and was used to control for pre-existing attitude toward brand and purchase inte ntion. All six conditions contain the same instrument to measure the variables of interest. After the researcher had given a booklet to each participant, participants were asked to look at the stimulus material and then complete the questionnaire. Corporate Social Responsibility Treatment: Cause Promotion More than 1 billion people around the wo rld lack clean, safe drinking water, and more than 2.6 billions lack adequate sanitation services. Th is problem affects children most and is becoming the most sign ificant public health issue of our time. Starbucks Foundation, in partnership with Ethos Water and other organizations, is working to increase awareness of the world water crisis. Starbucks provides in-store messages about the world water crisis in order to educate employees and customers about how they can help solve the pr oblem. Additionally, Starbuck is a major sponsor of and contributor to 2007 World Water Day. We encourage our employees and customers to participate in this important social change.
35 Corporate Social Responsibility Tr eatment: Cause-Related Marketing Corporate Social Responsibility Treatment: Corporate Philanthropy Starbucks is the primary distributor of EthosÂ™ bottled water. For each bottle of Ethos water purchased in the United St ates, 5Â¢ is donated to the Starbucks Foundation Ethos Water Fund. For each bottle purchased in Starbucks stores in Canada, 10Â¢ is donated to The Starbucks Foundation Ethos Water Fund. Our goal is to donate $10 million by January 2010 to non-profit organizations working to solve the world water crisis. In addition, we ha ve announced grants of more than $4.2 million, which will benefit over 370,000 peopl e in Ethiopia, India, Indonesia and Kenya. Starbucks is a direct cont ributor to WaterAid in Ma dhya Pradesh, India, where millions of residents struggle daily with th e consequences of a poor water supply and lack of water sanitation. In 2007, WaterAid embarked on a three-year plan to bring water and sanitation to 80 rural villages and 40 urban slums, where an estimated 120,000 people will benefit. Supported by a grant of $1 million from Starbucks, WaterAid will teach the most impoveris hed and vulnerable communities how to advocate for their water need, and will wo rk with the community and government representatives to plan a nd construct integrated wate r, sanitation and hygiene initiatives. In addition, Starbucks dona tes water sanitation machines to Madhya Pradesh.
36 Corporate Social Responsibility Treatment: Corporate Volunteering Corporate Social Responsibility Treatm ent: Control for CSR Initiative Type The volunteer program Make Your Mark (MYM), started 7 years ago, brings Starbucks employees and customers together to work on projects that directly affect their communities. Starbucks donates $10 to fund MYM projects for every hour volunteered by our employees and customer s Â– up to $1,000 per project. Starbucks employees and customers took part in 2007 World Water Day events such as Walk for Water in 26 cities in the U.S. and Ca nada. The Walk for Water raises awareness about the daily struggle people in developing countries to obtain access to safe, clean drinking water. Nearly 11,000 Starbucks part ners volunteered to pa rticipate in last yearÂ’s World Water Day event. Thanksgiving Blend Starbucks and 2008 Bon Apptit Restaurateur of the Year Tom Douglas present Starbucks Thanksgiving Blend. Specially blended for the sweet and savory foods shared around the holiday tabl e Â– from herbal sage-rubbed turkey to spicy pumpkin pie. Geography is a flavor Fancy beans from Guatemala that adds subtle spice, cocoa notes and a light spar kle that complement full-bodied beans from Sumatra with their hint of fine herb s. Try it with the richness of autumn.
37 Measures The variables measured included: attitude toward CSR initiative, attitude toward brand, purchase intention, persuasion knowledge and demographics. Separate measures that were adapted from previous research (Bearden & Netemeye r, 1999; Werder, 2008; Lefa & Laroche, 2007) were created to measure the variables of interest. The first variable is attitude toward CS R. An attitude refers to a consumerÂ’s positive or negative feeling toward an object (Mowen, 1987). Therefore, attitude toward CSR initiative refers to a consumerÂ’s positiv e or negative feeling toward a companyÂ’s CSR initiatives. Consequently, attitude toward CSR initiative was measured by eight 7point semantic differential items. The statem ent, Â“I think Starbuc ksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are,Â” wa s rated on scales anchored by bad/good, unfavorable/favorable, not trustworthy/tr ustworthy, not beneficial/beneficial, negative/positive, unimportant /important, insincere/sin cere, and fake/authentic. The next variable is attitude toward br and. An attitude toward brand in this study represents a consumerÂ’s negative or positive feeling toward Starbucks brand. Thus, one statement, Â“The Starbucks brand is:Â” was ra ted also on a 7-point semantic differential items, which was anchored by bad/good, unfavorable/favorabl e, negative/positive, poorquality/high-quality, unappealin g/appealing, insincere/sincer e, fake/authentic, and not trustworthy/trustworthy. Purchase intention is the next variable Mowen (1987) refers intention to Â“a determination of a consumer to engage in some act, such as purchasing a product or service.Â” (p. 43). Thus, in this study, purchase intention refers to a consumerÂ’s determination to purchase Starbucks products. Purchase intention wa s measured through
38 three statements: Â“I intend to drink Starbucks coffee in the next monthÂ”; Â“I intend to buy more products from StarbucksÂ”; and Â“I inte nd to purchase a bevera ge or other product from Starbucks during the next month.Â” Partic ipants rated these statements on a Likerttype scale, ranging from 1(unlikely) to 7 (likely). Finally, six statements were used to measure persuasion knowledge, which basically refers to consumersÂ’ knowledge about marketersÂ’ persuasion attempts. The statements are Â“I believe that Starbucks uses corporate social responsib ility to increase its profitsÂ”; Â“I believe Starbucks is really c oncerned about the causeÂ”; Â“I think some of StarbucksÂ’ claims about its cor porate social responsibility ar e inflated to make it seem better than it isÂ”; Â“I believe that StarbucksÂ’ corporate so cial responsibility initiatives are manipulativeÂ”; Â“I am suspicious of StarbucksÂ’ motiv es regarding social responsibilityÂ”; and Â“I believe that Starbucks has an ulterior motive.Â” Participants rated their opinion about these six statements on a Likert-type scal e, ranging from 1(strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree). Additionally, the respondent s were asked to answer demographic questions, including gender, age, academic leve l, and ethnicity (see Appendix B). Manipulation check Since this study is experimental resear ch which included manipulations of the four types of CSR initiative, it was important to conduct a manipulation check to test whether the CSR treatments we re successfully manipulated. Prior to hypothesis testing, the manipulation check was conducted to asse ss the degree to which the CSR treatments agreed with the definitions of the CSR in itiatives defined by Kotler and Lee (2005). An instrument was developed and administered to 38 mass communications students. The
39 participants were given the que stionnaire, which asked them to rate their agreement of the fit between the treatments and the definiti ons provided by Kotler and Lee (2005). To illustrate, the participants were given a quest ionnaire that contained a particular CSR message type on the top of the page followed by the definitions of the four types of CSR initiatives tested in this study. Then, particip ants were asked to ra te their agreement of how much they think each definition reflect s the message given on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (strongly disagree) to 7 (strongly agree) An omnibus ANOVA was performed to see if there was a significant difference between CSR treatments. As for the cause pr omotion treatment, the results indicate significant difference across the four treatments, F (3,31)= 3.632, p = .024. Also, it produced the highest mean score among the treatments as reported in Table 1. This indicates that most of the participants agreed that the cause promo tion treatment reflected the definition provided by Kotler and Lee (2005). The LSD post hoc also indicated significant differences between cause pr omotion and corporate philanthropy ( p = .004). Table 1. Cause Promotion Definition Mean Score for each CSR treatments N Mean Std. Deviation CSR Initiatives Cause Promotion 9 5.44 .882 Corporate Volunteering 9 5.22 1.093 Cause-Related marketing 9 4.89 .928 Corporate Philanthropy 8 3.75 1.581 Total 35 4.86 1.264
40 The next treatment is cause-related mark eting, the results indicate no significant difference across the four treatments, F (3,31)= 1.891, p = .152. However, it produced the highest mean score among the treatments, as re ported in Table 2. This indicates that most of the participants agreed that the cause -related marketing trea tment reflected the definition provided by Kotler and Lee (2005). Also, the LSD post hoc indicated significant difference exists between cause-rel ated marketing and corporate philanthropy ( p =.037). Table 2. Cause-Related Marketing Definition M ean Score for Each CSR Treatment As for corporate volunteering treatment, the analysis showed no significant difference across the four treatment types, F (3,31)= 2.497, p =.078. However, it produced the highest mean score among the treatments, as reported in Table 3. This indicated that most of the participants agreed with the f it between the corporate volunteering treatment and the definition provided by Kotler a nd Lee (2005). The LSD post hoc indicated significant differences between corporate volunteering and cause-related marketing ( p =.020). N Mean Std. Deviation CSR Initiatives Cause-Related Marketing 9 5.44 1.590 Cause Promotion 9 4.89 1.537 Corporate Volunteering 9 4.11 1.833 Corporate Philanthropy 8 3.62 1.923 Total 35 4.54 1.788
41 Table 3. Corporate Volunteering Definition M ean Score for Each CSR Treatment N Mean Std. Deviation CSR Initiatives Corporate Volunteering 9 4.00 1.500 Cause Promotion 9 3.89 1.764 Corporate Philanthropy 8 3.50 1.604 Cause-Related Marketing 9 2.33 .707 Total 35 4.54 1.788 For the corporate philanthropy treatment, the results indicated no significant differences across the four treatments, F (3,31)= 1.542, p =.223. However, it produced the highest mean score among the treatment types, as reported in Table 4. This indicated that most of the participants agreed that the corporate philanthropy treatment reflected the definition provided by Kotler and Lee (2005). The LSD post hoc indicated significant difference exists between corporate phila nthropy and cause-related marketing ( p =.050). Table 4. Corporate Philanthropy Definition Mean Score for Each CSR Treatment N Mean Std. Deviation CSR Initiatives Corporate Philanthropy 8 5.75 1.669 Cause Promotion 9 4.78 2.048 Corporate Volunteering 9 4.33 1.871 Cause-Related Marketing 9 4.00 1.414 Total 35 4.54 1.788 Although there was only one treatment that showed significant differences across CSR treatments, every treatment produced the highest mean score for its own definitions. Therefore, this indicates that most of the pa rticipants agreed that each treatment reflected
42 its corresponding definition. The results prov ide satisfactory treatment validity, so the decision was made to proceed with these manipulations. Data Analysis To test all the hypotheses, data were analyzed by SPSS 17.0 Windows. An alpha level of .05 was required for significance in a ll data analysis. CronbachÂ’s alpha was used to assess internal consistency of multi-items i ndexes. Statistical procedures used to test the hypotheses included linear regressi on and analysis of variance (ANOVA). The next chapter is the resu lt chapter. Data anlysis and tests of hypotheses of this study are presented.
43 Chapter 4: Results This study seeks to add more insight into current understanding of the effect of corporate social responsibility initiatives. Particularly, this study seeks to support previous research indicating that CSR lead s to consumersÂ’ positive attitudes toward a brand and results in increased purchase inte ntions, as posited by the Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH). Also, this study uni quely focuses on consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge as having moderating effects on the relationship between CSR initiatives and consumersÂ’ attitudes and intentions. The follo wing hypotheses were test ed in this study: H1: Attitude toward CSR positively influences attitude toward brand. H2: Attitude toward brand positively influences purchase intention. H3: Persuasion knowledge will differ across CSR initiatives. H4: Persuasion knowledge negatively influe nces (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, a nd (c) purchase intention. H5: CSR initiatives influence (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purcha se intention. H6: The impact of CSR initiatives on (a) at titude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purchase intention will be moderated by consumerÂ’s persuasion knowledge. Data analysis began by assessing descriptiv e statistics for each item used to test the variables of interest in this study. The m ean and standard deviation for each item are reported in Table 5.
44 Table 5. Item Mean and Standard Deviation N Mean Std. Deviation Attitude toward the CSR I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are good/bad. 188 5.03 1.290 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are unfavorable/favorable. 188 4.62 1.330 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are not trustworthy/tr ustworthy. 188 4.18 1.348 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are not beneficial/beneficial. 188 4.75 1.386 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are negative/positive. 188 5.06 1.328 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are unimportant/important. 188 4.70 1.522 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are insincere/sincere. 188 4.38 1.276 I think StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are fake/authentic. 188 4.60 1.450 Attitude toward Brand The Starbucks brand is bad/good. 188 5.14 1.469 The Starbucks brand is unfavorable/favorable. 188 4.85 1.531 The Starbucks brand is negative/positive. 187 5.02 1.424 The Starbucks brand is poor-quality/high-quality. 187 5.39 1.304 The Starbucks brand is unappealing/appealing. 187 5.35 1.614 The Starbucks brand is insincere/sincere. 187 4.59 1.501 The Starbucks brand is fake/authentic. 187 4.70 1.638 The Starbucks brand is not trustworthy/trustworthy. 186 4.52 1.449 Purchase Intention I intend to purchase a beverage or other product from Starbucks during the next month. 188 4.35 2.513 I intend to drink Starbuck coffee in the next month. 188 3.98 2.617 I intend to buy more products from Starbucks. 187 3.91 2.375 Persuasion Knowledge I believe that Starbucks uses corporate social responsibility to increase its profits. 187 5.39 1.337 I believe Starbucks is really concerned about the cause. 187 3.87 1.371 I am suspicious of StarbucksÂ’ motives regarding social responsibility. 188 3.89 1.707 I believe that StarbucksÂ’ corporate social responsibility initiatives are manipulative. 185 4.09 1.506
45 Prior to hypothesis testing, CronbachÂ’s al pha was used to assess the internal consistency of the multiple-item scales of the variables of interest (attitude toward CSR, attitude toward brand, purchase intenti on, and persuasion knowledge). According to social science standards, alphas for multip le-item indexes should not fall below .80 (Carmines & Zeller, 1979). Also, Berman (2002) stated that alpha va lues between .80 and 1.00 indicate high reliability. Th e results of the re liability analysis for each variable measured in this study are reported in Table 6. Table 6. CronbachÂ’s Alpha for Multiple-Item Indexes Variable CronbachÂ’s Alpha Composite Mean N of Items Attitude toward CSR .938 4.6646 8 Attitude toward Brand .915 4.9660 8 Persuasion Knowledge .794 4.4262 6 Purchase Intention .938 4.0753 3 The eight-item scale used to measure att itude toward CSR yielded a coefficient alpha of .938. The eight-item scale used to measure attitude toward brand yielded a coefficient alpha of .915. The six-item scal e used to measure consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge yielded a coefficient alpha of .794. A nd, the three-item scale used to measure purchase intentions yielded a coefficient alpha of .938. Although the coefficient alpha of cons umersÂ’ persuasion knowledge fell below .80, the decision was made to accept this coeffici ent alpha in this case because it is very I think some of StarbucksÂ’ clai ms about its corporate social responsibility are inflated to make it seem better than it is. 187 4.91 1.551 I believe that Starbucks has an ulterior motive. 186 4.33 1.776 Valid N (listwise) 177
46 close to the standard reliability score men tioned above, and the argument for this finding can be made that those multiple items were newly developed for this study. In addition, composite mean scores fo r the multiple item indexes ranged from 4.0753 to 4.9660. The composite measure of attit ude toward brand produced the highest mean score ( M =4.9660), followed by attitude toward CSR ( M =4. 4.6646), and persuasion knowledge ( M =4.4262). The composite measure of purchase intention produced the lowest mean score ( M =4.0753). Tests of hypotheses To test H1, which posited that attitude toward CSR positively influences attitude toward brand, a correlation analysis was fi rst conducted to assess the relationship among variables. The results are reported in Ta ble 7. Correlations among composite measures were all significant and ranged from .291 to .699. The strongest correlation was between attitude toward CSR and attitude toward brand ( r = .699, p =.000). The weakest correlation was between attitude toward CSR and purchase intention ( r = .291, p = .000). Attitude toward a brand and purchase intention produced a moderate position correlation ( r =. 481, p =.000).
47 Table 7. Attitude toward CSR/Attitude toward Brand/Purchase Intention Correlations Attitude toward CSR Attitude toward brand Purchase Intention Attitude toward CSR Pearson Correlation 1.000 .699** .291** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 N 188.000 182 185 Attitude toward brand Pearson Correlation .699** 1.000 .481** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 N 182 182.000 179 Purchase Intention Pearson Correlation .291** .481** 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 N 185 179 186.000 Linear regression was conducted to eval uate how well attitude toward CSR predicts attitude toward br and. The attitude toward bra nd measure was regressed on the attitude toward CSR measure. The results ar e shown in Table 8. The analysis indicates that attitude toward CSR accounted for 49% of the variance in at titude toward brand, R2 = .488, Adj. R2 =.485, F (1,180)=171.513, p=. 000. The attitude toward CSR measure was a positive predictor of attitude toward brand. Therefore, H1 is supported. Table 8. Regression Model for Attitude toward CSR Predicting Attitude toward Brand Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 1.591 .265 5.998 .000 Attitude toward CSR .721 .055 .699 13.096 .000
48 To answer H2, which posited that attitude toward brand positively influences purchase intention, a correlation analysis wa s first conducted to a ssess the relationship among variables. The results are reported in Table 7. Linear regr ession analysis was conducted to evaluate how well the attitude toward brand measure predicts purchase intention. The purchase inten tion measure was regressed on the attitude toward brand measure. The results are reported in Table 9. The analysis indicated that attitude toward brand accounted for 23% of the variance in purchase intention, R2 = .231, Adj. R2 =.227, F (1,177)=53.207, p=. 000. These results support H2 and indicate that attitude toward brand was a positive predictor of purchase intention. Table 9. Regression Model for Attitude toward Brand Predicting Purchase Intention Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) -.691 .672 -1.027 .306 Attitude toward brand .961 .132 .481 7.294 .000 H3 posited that persuasion knowledge will differ across CSR initiatives. To test H3, an analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to evaluate differences in persuasion knowledge mean scores for the CS R initiative types. The mean scores for persuasion knowledge for each initiative tr eatment are shown in Table 10. The ANOVA indicated that no sign ificant difference exists in pe rsuasion knowledge across the CSR initiative types, F (5,177)=. 985, p =.429. The results do not support H3.
49 Table 10. Persuasion Knowledge Mean Scores for Each CSR Initiative Treatment Although no significant differences in persuasion knowledge across CSR treatments was found, findings indicate that the CSR me ssage control treatment ( M =4.7976) produced the highest mean among th e six treatments, followed by the cause promotion ( M =4.4611), the overall control ( M =4.4323), and the corporate philanthropy treatments ( M =4.3810). Cause-related marketing ( M =4.3281) and corporate volunteering ( M = 4.2071) produced the lowest mean sc ores among the six treatments. In addition, follow-up tests were conduc ted to evaluate pa irwise differences among the means. Post hoc comparison using LSD was conducted, and it shows that the corporate volunteering treatme nt was significantly different from the CSR control messages ( p =.036). Hypothesis 4 posited that persuasion knowle dge negatively influences (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purchase intentions. To test H4 (a), (b), and (c), a correlation analysis was first conducted to assess the relationship among variables. Results are reported in Table 11. Correlation analys is indicated that persuasion knowledge has negative relationships with atti tude toward CSR, attitude toward brand, CSR initiatives Mean Std. Deviation N Control Message 4.7976 .97432 28 Cause Promotion 4.4611 .97839 30 Overall control 4.4323 1.12710 32 Corporate Philanthropy 4.3810 1.13480 28 Cause Related Marketing 4.3281 1.07304 32 Corporate Volunteering 4.2071 1.21266 33 Total 4.4262 1.08977 183
50 and purchase intention. Correla tions among composite measures ranged from -.077 to .331. Two correlations between persuasion knowledge and attitude toward CSR ( r =-.331, p =.000) and persuasion knowledge and attitude toward brand ( r = -.304, p =.000) were significant. There was no significant corre lation between persuasion knowledge and purchase intention ( r = -.077, p =.302). Table 11. Persuasion knowledge/ Attitude toward CSR/ A ttitude toward Brand/ Purchase Intention Correlations Persuasion Knowledge Attitude toward CSR Attitude toward Brand Purchase Intention Persuasion knowlwdge Pearson Correlation 1.000 -.331** -.304** -.077 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .302 N 183.000 183 177 183 Three linear regression analyses were conducted to evaluate how well persuasion knowledge influences (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purchase intention. The results are shown in Tables 12, 13, and 14. The results indicate that attitude toward CSR and attitude to ward brand were influenced by persuasion knowledge. The analysis indicated that th e persuasion knowledge measure accounted for 11% of the variance in attitude toward CSR, R2 = .11, Adj. R2 =.105, F (1,181)=22.273, p=. 000. Therefore, H4(a) is supported. As for the influence of persuasion kn owledge on attitude toward brand, the analysis indicated that th e persuasion knowledge measure accounted for 9% of the
51 variance in attitude toward brand, R2 = .093, Adj. R2 =.087, F (1,175)=17.840, p=. 000. Therefore, H4(b) is supported. Purchase intention does not seem to be influenced by persuasion knowledge (Table 11). The regression analys is produced no significant findings, R2 = .006, Adj. R2 =.000, F (1,181)= 1.070, p=. 302. Thus, H4(c) is not supported. Table 12. Regression Model for Persuasion Knowle dge Predicting Attitude toward CSR Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 6.197 .337 18.385 .000 Persuasion knowledge -.349 .074 -.331 -4.719 .000 Table 13. Regression Model for Persuasion Knowle dge Predicting Attitude toward Brand Table 14. Regression Model for Persuasion Knowle dge Predicting Purchase Intention Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 4.850 .733 6.613 .000 Persuasion knowledge -.166 .161 -.077 -1.034 .302 Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) 6.429 .358 17.938 .000 Persuasion Knowledge -.334 .079 -.304 -4.224 .000
52 Hypothesis 5 posited that CSR initiatives in fluence (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c ) purchase intention. Hypothesi s 6 further posited that the relationships among these variables are mode rated by the level of persuasion knowledge. Before testing the hypotheses, a median split wa s used to group participants into low and high persuasion knowledge groups. H5 and H6 were synchronously tested through three two-way analyses of variance (ANOVA). In the first two-way ANOVA, the inde pendent variables were CSR initiative treatments and persuasion knowledge (low and high), and the depe ndent variable was attitude toward CSR. Results are reported in Table 15. ANOVA indi cates no significant interaction between CSR initiatives and persuasion knowledge, F (5,164)= .730, p =.602, partial = .022. However, there is significant main effects for persuasion knowledge, F (1,164)= 10.160, p = .002, partial = 0.58. The persuasion knowledge main effects indicate that people w ith low-level persuasion knowledge tend to have a more positive attitude toward CSR initiatives than pe ople with high persuasion knowledge; however, this is not the focus of this test. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether CSR initiatives influence attitude toward CSR, as H5(a) posited. Results indicate that significant differences exist across CSR initiative type, F (5,164)= 3.120, p = .010, partial = .087. Specifically, 8.7% of the variance in attitude toward CSR is due to CSR initiative type. Therefore, H5(a) is supported.
53 Table 15. Interaction Effect of CSR Treatments and Persuasion Knowledge on Attitude toward CSR Source Type III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared Corrected Model 41.965a 11 3.815 3.357 .000 .184 Intercept 3342.755 1 3342.755 2941.569 .000 .947 CSR Treatments 17.728 5 3.546 3.120 .010 .087 Persuasion Knowledge 11.545 1 11.545 10.160 .002 .058 CSR Treatments Persuasion Knowledge 4.147 5 .829 .730 .602 .022 Error 186.367 164 1.136 Total 4036.566 176 Corrected Total 228.332 175 The mean scores of attitude toward CSR for each CSR initiative treatment are shown in Table 16. Results indicate that the corporate philanthropy treatment ( M =5.299) produced the highest mean among the six treatments, followed by the corporate volunteering treatment ( M =5.091), the cause-related marketing treatment ( M =4.752), and the cause promotion treatment ( M =4.538). The CSR control treatment ( M =4.417) and the overall control treatment ( M = 4.378) produced the lowest mean scores among the six treatments.
54 Table 16. Attitude toward the CSR Mean Scores for Each CSR Initiative Treatment CSR initiatives Mean Std. Error N Corporate Philanthropy 5.299 .212 27 Corporate Volunteering 5.091 .192 32 Cause Related Marketing 4.752 .197 31 Cause Promotion 4.538 .223 28 Control Message 4.417 .247 27 Overall Control 4.378 .211 31 In addition, the follow-up tests consisted of pairwise comparisons among the six CSR treatments. The LSD post hoc analysis procedure was conducted as shown in Table 17. The results of this analysis indicate that the corporate philanthropy treatment mean is significantly different from the cause promotion ( p =.014), control CSR message ( p = .002), and the overall co ntrol treatment ( p = .000). The cause relate d-marketing treatment mean was significantly different from the overall control treatment ( p =.033). The corporate cause promotion treatment was si gnificantly different from the corporate philanthropy treatment ( p =.014). The corporate volunteeri ng treatment was significantly different from the CSR message control ( p =.013) and the overall control treatment ( p = .001). Overall, the ANOVA test and post hoc comparison indicate that corporate philanthropy produced the most positive attitudes toward CSR initiatives among participants in this study.
55 Table 17. Post Hoc Comparison for Attitude toward CSR across CSR Treatments (I) CSR TYPE (J) CSR TYPE Mean Difference (I-J) Sig. Corporate Philanthropy Cause Related Marketing .5079 .072 Cause Promotion .7109* .014 Corporate Volunteering .1902 .496 Control Message .8935* .002 Overall Control 1.0886* .000 Cause-Related Marketing Corporate Philanthropy -.5079 .072 Cause Promotion .2030 .466 Corporate Volunteering -.3177 .239 Control Message .3856 .171 Overall Control .5806* .033 Cause Promotion Corporate Philanthropy -.7109* .014 Cause Related Marketing -.2030 .466 Corporate Volunteering -.5206 .061 Control Message .1826 .526 Overall Control .3777 .176 Corporate Volunteering Corporate Philanthropy -.1902 .496 Cause Related Marketing .3177 .239 Cause Promotion .5206 .061 Control Message .7033* .013 Overall Control .8983* .001 Control Message Corporate Philanthropy -.8935* .002 Cause Related Marketing -.3856 .171 Cause Promotion -.1826 .526 Corporate Volunteering -.7033* .013 Overall Control .1950 .488 Overall Control Corporate Philanthropy -1.0886* .000 Cause Related Marketing -.5806* .033 Cause Promotion -.3777 .176 Corporate Volunteering -.8983* .001 Control message -.1950 .488 *Post hoc comparison used LSD procedure.
56 In the second two-way ANOVA, the inde pendent variables we re CSR initiative treatments and persuasion knowledge, and the dependent variable was attitude toward brand. The results are reported in Table 18. Table 18. Interaction Effect of CSR Tr eatments and Persuasion Knowledge on Attitude toward Brand The ANOVA test indicated no significant interaction between CSR initiatives and persuasion knowledge, F (5,158)= .591, p =.707, partial = .018. However, main effect of persuasion knowledge emerged, F (1,158)= 6.714, p = .010, partial =.041. The persuasion knowledge main effect indicates that people with low-level persuasion knowledge tend to have a more positive attit ude toward brand than people with high persuasion knowledge, but this is not the focus of this test. The purpose of this analysis is to determine whether CSR initiatives influen ce attitude toward brand, as H5(b) posited. Source T y pe III Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared Corrected Model 22.304a 11 2.028 1.440 .160 .091 Intercept 3685.976 1 3685.976 2617.889 .000 .943 CSR Treatments 6.814 5 1.363 .968 .439 .030 Persuasion Knowledge 9.453 1 9.453 6.714 .010 .041 CSR Treatments Persuasion Knowledge 4.161 5 .832 .591 .707 .018 Error 222.463 158 1.408 Total 4421.957 170 Corrected Total 244.767 169
57 Results indicated that there is no significan t difference for attitude toward brand across CSR initiative treatments, F (5,158)= .968, p = .439, partial = .030. Therefore, H5(b) is not supported. The mean scores for attitude toward bra nd for each treatment type are shown in Table 19. Results indicate that th e corporate philanthropy treatment ( M =5. 442) produced the highest mean among the six treatmen ts, followed by the corporate volunteering treatment ( M =5.128), the cause-related marketing treatment ( M =5.003), and the CSR control treatment ( M =4.936). The overall control treatment ( M = 4.920) and the cause promotion treatment ( M =4.741) produced the lowest mean scores among the six treatments. However, no significant differe nce was found among treatments for attitude toward brand. Table 19. Attitude toward Brand Mean Scores for Each CSR Initiative Treatment CSR initiatives Mean Std. Error N Corporate Philanthropy 5.442 .239 26 Corporate Volunteering 5.128 .219 30 Cause Related Marketing 5.003 .221 30 Control Message 4.936 .275 27 Overall Control 4.920 .236 30 Cause Promotion 4.741 .250 27 In addition, the follow-up tests consisted of pairwise comparisons among the six CSR treatment conditions. The LSD post hoc an alysis procedure was conducted as shown in Table 20. The results of this analysis indicate that only th e corporate philanthropy treatment mean is significantly different from the cause promotion treatment ( p =.050). Overall, the ANOVA test and post hoc compar ison indicate that corporate philanthropy
58 produced the most positive attitudes toward CSR initiatives among participants in this study. Table 20. Post Hoc Comparison for Attitude toward Brand across CSR Treatments *Post hoc comparison used LSD procedure. (I) CSR TYPE (J) CSR TYPE Mean Difference (I-J) Sig. Corporate Philanthropy Cause Related Marketing .3787 .235 Cause Promotion .6440* .050 Corporate Volunteering .2245 .481 Control Message .3662 .263 Overall Control .5704 .075 Cause Related Marketing Corporate Philanthropy -.3787 .235 Cause Promotion .2653 .401 Corporate Volunteering -.1542 .616 Control Message -.0125 .968 Overall Control .1917 .532 Cause Promotion Corporate Philanthropy -.6440* .050 Cause Related Marketing -.2653 .401 Corporate Volunteering -.4194 .185 Control Message -.2778 .391 Overall Control -.0736 .815 Corporate Volunteering Corporate Philanthropy -.2245 .481 Cause Related Marketing .1542 .616 Cause Promotion .4194 .185 Control Message .1417 .653 Overall Control .3458 .261 Control Message Corporate Philanthropy -.3662 .263 Cause Related Marketing .0125 .968 Cause Promotion .2778 .391 Corporate Volunteering -.1417 .653 Overall Control .2042 .518 Overall Control Corporate Philanthropy -.5704 .075 Cause Related Marketing -.1917 .532 Cause Promotion .0736 .815 Corporate Volunteering -.3458 .261 Control message -.2042 .518
59 In the third two-way ANOVA, the indepe ndent variables were CSR treatment type and persuasion knowledge, and the depende nt variable was purchase intentions. The results are reporte d in Table 21. Table 21. Interaction Effect of CSR Tr eatments and Persuasion Knowledge on Purchase Intention Source Type III Sum of Squares Df Mean Square F Sig. Partial Eta Squared Corrected Model 43.484a 11 3.953 .694 .743 .044 Intercept 2663.678 1 2663.678 467.454 .000 .740 CSR Treatments 17.940 5 3.588 .630 .677 .019 Persuasion Knowledge 8.118 1 8.118 1.425 .234 .009 CSR Treatments Persuasion Knowledge 17.066 5 3.413 .599 .701 .018 Error 934.515 164 5.698 Total 4030.778 176 Corrected Total 977.999 175 The ANOVA indicates no significant in teraction between CSR initiatives and persuasion knowledge, F (5,164)= .599, p =.701, partial = .018. Moreover, there was no significant difference for the main effect of CSR treatment types, F (5,164)= .630, p = .677, partial =.019, and the main effect of persuasion knowledge F (1,164)= .1.425, p = .234, partial =.009. Therefore, H5(c) is not supported. The mean scores of purchase intention for each CSR initiative are shown in Table 22. Results indicate that the corp orate philanthropy treatment ( M =4.785) produced the highest mean among the six treatments followed by the cause-related marketing
60 ( M =4.610), corporate volunteering ( M =4.151), and the cause promotion ( M =4.104) treatments. The CSR control treatment ( M =3.917) and the overal l control treatment ( M = 3.851) produced the lowest mean scores among the six treatments. Table 22. Purchase Intention Mean Scores for Each CSR Initiative Treatment Hypothesis 6 posited that the impact of CSR initiatives on (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purch ase intention will be moderated by the level of persuasion knowledge; however, the resu lts of the three two-way ANOVAs did not provide any support for this hypothesis. The following chapter discusses the findings of this study. Also, limitations, areas of future research, and implications for future research are provided. CSR initiatives Mean Std. Error N Corporate Philanthropy 4.785 .476 27 CauseRelated Marketing 4.610 .440 31 Corporate Volunteering 4.151 .430 32 Cause Promotion 4.104 .499 28 Control Messages 3.917 .553 27 Overall Control 3.851 .472 31
61 Chapter 5: Discussion Discussion of the findings This study attempted to contribute to th e current body of knowledge of the effect of corporate social responsibi lity initiatives. Particularl y, this study attempts to find support for the belief that CSR leads to posit ive attitudes toward a brand and results in increases in a consumerÂ’s purchase intention, as posits by the Affect Transfer Hypothesis (ATH). Also, this study uniquely focuses on consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge as having moderating effects on the relationship among CS R initiatives, attitude s toward brand, and purchase intentions. The first two hypotheses (H1 and H2) tested a positive relationship among CSR initiatives, attitudes toward brand, and purchase intention. The results of H1 suggest that CSR can positively influence attitude toward brand. In addition, the results of H2 confirm that attitudes toward the brand can positively lead to purchase intentions. These results indicate support for the Affect Transfer H ypothesis (ATH), which posits that people will transfer their attitudes toward an advertisem ent to their attitude toward an advertised brand, and they have a tendency to purchase a product from the brand (Shimp, 1981). In this study, the results demonstrate that cons umers transfer what they feel about CSR initiatives to what they feel about the brand; the more pos itive they feel about the CSR initiatives, the more favorable they feel towa rd the brand, and the more likely they are to buy its products. These two hypotheses help emphasize the current body of knowledge and support the Affect Tran sfer Hypothesis (ATH).
62 This study furthers previous studies by looking at consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge. The Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) proposes that if consumers can access an ulterior motive of a companyÂ’s pers uasion, engaging in CSR initiatives in this case, they probably use their persuasion knowledge to cope with the persuasive attempt (Campbell & Kirmani, 2000). Consequently, if consumers perceive a companyÂ’s profitmotive in engaging with CSR, this might affect their attitudes toward the company or the brand. Based on this model and previous studie s about consumersÂ’ di fferent responses to different types of CSR initiatives, H3 tested whether different types of CSR initiatives can cause consumers to use different levels of persuasion knowledge. This hypothesis is not supported. There is not enough evidence to sa y that people use different levels of persuasion knowledge with differe nt types of CSR initiatives. A possible reason of the results of H3 mi ght be because of the design of the study that exposes each participant to only one type of CSR treatment. Findings might be different if participants are allowed to be exposed to more than one type of CSR treatment. The other possible reason is that persuasion knowledge is a factor that already exists in peopleÂ’s information processi ng. People develop their persuasion knowledge over their lifetime (Friestad & Wright, 1994). Persuasion knowledge is not easily changed just by reading one message. In addition, persuasion knowledge toward the brand may be qualified by many factors such as individual differenc es (Boush, Friestad, & Rose, 1994; Friestad & Wright, 1994, 1995; Kirmani & Campbell, 2004), and brand familiarity (Wei, Fischer, & Main, 2008) Therefore, only being exposed to CSR initiative messages might not have a great impact on consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge toward CSR initiatives.
63 Additionally, cause importance and cause pr oximity are two important factors that increase consumersÂ’ personal relevance, wh ich can affect their elaboration levels (Landreth, 2002). According to Friestad a nd Wright (1994), persuasion knowledge lies dormant until triggered by a stimulus (CSR me ssages in this case). Consequently, when participants are exposed to the messages, persuasion knowledge is activated. And the more consumers elaborate the messages, the more likely persuasion knowledge will be ready to be used to form a valid attitude. However, in this study, participants might not see the cause as relevant to them and the dona tion is not in their community. Thus, they might not devote so much critical thought to the messages, and so this does not trigger any persuasion knowledge toward each initiative. So, differences in the use of persuasion knowledge did not emerge across the six treatments. Although it cannot be said that people used different levels of their persuasion knowledge in evaluating different CSR initia tives, the hypothesis testing indicates one interesting finding. Participants who are expos ed to the corporate volunteering treatment produced significantly lower mean scores from ones who are exposed to non-related CSR messages. This implies that people seem to be more suspicious of the brand itself. However, when the brand engages in CSR initiatives, people tend to have less suspicion toward the brand. The non-related CSR messages have an obvious purpose of selling a product, and this might make people tend to ha ve less favorable feelings toward the brand compared to the CSR messages. Thus, it is important to organizations to communicate with the public about their CSR initiatives in order to retain consumersÂ’ positive attitudes. As for other initiatives, the cause prom otion treatment created the most persuasion knowledge among participants, followed by th e corporate philanthropy, cause-related
64 marketing, and corporate volunteering initiative s. This might be because the nature of cause promotion is to promote a cause. People might perceive it as not really providing anything to the community. It is just a company talking a bout how important a cause is. A company does not really involve or particip ate as much as the corporate volunteering in which the contribution is based upon empl oyeesÂ’ involvement. Corporate volunteering has both employeesÂ’ involvement and the companyÂ’s contribution. And, this might be the reason that people feel less suspicious toward it than cause promotion. As Kotler and Lee (2005 ) state the following: It seems that anyone can write out a check or provide a space for cause promotional materials in retail stores. Bu t it takes real commitment and caring to give your employees time away from the production lines or for people who have a full-time job to give some of th eir free time to support a cause. (p. 178) Although persuasion knowledge did not differ across CSR initiatives, it is interesting to see whether it has any eff ect on other variables. Hypothesis 4 tested whether persuasion knowledge aff ects (a) attitude toward the CSR, (b) attitude toward the brand, and (c) purchase intention. If so, the relationship should be negative; the more people are suspicious of CSR initiatives, the less favorably they feel about CSR initiatives, a brand, and purchase intention. Results demonstrate mixed support. Findings indicate that the negative relationship among these three variables emerged; however, it can only be said that consumersÂ’ persuasi on knowledge influences attitude toward the CSR and attitude toward the brand, but not purchase intention. On e possible reason why persuasion knowledge did not influence consumer sÂ’ purchase intentions is that the brand used in this study is very familiar to consumer s, and there is a lot of availability of the
65 brand to consumers. The brand is easy to recognize and find. So, people tend to buy products from the brand without considering any other factors. Brand familiarity can qualify negative effects of persuasion know ledge activation (Wei, Fischer, & Main, 2008). Consequently, brand familiarity possi bly reduces the importance of persuasion knowledge people have toward the brand in this case. Hypothesis 5 attempted to investigate th e influences of CSR initiative types, defined by Kotler and Lee (2005), on (a) attitude toward CSR, (b) attitude toward brand, and (c) purchase intention. The results show that only attitude toward CSR was influenced by CSR initiatives. The specific findings of this study indicate that the corporate philanthropy treatment appears to be the most favorable type of CSR initiative, followed by the corporate volunteering initiati ve. This suggests that consumers respond differently to different kinds of CSR initiative s. A brand or an organization that shows an altruistic motivation to support a social cause is more favorable than the one that shows profit-motivated support (Barone, Miyazaki, & Taylor, 2000). Congruent with this study, participants feel most favorably toward the corporate philanthropy ini tiative, and this can be because of the outright giving characteristic of this initiative. Corporate volunteering is the next most favorable one for participan ts. This might be because the nature of the initiative, which indicates employeesÂ’ involve ment. That is, it is not just giving away things, but employees must take an action co ntributing to the commun ity. Therefore, it is perceived as one of the most genuine a nd satisfying forms of corporate social involvement (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Cause-related marketing and cause promo tion do not appear to provide as good a result as corporate philanthropy treatment does. This might be because participants
66 perceive it as being profit-m otivated. A company gets reve nues first before it gives the percentage of the revenue to a charity. This type of CSR initiative causes consumer suspicions (Becker-Olsen, Cudmore, & H ill, 2005), so it can reduce consumersÂ’ favorability toward the CSR initiative itself. As for cause promotion, consumers might not have a great attitude towa rd it because it does not show much of how an organization contributes to the community except prom oting the cause compared to corporate philanthropy initiative in wh ich most of the time an orga nization contributes tangible resources (i.e., fund, products) to the community. Findings indicate that CSR initiatives do not influence attitude toward the brand and purchase intention. These results are congruen t with previous studies (Werder, 2008).The argument for the findings goes back to the brand familiarity. That is the organization that was used in this study is a very familiar one. The familiarity may affect the way consumers feel about the brand a nd how likely they will purchase its products regardless of what types of CSR initiatives the organization is engaging in. Therefore, this study is open to the further research to l ook at the effect of brand familiarity in this area. Although there is no support for the attitude toward the brand and purchase intention, the study indicates some important findings. That is, the corporate philanthropy initiative appears to be the most benefici al initiative for a company. The corporate philanthropy initiative produced the highe st mean scores among the six treatment conditions. This confirms the importance of corporate outreach to the community. Distributing to the community without any condition can bene fit organizations in terms of attitude toward organizations and attitude toward brands. This seems to be congruent
67 with many previous studies (i.e., Bae & Cameron, 2006, Dean, 2003, 2004; Varadarajan & Menon, 1988) that suggest th at corporate philanthropy can be perceived as the most effective CSR type because of its unconditional nature. Moreover, these findings also indica te the importance of engaging CSR initiatives. Overall, the results show that the mean scores of the control CSR treatment and the overall treatment are th e lowest among the six treatment conditions, and that is to say that with the CSR initiatives, regardless of what type they are, an organization can get advantages from them. CSR initiatives still are a good way to strategically provide an organizationÂ’s positive image to the public Therefore, it is very important to organizations to keep on engaging in socially responsible activities. The last hypothesis is a unique and importa nt part of this study. This study does not individually look only at the influence of CSR initiatives and persuasion knowledge, but it extends to inves tigate those two variables together through the last hypothesis. H6 attempts to discover an interaction effect of these two variables. That is, the hypothesis seeks to investigate whether the level of persuasion knowledge moderates the strength of the relationships among CSR initiatives, attitude toward the CSR, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. Unfortunately, th e analysis of this hypothesis demonstrates that there was no interaction effect between the two variables. So, there is not enough evidence to conclude that the impact of CSR treatment types on attitude toward the CSR, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention will be moderated by the level of persuasion knowledge. To illustrate, people do not feel less or more favorably toward the CSR initiative type that they already like or dislike due to the persuasion knowledge they have. Level of persuasion knowledge does not strengthen or weaken the relationship
68 among CSR initiatives, attitude toward the CSR, attitude toward the brand, and purchase intention. Both CSR initiative types and le vel of persuasion know ledge are independent from each other. Although there was no interaction effect between CSR types and level of persuasion knowledge, the results show that there were some main effects found. The first two-way analysis of va riance indicates that CSR t ypes and level of persuasion knowledge independently influence attitude toward CSR initiatives. CSR types cause different attitudes toward CSR initiatives. As for level of persuasion knowledge, attitude toward CSR is more positive with a low level of persuasion knowledge group. Limitations and future research Some limitations can be found in th is study. The first and the most obvious limitation is that this study employs experiment al research in which the results cannot be generalized beyond these partic ipants. The results might be different with different settings. Also, playing with attitudes is not easy. Studying individualÂ’s attitude is always a challenge for researchers. E ither how to create a good, accura te attitude measure or how to accurately interpret all the answers is very difficult. This difficulty still faces all researchers, and they still have to find an effective way, which is not easy. The next limitation is the manipulation for this st udy. Although it appeared that most of the participants in the manipulation check agreed that each message reflects its definition, the results did not show that there was a signi ficant difference for every message. The ideal manipulation should provide a significant di fference both in-group and between group. Another limitation was the use an existing br and, which may impact the results because
69 of the familiarity of the brand. It is somewh at easy for respondents to answer neutral on every question, and this situation might affect the results of the study. Based on the study and the limitations, so me opportunities for future research in this area could be developed. It might be inte resting to change the study design to survey research with a different set of participants that might produce diffe rent results, since it can provide more generalizable results than experimental rese arch. Moreover, it would be interesting to investigate how different groups of people react to CSR initiatives or which types of CSR initiatives are su itable for a particular group of people. In other words, persuasion knowledge can be qualified by age, gender, level of education, or even ethnicity. So, it would be inte resting to investigate the level of persuasion knowledge with all of these demographic variables and conduct further re search to see which type of CSR is most effective with particular groups This can be very helpful to scholars of strategic communication and co mmunication professionals in being able to effectively choose the right type of CSR initia tive for the right group of people. The manipulation check can be approach ed in a different way to obtain more rigorous results. In this study, CSR messages we re placed at the top of the page, followed by each definition; a different approach is to put each definition first, followed by the messages. The latter method seems to be c ongruent with current teaching practice and may provide better results. In addition, a limitation may exist in that a familiar brand was used in this study, which can have an effect on the results. T hus, future research should consider conducting an experimental study using a fictional bra nd. Results will probably be different because
70 participants have never known the brand before. So, this wa y can limit the possibility of brand familiarity effect. Implications As mass communication practitioners understanding how corporate social responsibility (CSR) affects an organization and how consumers react to it are important because an important aspect of mass co mmunication practitionersÂ’ jobs is to build effective communication with the public. Rega rdless of which type of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is appropr iate to use, this study s hows that corporate social responsibility can be used to benefit an organization. Corpor ate social responsibility can be used as a tool for an organization to communicate its good images to the public. Corporate social responsibility initiatives can still be a good strategy to make people have more positive attitudes toward an organization, as well as te nd to purchase more products from the organization. Consequently, it is very important for an organization to communicate its CSR activities to the public. Specifically, the study suggests that the mo st effective CSR initi ative is corporate philanthropy because, overall, it produ ced the most favorable attitudes among participants. Results enable evidence-based recommendations to be made to practitioners and organizations that the out right giving seems to be eff ective. Corporate volunteering appears to be the next effective initiative, especially when it comes to consumersÂ’ persuasion knowledge. Therefore, an organization should cons ider using these two types of initiatives together. As corporate voluntee ring is noteworthy in that it integrates employeesÂ’ effort into existing corporate so cial initiatives (Kotler & Lee, 2005), an
71 organization might consider using corporate volunteering to support existing corporate philanthropic initiative in order to overcome consumersÂ’ suspicions. In addition, when it comes to consumer sÂ’ persuasion knowledge, this factor seems to be difficult to change because it alrea dy exists in people. In addition, persuasion knowledge depends on many factors (like educa tion, age, even gender), so simply seeing different types of CSR messages is not enough to easily change peopleÂ’s level of suspicions. Consequently, the most reasonabl e way for an organization to benefit from using CSR initiatives might be to keep up with, engage in, and communicate CSR initiatives to the public. The l ong-term contribution to a cause may help consumers see an organizationÂ’s sincere motivation and have good attitudes toward it. Moreover, Â“A longterm commitment would engender mutual trust between the organizations, allow managers to formulate a long-term strategy fo r promotional efforts, and facilitate the planning and coordination of events with the nonprofitÂ” (Dean, 2003, 2004, p. 101). However, it is important to keep in mind th at these results might not be able to be inferred in every situation. Different factors might have to be considered when it comes to a different setting. Not only does this study provide support for previous studies, it also extends the Persuasion Knowledge Model (PKM) into the ar ea of CSR effects. In other words, the research on PKM has been limited to the area of marketing and sales (Wei, Fischer, & Main, 2008). So, this study helps extend the use of the model. Since the area of the eff ects of corporate social res ponsibility has become very popular, and many academics and scholars in the strategic communication field across the country have paid attention to it, t his study helps contribute more understanding to the
72 area. This study not only provides more support for the current body of knowledge in corporate social responsibili ty, but it also attempts to extend the body of knowledge, which can be practically helpful. Also, th is study provides an oppor tunity for future research that can help build insight and knowledge in the field of strategic communications, which will also be beneficial for the pedagogy of strategic communications and future stra tegic communication practitioners.
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80 Appendix A Treatments
81 Cause Promotion
82 CauseRelated Marketing
83 Corporate Philanthropy
84 Corporate Volunteering
85 Control for CSR Initiative Type
86 Appendix B Questionnaire
87 Dear Participants, This research investigates organizationa l communication about corporate social responsibility initiatives. Please read the informed consent statement below. Informed consent statement: This research is being conduc ted under the supervision of Dr. Kelly Page Werder, USF School of Ma ss Communications, 4202 East Fowler Ave, CIS1040, Tampa, FL 33620; (813) 974-6790. Your responses will remain confidential to the extent provided by law. You do not have to answer any questions you do not wish to answer, and you have the right to withdraw consent at any time without consequence. There are no anticipated risks associated with your participation in this research and you will receive no compensation for yo ur participation. If you decide not to participate in this study, your course grade will not be affected in any way. If you have any questions concerning the procedures used in this st udy, you may contact me at the e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org Questions or concerns about your rights as a participant can be directed to the University of South Flor ida Institutional Revi ew Board, 12901 Bruce B. Downs Blvd., MDC35, Tampa, FL 33612.
88 This questionnaire attempts to determine consumer attitudes. Please spend a few minutes reviewing the attached print ad vertisement on the next page. After reviewing, answer the following questions to the best of your ability. Responses will remain anonymous. Thank you in advance for your time and effort.
89 Please rate your level of ag reement with the following statements about Starbucks Coffee Company by circling the number on th e scale below that best describes your opinion. Please be sure to answer all items, and only circle one number on a single scale. Attitudes toward CSR initiatives: I think Starbucks CSR initiatives areÂ… Bad _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Good Unfavorable _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Favorable Not impressive_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Impressive Not beneficial _____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____ Beneficial Negative _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Positive Unimportant _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Important Implausible_____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Plausible Attitudes toward brand: I see Starbucks asÂ… Unfavorable _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Favorable Negative _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Positive Poor-quality _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ High-quality Unappealing _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Appealing Unsatisfactory _____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____ Satisfactory Purchase intentions: I intend to drink Starbuck coffee in the next month. Unlikely _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Likely
90 I intend to buy more products from Starbucks. Unlikely _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Likely I intend to purchase a beverage or other product from Starbucks during the next month. Unlikely _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Likely Persuasion Knowledge: I believe that Starbucks use CSR just for the profits. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree I believe Starbucks really concerns about the cause. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree I think some of Starbucks claims about its CS R are inflated to make it seem better than it is. Strongly Disagree _____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree I am suspicious of Starbucks motives regarding social responsibility Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree I believe that Starbucks has an ulterior motive. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree I believe that the Starbucks CSR initi atives can possibly be manipulative. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree Demographic variables Sex _____ Male _____ Female Age ________ Academic Level: _____ Freshmen
91 _____ Sophomore _____ Junior _____ Senior Ethnicity: _______ Caucasian _______ African-American _______ Hispanic _______ Asian _______ Other____________