Understanding consumer responses to retailers' cause related voucher schemes

Matthew Gorton (Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)
Robert Angell (Cardiff Business School, Cardiff University, Cardiff, UK)
John White (Plymouth University Business School, Plymouth University, Plymouth, UK)
Yu-Shan Tseng (Newcastle University Business School, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK)

European Journal of Marketing

ISSN: 0309-0566

Publication date: 11 November 2013



The purpose of this paper is to present and test a conceptual model for understanding consumer responses to cause related voucher schemes (CRVS), considering the initiatives of two UK-based grocery retailers (Tesco and Morrisons).


The conceptual model incorporates six theoretically derived exogenous constructs, i.e. status of the cause, company-cause fit, personal involvement with the cause, attitudes to the company, perceived sincerity of the company and perceived ubiquity. These are hypothesized to influence consumer responses to three primary endogenous variables: interest in the company, favourability of attitudes to the company and use (impact on purchasing intentions). The model is tested using survey data (n=401) collected in two UK cities.


All but two of the hypothesized path relationships were confirmed and the percentage of explained variance for the primary endogenous variables compares well against previous models. Attitudes to the company, perceived ubiquity and favourability were identified as significant predictors of behavioural intentions (use).

Practical implications

In selecting a cause, managers need to think carefully about the status of the cause, its degree of fit with the company and how to build personal involvement. CRVS initiatives should be focused, with consistency in communication. If a company suffers from negative consumer attitudes, a CRVS alone is unlikely to turn around their business performance.


The paper represents the first academic assessment of consumer responses to CRVS, introducing and validating a conceptual model.



Gorton, M., Angell, R., White, J. and Tseng, Y. (2013), "Understanding consumer responses to retailers' cause related voucher schemes", European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 47 No. 11/12, pp. 1931-1953. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJM-06-2011-0286

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