The purpose of this paper is to first, propose a causal model to understand the process of corporate social responsibility (CSR) perception formation among customers; and second, identify differences among innovative and conservative customers in that process.
A structural equation model is tested in a sample of 1,124 banking services customers in Spain. Also, a multisampling analysis is implemented in order to determine how novelty seeking moderates the process of CSR perception formation among customers.
Results confirm that customer CSR perceptions are directly and positively influenced by: the congruence between CSR initiatives and corporate profile; customer attributions of corporate motivations to engage in CSR; and corporate credibility in developing CSR initiatives. Nonetheless, while innovative customers pay greater attention to corporate credibility than conservative customers when evaluating CSR initiatives, conservative customers evaluate the congruence of CSR initiatives and their attribution of altruistic motivations to a larger extent than innovative customers.
These findings suggest that companies should take into account customer novelty seeking when planning their CSR and communication strategies because highlighting different qualities of their CSR initiatives can have diverse effects for the success of corporate investments.
The greatest contribution of the paper is the study of the moderating role of novelty seeking in the process of customer CSR perception formation; previous scholars had long ignored this variable when evaluating customer perceptions.
Pérez, A. and Rodríguez del Bosque, I. (2015), "How customer novelty seeking influences customer CSR perceptions", Marketing Intelligence & Planning, Vol. 33 No. 4, pp. 486-507. https://doi.org/10.1108/MIP-07-2014-0140
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