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Corporate social responsibility and customer loyalty during the Covid-19 pandemic: evidence from pharmacy practice

Sahar Abbasi (Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran)
Hamed Aghakhani (Department of Marketing, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada)
Shahriar Azizi (Department of Management, Shahid Beheshti University, Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran)
Mohammad Peikanpour (School of Pharmacy, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)
Gholamhossein Mehralian (Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran)

Social Responsibility Journal

ISSN: 1747-1117

Article publication date: 23 March 2022

Issue publication date: 26 January 2023

578

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, corporate social responsibility (CSR) has taken on a more prominent role in both large and small businesses because of its significant impact on various aspects of business performance. To date, a growing body of literature has demonstrated the mechanisms whereby CSR practices affect organizational outcomes; however, there has been little research examining how CSR practices contribute to customer loyalty within the pharmacy context. As such, this study aims to explore how CSR practices influence the loyalty of pharmacy customers, particularly in relation to the mediatory effects of customer-company identification (CCI) and customer trust.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was developed and administered to collect the required data from the pharmacy context. The resultant data were subjected to exploratory factor analysis to identify the scale dimensions, followed by multiple regression analysis to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Analysis of the results (n = 528) revealed that perceived CSR indirectly impacts loyalty through the mediatory effects of trust and CCI. All hypothesized effects were also confirmed via empirical testing.

Originality/value

The findings of this research suggest that not only are CSR activities responsive to societal concerns, but they can also promote customer identification with pharmacies and strengthen customer trust, which can, in turn, lead to long-term customer loyalty.

Keywords

Citation

Abbasi, S., Aghakhani, H., Azizi, S., Peikanpour, M. and Mehralian, G. (2023), "Corporate social responsibility and customer loyalty during the Covid-19 pandemic: evidence from pharmacy practice", Social Responsibility Journal, Vol. 19 No. 2, pp. 249-263. https://doi.org/10.1108/SRJ-06-2021-0243

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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