Systematic review and meta-analysis of the relationship between attitudes toward socially responsible corporations and purchasing intentions

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Purpose: A majority of consumers are supportive of socially responsible companies making positive contributions to their communities. However, results of empirical studies on consumers’ attitudes toward corporate social responsibility (ACSR) and their purchasing intentions (PI) have been inconsistent. The purpose of this paper is to measure the strength of association between ACSR and PI. This study also aims to examine the moderating effects of firm characteristics (product type and commitment to green/sustainability initiatives), consumer demographics (gender and age) and external factors (geographic region). Design/methodology/approach: The authors conducted a systematic search, which yielded 28 studies that met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis (total participants = 12,242). This study used meta-analysis to examine the association between ACSR and PI using random effects analyses. Subgroup analyses and meta regression were used to detect moderators in the meta-analysis. Findings: The main result showed that the average weighted correlation (r+) was 0.478, indicating that ACSR had a strong positive relationship with PI. Subgroup analyses indicated geographic region and product type had no significant moderating effect on the relationship between ACSR and PI. However, the difference for commitment to green initiatives was marginally significant. The high levels of heterogeneity (Q = 535.199, I² = 94.955) and a possible absence of publication bias were evident in the meta-analysis. Originality/value: This meta-analysis can make meaningful contributions to the existing body of knowledge on corporate social responsibility by testing the influence of the important moderators that include geographic region, product type and commitment to green initiatives.

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Social Responsibility Journal

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