An examination of corporate social responsibility and processing fluency in a service context

Lu Zhang, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Purpose-This study aims to examine the joint effect of processing fluency and service quality in a service context. In recent years, companies have become increasingly interested in supporting corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. While most prior research focus on the positive effect of CSR initiatives on consumer behavior, the current study identifies a new boundary condition-processing fluency-for the positive impact of CSR messaging. In addition, this examines its impact across two situations-a successful service delivery and a failure. Design/methodology/approach-This study used a 2 (processing fluency: High vs low) × 2 (service delivery: Failure vs success) scenario-based experimental design. A total of 152 adult consumers participated in this study. Findings-The results show that in the service failure condition, participants exposed to a CSR message with high processing fluency exhibited more positive attitudes and higher repurchase intentions, as compared to their counterparts in the low processing fluency condition. However, in a successful service delivery condition, participants showed similar level of attitudes and behavioral intentions across the two fluency conditions. Originality/value-No previous research examined the interplay of processing fluency and CSR. This paper fills this gap in the service literature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Services Marketing
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 13 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing


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