Perceived CSR Authenticity

Sarah Alhouti, Betsy Holloway, Catherine Johnson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Marketing literature shows that while consumers often respond positively to corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004) they are also known to be skeptical of corporate social responsibility (Webb and Mohr, 1998). This paper argues that these contradictory and changing consumer attitudes towards CSR may be attributable to consumers’ perceptions as to the authenticity of a company’s CSR. While it is intuitive that inauthentic CSR would create a negative consumer evaluation of a company (Wagner, Lutz, and Weitz, 2009), this paper contributes to the literature in that it seeks to uncover what, exactly, it is that influences the perceived authenticity of CSR initiatives. To begin to understand the thought processes behind consumer’s evaluations of CSR, a qualitative analysis of interviews was undertaken. Initial findings suggest that consumers’ perceptions of what makes CSR authentic or not can be fall into several broad categories including how well a CSR initiative fits the company, firm reputation, and whether or not the firm seems to be motivated by profit instead of altruism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages1
StatePublished - 2016

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Marketing
  • Strategy and Management

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