Title: Corporate hypocrisy and social responsibility: a comparative study of brand crises effect on consumer's attitude toward brands

Authors: Ana Luísa Santos; Beatriz Casais

Addresses: School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal ' School of Economics and Management, University of Minho, Portugal; IPAM Porto, Universidade Europeia, Laureate International Universities, Portugal

Abstract: It is essential to understand how consumers react to scandals that occur in the domain the brand promotes corporate social responsibility. This study discusses how corporate social responsibility and perceived corporate hypocrisy change consumer attitudes after a brand crisis. The results of 328 responses to a survey about attitude towards four brands faced a crisis in the environmental domain - BP, Zara, Nestlé and Volkswagen - verified the existence of significant changes with more negative attitudes after respondents have been remembered/exposed to inconsistent information between brand environmental CSR and its actual behaviour on that domain. All studied cases have proved the important role of perceived corporate hypocrisy in the formation of negative attitudes towards the brand. The research alert managers to the fragility of CSR when they are driven by extrinsic or self-interest reasons, as they can be counterproductive when a scandal arises in the same area.

Keywords: corporate social responsibility; CSR; corporate hypocrisy; attitude towards the brand; brand crises.

DOI: 10.1504/WREMSD.2019.098470

World Review of Entrepreneurship, Management and Sustainable Development, 2019 Vol.15 No.1/2, pp.110 - 131

Received: 12 Jun 2017
Accepted: 20 Jul 2017

Published online: 25 Mar 2019 *

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