Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility, Consumer Attitudes, Brand Preference, and Customer Citizenship Behavior: Older Adult Employment as a Moderator

Academic journal article Social Behavior and Personality: an international journal

Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility, Consumer Attitudes, Brand Preference, and Customer Citizenship Behavior: Older Adult Employment as a Moderator

Article excerpt

Philanthropic corporate social responsibility (PCSR) is a company's voluntary activity for social development, such as through donations and volunteer work (Carroll, 1979). Companies participate in PCSR activities in various ways; for instance, Home Depot Inc. provided knowledge for the restoration of houses damaged by Hurricane Katrina in the US (CSRwire, 2005). This type of PCSR activity helps to form positive consumer attitudes toward a company brand and has a great impact on customer behavior (Arendt & Brettel, 2010), so it has become a critical part of business practice (Carroll & Shabana, 2010).

PCSR needs to be considered in relation to the aging society in Korea. Since 2017, Korea has become an aged society with more than 14% of the total population aged 65 and over (Park, 2017), and this has led to much interest in the social problems of aging, such as poverty among older adults. For example, the Korean government made efforts to create about 430,000 new jobs by 2017 to help solve the poverty problem of older adults (Choi, Lee, & Jeong, 2013). Food service companies are also trying to address this issue. For instance, McDonald's in Korea has been providing jobs for older adults through a senior internship program since 2011 (Kim, 2012).

Thus, our objectives in this study were to examine the effect of PCSR on consumer attitudes and brand preference, the role of consumer attitudes and brand preference in the formation of customer citizenship behavior, and the moderating role of older adult employment in this process. We expect that the results of this study will provide insight for restaurant businesses in understanding the necessity of PCSR activity and older adult employment. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first attempt to apply the concept of PCSR and older adult employment as a predictor and a moderator, respectively, in the restaurant industry, so the results will also have important theoretical implications.

Literature Review and Hypothesis Development

Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) theory has been of interest to many researchers and practitioners because CSR is a requirement and not an option in business management (e.g., Carroll, 1979; Carroll & Shabana, 2010). In discussing CSR, Carroll (1979) said that "the social responsibility of business encompasses the economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary (philanthropic) expectations that society has of organizations" (p. 500). As suggested by Carroll, CSR theory consists of four subconcepts: economic, legal, ethical, and philanthropic. In this study we focused on philanthropic corporate social responsibility, which is defined as "corporate actions that are in response to society's expectation that businesses be a good corporate citizen" (Carroll & Shabana, 2010, p. 96). PCSR is a concept widely used in cause-related marketing and has an important influence on consumer attitudes (Carroll & Shabana, 2010). Further, PCSR plays an important role in the economic performance of corporations, so many companies have PCSR activities in fields such as arts, community improvement, and education (Seifert, Morris, & Bartkus, 2004). PCSR is deeply related to the solution of social problems due to aging, as businesses can provide employment for older adults, thus reducing their economic deprivation.

Effect of Philanthropic Corporate Social Responsibility on Consumer Attitudes

First, we examined the relationship between PCSR and consumer attitudes. Consumer attitudes, defined as attitudes toward a particular product or service, are an important factor in developing successful competitive strategies (Hwang & Ok, 2013). In particular, consumer attitudes are important to businesses because a brand is a feature of a product differentiated from other brands' products that has a decisive effect on customers when purchasing the product (Taylor, Celuch, & Goodwin, 2004). …

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