The effect of Corporate Social Responsibility in consumers’ attitude towards waste treatment facilities

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The paper analyzes the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as a tool for firms to adopt social initiatives and increase their reputation amongst customers. Despite a growing effort in investigating corporate environmental strategies and CSR effects on consumers’ attitudes, extant research does not provide sufficient knowledge of the relationship between consumers’ attitude towards CSR activities and their strictly related behavior. Bby employing Attribution Theory, we developed a conceptual framework and conducted two separate experiments showing the impact of firms’ CSR initiatives on consumers’ attitudes, behavior, and purchase intentions. Our first experiment shows that company evaluation improves when CSR activities is considered to be rooted on sincere motives. Conversely, CSR initiatives backfires on the proponent when consumers perceive that the company motives are driven by internal and profit reasons. Additionally, our second experiment shows that consumers’ attitudes are significantly related to the overall behavioral intentions toward the firm; positive (negative) attitudes toward CSR activities result in positive (negative) consumers’ behavioral intentions toward the firm. Moreover, when we set firm’s reputation as a moderator of the relationship between attitudes and behaviors, we found that it moderates consumer’s attitudes toward the firm’s social initiative and, consequently, consumers’ behavioral intentions.