Edinger‐Schons, Laura Marie Lengler‐Graiff, Lars Scheidler, Sabrina Mende, Gina Wieseke, Jan
Year of Publication:
[Journal:] Business Ethics: A European Review [ISSN:] 1467-8608 [Volume:] 29 [Issue:] 3 [Pages:] 510-527
Recently, calls have grown louder for more stakeholder democracy that is, letting stakeholders participate in the process of organizing, decision‐making, and governance in corporations, especially in the area of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities. Despite the relevance of the subject, the impact of customer involvement in CSR on their company‐related attitudes and behaviors still represents a major research void. The paper at hand develops a conceptual framework of consumer involvement in CSR based on the existing literature, theories of stakeholder democracy, and organizational boundaries as well as drawing from the qualitative focus group interviews (N = 24). The framework is tested on a large scale, two‐time point field‐experimental study (N = 3,397). More specifically, consumer reactions to three degrees of customer involvement (i.e., information, feedback, and dialogue) are tested in two different CSR domains (i.e., company‐internal business process vs. company‐external philanthropic CSR). Results indicate that the customer involvement in CSR has a more beneficial effect in terms of strengthening customer outcomes in CSR domains that directly affect external stakeholders of the company (i.e., philanthropic CSR) than in domains that mainly concern company‐internal stakeholders (i.e., business process CSR).