Sales-Force Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility: Attributions, Outcomes, and the Mediating Role of Organizational Trust

Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp.1207-1218

52 Pages Posted: 5 Nov 2008 Last revised: 4 Aug 2011

See all articles by Pavlos A. Vlachos

Pavlos A. Vlachos

ALBA Graduate Business School,The American College of Greece

Aristeidis Theotokis

Leeds University Business School; Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology

Nikolaos G. Panagopoulos

Ohio University

Date Written: November 11, 2008

Abstract

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is gaining momentum among researchers and practitioners. In spite of this extensive interest, systematic research regarding the effects of CSR on other stakeholder groups, besides consumers, remains sparse. Based on a field study in a global Fortune 500 consumer packaged goods company, we examine sales force attitudinal and behavioral outcomes of company’s partnership with a United Nations (UN) philanthropic organization. Specifically, we seek to examine whether sales force perceptions of CSR motives influence their evaluation of CSR actions. Findings indicate that egoistic-driven motives negatively influence salesperson trust in the company, whereas stakeholder-, and values-driven motives positively influence salesperson trust; however, strategic-driven attributions do not have an influence on salesperson trust. The results further reveal the mediating role of trust in the relationship between sales force attributions and outcomes including loyalty intentions and positive word-of-mouth.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility, sales force, attributions, organizational trust, behavioral intentions

JEL Classification: M31

Suggested Citation

Vlachos, Pavlos A. and Theotokis, Aristeidis and Panagopoulos, Nikolaos G., Sales-Force Reactions to Corporate Social Responsibility: Attributions, Outcomes, and the Mediating Role of Organizational Trust (November 11, 2008). Industrial Marketing Management, Vol. 39, No. 7, pp.1207-1218. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1295454

Pavlos A. Vlachos (Contact Author)

ALBA Graduate Business School,The American College of Greece ( email )

6-8, Xenias str., Ampelokipoi
Athens, 115 28
Greece

HOME PAGE: http://www.alba.acg.edu

Aristeidis Theotokis

Leeds University Business School ( email )

Leeds LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

Athens University of Economics and Business, Department of Management Science and Technology ( email )

76 Patission Street
Athens, 104 34
Greece

Nikolaos G. Panagopoulos

Ohio University ( email )

Athens, OH 45701-2979
United States

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