CSR Halo: The Gift that Keeps on Giving?

24 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018 Last revised: 12 Mar 2018

See all articles by N. Craig Smith

N. Craig Smith

INSEAD

Daniel Read

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School

Sofia Lopez

INSEAD

Date Written: March 6, 2018

Abstract

Little is known about how consumers form CSR perceptions of the organizations they buy from. We propose that one way is through a CSR halo effect, whereby consumer awareness of some of a firm’s CSR initiatives influences their judgments and preferences with regard to CSR in other areas about which they have little or no information. This gives rise to some provocative research questions. We present two studies that support the existence of a robust halo effect within-domain (e.g., environment) and across-domains (e.g., environmental action influences perceptions of employee-related CSR), wherein companies known to engage in specific CSR practices get credited with doing other CSR practices and doing a better job of them. Beyond conceptualizing and testing for the existence of the CSR halo, we explore how it can originate, its nature and scope. We conclude with implications for CSR communications strategy such as what CSR initiatives to communicate and when, as well as implications for public policy and future research, including how to prevent a possible “dark side” to company reputation management.

Keywords: CSR Communications, CSR Domains, Greenwashing, Inference Making, Halo Effect

Suggested Citation

Smith, N. Craig and Read, Daniel and Lopez, Sofia, CSR Halo: The Gift that Keeps on Giving? (March 6, 2018). INSEAD Working Paper No. 2018/07/ATL/Social Innovation Centre. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3135132 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3135132

N. Craig Smith (Contact Author)

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Daniel Read

University of Warwick - Warwick Business School ( email )

Coventry CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

Sofia Lopez

INSEAD ( email )

Boulevard de Constance
77305 Fontainebleau Cedex
France

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
72
Abstract Views
437
rank
320,453
PlumX Metrics