- Changing behaviour through business-nonprofit collaboration? Consumer responses to social alliances
- European Journal of Marketing
- Pages (from-to)
- Issue number
- Document type
- Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB)
- Amsterdam Business School Research Institute (ABS-RI)
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to explore consumers' responses to social alliances, a specific type of corporate social marketing in which companies cooperate with non-profit organizations. This paper extends previous studies that suggested that a social marketing effort may be a "double-edged sword" with regard to companies' marketing objectives.
Design/methodology/approach - This study uses a 2 (social value orientation: prosocials/ proselfs) × 3 (company-cause fit: high/low fit/control group) between-subjects experimental design.
Findings - The findings suggest that while prosocials reward companies for social marketing alliances with high fit, proselfs punish the company. This effect can be explained by differences in prosocials' and proselfs' perceptions of the company's corporate abilities, which are influenced by the level of fit.
Research limitations/implications - Future research could give more attention to low-fit alliances, and whether specific fit dimensions play a role. It could also identify ways to overcome negative responses by proselfs in case of high fit.
Practical implications - Companies should be cautious in selecting a social marketing alliance partner as high fit is received favourably by some consumers, but unfavourably by others. While high fit has other benefits for companies, increasing consumers' awareness of strong corporate abilities is important.
Originality/value - Previous studies suggested that different consumer types and a link between the company and the cause may impact the effectiveness of social marketing initiatives. Unlike extant studies, this paper explores the combined and hence moderating influence of both factors, and adds perceived corporate abilities as a mediating factor.
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