Perceptions of Responsibility and Consumer Behavior in the Food Sector. Description of an Experience in Spain.

José Luis VáZQUEZ, Ana LANERO, Andrei TIGANAS, María P. GARCáA, David ABRIL


In current marketplaces, Corporate Social Responsibility is a new expectation to be fulfilledby all kind of organizations in order to build a positive reputation and send a signal to theirstakeholders. In this respect, analysis of the consequences of perceived firms’ responsibility forconsumer behavior has been a common topic in recent marketing literature, major evidences showinga positive link between involvement in social and environmental causes and consumer goodwilltowards firms and brands. In the context of these results, this paper analyzes the consideration ofresponsibility criteria over the different stages of the consumer decision-making process in the agrofood sector, and discusses its implications for marketing in organizations. Particularly, a self-reportstudy was conducted with a representative sample of consumers in Spain. Descriptive and multivariatestatistical analyses were performed to identify relevant dimensions of consumer decision-makingbased on responsibility criteria and their incidence in different age groups of consumers. In general,findings support a moderate impact of perceived business responsibility over the consumer decisionmakingprocess, while some discrepancies can be observed between individuals within different agegroups. In this sense, young consumers were found to display a lower consideration of responsibilitycriteria in their purchase decisions. Contribution of these results to previous literature and theirimplications for marketing in organizations are discussed.


corporate social responsibility (CSR), consumer behavior, consumer decision-making process, food sector, Spain

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