Engaging in strategic corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives is one of the strategies firms employ to positively influence stakeholder perceptions and induce desirable business outcomes. However, merely employing CSR initiatives may not always guarantee success, as poorly executed and inadequately managed CSR initiatives might be counterproductive for a company and even inhibit that company from reaping those initiatives’ benefits. The CSR literature claims that stakeholder participation and third-party organization (TPO) endorsements are effective CSR management approaches, yet little scholarly attention has been given to their effects on customers’ attitudes and intentions. To address the question pertaining to the impact of participation strategies (information, response, involvement) and third-party endorsement on CSR effectiveness determinants (perceived motives and skepticism) and customers’ intention to engage in a company’s CSR initiative, a 3 × 2 between-respondents factorial experiment with 213 Dutch health insurance clients was implemented. Results indicate that only stakeholder participation positively influences individuals’ intention to engage with the initiative, and that this effect is mediated by perceptions of CSR motives and low levels of skepticism.
- Corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- Stakeholder participation
- Third-party organization endorsement
- Perceived CSR motives