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The impact of CSR-linked sport sponsorship on consumers’ reactions to service failures

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Abstract

Purpose Drawing on the corporate association framework and attribution theory, the purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the shield effects of CSR-linked sport sponsorship on consumer attitudes toward a sponsor, attribution patterns in a sponsor’s service failure and repurchase intentions and second, to investigate the halo effect of CSR-linked sport sponsorship on corporate ability (CA) associations and the relationship between CA associations and consequential variables in the context of service failure. Design/methodology/approach A scenario-based two-factor (sponsorship types: baseline vs sport sponsorship vs CSR-linked sport sponsorship × service failure types: flight delay vs cancellation) experimental design was employed. Findings The results indicate that CSR-linked sport sponsorship outperforms non-CSR sport sponsorship in forming CSR association and developing CA association. Both CSR and CA associations are found to positively influence the consumer’s attitude toward a service provider. Consumers with positive attitudes attribute the sponsor’s service failure to external factors, leading to repurchase intention after a service failure. Originality/value This study connects two fields of research, service failure and sport sponsorship, thereby providing evidence on how CSR-linked sport sponsorship can play a shield role in the context of service failure and whether CSR-linked sport sponsorship can be a proactive strategy for service providers in industries where service failures are inevitable. Additionally, this study provides empirical evidence on whether CSR-linked sponsorship can lead consumers to perceive service quality as “doing right leads to doing well” by creating a halo effect.

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This study examines the moderating role of severity of service failure between emotions and dissatisfaction, as well as between dissatisfaction and behavioral intention. Results showed that when customers’ regret and disappointment are low, service failure severity has an amplifying impact on their dissatisfaction. It also demonstrates that when customers’ dissatisfaction levels are low, service failure severity plays an important role in their negative word of mouth and switching intention. Therefore, if a restaurant can reduce its number and frequency of critical service failures, then restaurant operators can dramatically enhance customers’ word of mouth testimonials and customer retention.
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Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to explain the benefits of charitable sport events and examines how consumer involvement in the cause, attitude toward the event, and event-sponsor fit influence corporate image (CI) and corresponding purchase intention (PI). Design/methodology/approach – The conceptual model developed in this research consolidates various constructs related to sponsors and events into a single comprehensive framework, thus offering an integrated view of the factors that determine consumers’ perceptions of a sponsorship and their attitudes toward a sponsor. Data were collected from participants in the Pink Ribbon Love Marathons (PRLM) held in Seoul, South Korea. A total of 650 female subjects (mean age=41.2, SD=12.5) participated in this investigation. Findings – The findings indicate that CI plays a significant role as a partial mediator within a reciprocal relationship between participants’ event perception and patronage intention. Sponsoring a well-targeted event might have a positive impact on CI and PI. Originality/value – What makes this study unique is the application of previous research examining cause-related sport sponsorship from a sport participant’s perspective. From a practical standpoint, the findings of this study reveal the importance of corporate communication in CSR.
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Drawing on attribution theory and the services marketing literature, the authors examine how the allocation of causality and length of the service recovery process impact post-recovery consumer perceptions of service quality, customer satisfaction and behavioral intentions for word-of-mouth and repurchase. Results of a scenario-based repeated measures design suggest that 1) customer behavioral intentions are more favorable in stable service recoveries, 2) an employee based service recovery results in more favorable evaluations and word-of-mouth intentions, and 3) customer evaluations and behavioral intentions will be more positive for service failures remedied by expeditious and less complicated recovery processes. Managerial implications and future research directions are presented.
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Using an experimental approach, the returns achieved by three sponsors of the 1998 Adelaide Festival of the Arts are examined. Using a before-and-after design with a control group, a mail survey measured the change in attitudes to, and awareness of, three particular sponsors and their sponsorship efforts, by members of the audience who attended one of these sponsored events, and corresponding results for a non-attending control group. Results showed conclusively that sponsorship effectiveness is directly related to the degree to which the sponsors are willing to leverage their investment with additional advertising and promotional activities and expenditure.
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The negative word-of-month (NWOM) contained in comments posted on online forums can have significant effects on consumer purchase decisions. Despite this, the related corporate response strategies and their effects have not been investigated in depth. For this reason, this study examined the effects of different response strategies and the severity of failure on customer attribution in relation to NWOM. It also examined the relationships among customer attribution, organizational reputation, and NWOM. The results indicate that response strategies and severity of failure affect customer attribution, and that these have negative relationships with organizational reputation and positive relationships with NWOM. Severity of failure is likewise found to be an element influencing customer attribution in addition to response strategies, and the negative relationship between customer attribution and organizational reputation is verified. This study suggests that managers in service industries can adopt accommodative strategies and attempt to prevent severe failures so as to improve customer perceptions of organizational reputation, thereby reducing their desire to engage in NWOM.
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Although brand theorists suggest that what a person knows about a company (i. e., corporate associations) can influence perceptions of the company's products, little systematic research on these effects exists. The authors examine the effects of two general types of corporate associations on product responses: One focuses on the company's capabilities for producing products, that is, corporate ability (CA) associations, and the other focuses on the company's perceived social responsibility, that is, corporate social responsibility (CSR) associations. The results of three studies, including one that measures respondents' CA and CSR associations for well-known companies and one that uses consumers recruited in a shopping mall, demonstrate that (1) what consumers know about a company can influence their beliefs about and attitudes toward new products manufactured by that company, (2) CA and CSR associations may have different effects on consumer responses to products, and (3) products of companies with negative associations are not always destined to receive negative responses. The authors conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for marketing managers and further research.
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This paper investigates how different corporate associations may influence consumer evaluations and purchase intention in response to cause-related marketing (CRM) and whether this impact is contingent on congruence between the cause and the company. Our experimental study, based on 660 participants, reveals that both corporate ability association and corporate social responsibility association may enhance product evaluation; this effect is mediated through company and CRM campaign evaluations. The study also reveals how these evaluations relate to purchase intention. Furthermore, by identifying the interplay between corporate associations and cause congruence, the study's results suggest that incongruent causes are preferable for companies more strongly associated with corporate ability, whereas congruent causes are preferable for companies more strongly associated with social responsibility.
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Stakeholder theory suggests that corporate social responsibility (CSR) should require organisations to consider the interests of all stakeholders including investors, suppliers, consumers, employees, the community and the environment in discharging their profit-directed activities. Implicit in this perspective is the assumption that both sport and corporate influence on social trends must be considered from multiple angles. Such a viewpoint encourages an examination of the overlaps between the social responsibilities of the sport and corporate worlds. This paper explores the role that sport can play as a vehicle for deploying CSR. It exposes the social responsibilities implicit in sport as well as those found in the corporate world. An opportunity lies at the intersection of these mutual responsibilities in the combination of the financial leverage available to corporations and the distributivesymbolic power inherent in sport. We argue that sport offers a bridge across social and economic gaps, an opportunity to improve the quality of life, and a stimulus to encourage large and profitable businesses to share a little of their prosperity.
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Purpose The present study compares two types of compensation – i.e. on‐the‐spot and delayed – and tries to reveal how and when firms can utilize delayed compensation effectively. For this, failure severity is considered how these two types of compensation affect satisfaction and repurchase intentions. Design/methodology/approach A scenario‐based experiment in the hotel and restaurant industries was used with a sample of 292 students. Findings The results show that failure severity acts as a moderating variable in a recovery process of compensation‐satisfaction‐repurchase intention. The more severe consumers perceive the failure is, the more they depend on satisfaction to decide repurchase intentions. The two types of compensation are also moderated by failure severity on their effects on satisfaction and repurchase intentions. On‐the‐spot compensation leads to more satisfaction and repatronage intentions when failures are severe, but the results are not as straightforward when failures are insignificant. Under such a condition, while delayed compensation does not engender customer satisfaction with recovery as much as on‐the‐spot compensation, repatronage intentions for both types of compensation were similar in the hotel industry and even higher in restaurant services. Research limitations/implications Industry differences such as ease of visit, frequency of visit, competition factors, and primary value (e.g. hedonic versus utilitarian) are expected to influence the effects of on‐the‐spot versus delayed compensation. Practical implications The study provides practitioners with the implication that the timing of compensation should be approached strategically according to the severity of failure and recovery outcomes they expect to achieve. Originality/value The present study tries to focus on compensation, one of the most commonly used recovery strategies, and tries to find the effects of different timings of it.
Article
On the basis of balance theory, corporate sponsorship of a well-liked charitable event is hypothesized to result in significant enhancement of consumer-perceived corporate community relations. However, on the basis of attribution theory, it is proposed that subjects would employ negative attributions (i.e., corporate self-interest) to explain the sponsorship. Furthermore, it is hypothesized that a structural equation model of charitable event sponsorship will show a significant negative path leading from the negative attributions construct to the outcome construct. As predicted, event sponsorship resulted in a significant enhancement of corporate community relations. However, the hypothesized path was not significant. The effects of sponsorship linkage on the outcome variable were largely mediated through the positive attributions construct.
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Corporations sponsoring causes may hope to create the appearance of "good citizenship." Using attribution theory, the authors develop and test a cognitive explanation of sponsorship effects. Results of the experiment suggest that a good fit between a company and the cause it sponsors generates consumer attributions of altruistic sponsor motives and enhances sponsor credibility and attitude toward the sponsor. Mediation analysis results indicate that congruence effects on sponsor attitudes were mediated by sponsor credibility.
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The effects of the specific emotions disappointment and regret on customers’ behavioral responses to failed service encounters were examined. Study 1, using a vignette methodology, showed that regret was more associated with switching behavior than was disappointment and that disappointment was more associated with word of mouth and complaining than was regret. These results were largely replicated in Study 2, in which each customer was asked to report an autobiographical episode in which he or she experienced dissatisfaction with a service. Characteristics of this experience, as well as regret, disappointment, satisfaction, and behavioral responses, were assessed. As hypothesized, regret had a direct effect on customers’ switching, over and above the effect of dissatisfaction. Moreover, disappointment had a direct effect on word of mouth, over and above the effect of dissatisfaction. Finally, neither regret nor disappointment had a direct effect on the actual complaining in Study 2.
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This study investigates the mediating role of customer satisfaction in the relationships between two types of corporate associations (corporate ability and corporate social responsibility) and two behavioral outcomes (word of mouth and loyalty intentions). In addition, the authors explore whether these relationships are equivalent across two countries—Germany and the United States. With a sample of 437 retail customers, the important role of satisfaction as a mediator of both corporate associations is confirmed. Moreover, the relationships between corporate associations and behavioral outcomes experience differential (partial or full) mediation by satisfaction, depending on the country. The effects of corporate ability associations on satisfaction are stronger for U.S. than for German customers, while the effects of corporate social responsibility associations on customer satisfaction and behavioral outcomes are consistently stronger for German than for U.S. customers.
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Self-service technologies (SSTs), such as airport check-in kiosks, can provide customers faster, better, and less expensive services. Yet sometimes customers experience service failures with these technologies. This study investigates the process by which customers recover from SST failures using their own effort (i.e., customer recovery) and explores their decisions to stay with or switch from the SST. Drawing from expectancy and attribution theories, we develop a process model centered on customer-recovery expectancy and test the model by tracking actual failure responses. The results show that internal attribution, perceived control over the SST, and SST interactivity all positively influence customer-recovery expectancy. In turn, expectancy affects customers’ recovery effort and recovery strategies, depending on the availability of competitive information. Furthermore, greater recovery effort increases the likelihood of staying with an SST, whereas more recovery strategies increase the likelihood of switching. The theoretical and managerial implications of these findings include ways to design SSTs to enhance recovery expectancy, a key mechanism of the recovery process, and thus to encourage customers to persist with the technologies.
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The current research investigates customer responses to interactional service failures, such as a service provider who is rude or inattentive, or unfriendly. We study interactional failures within pseudorelationships, which exist when a customer interacts repeatedly with the same firm but encounters different employees across service occasions. Empirical results demonstrate that customers’ responses to these interactional failures distinguish between the offending employee and the organization. Dissatisfaction with the organization critically depends on the customer's attribution of globality—how widespread the interactional failure is throughout the organization. Globality attributions and dissatisfaction with the organization can be lowered by excellent past experience with the organization; however, that same positive experience increases dissatisfaction with the offending employee. Thus, customers’ discrimination of the organization and employee in a pseudorelationship can work in the organization's favor after an interactional failure, and managing customers’ attributions of globality should be a managerial priority.
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This study extends previous research by developing a typology of retail failures and recovery strategies. Upon sorting 661 critical incidents pertaining to general merchandise retailers, results revealed fifteen different types of retail failures and twelve unique recovery strategies. In addition, the effectiveness of the recovery strategies are examined and research implications are discussed.
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Given its growing tradition of televising Olympic Games and its major commitment to the Olympic Movement, NBC has conducted a series of studies to test a number of critical advertising research hypotheses. Among them is the theory that advertising during this unique, special event can provide extraordinary benefits for the Games' sponsors. The research described here provides substantial support for such a hypothesis as well as a model for understanding the factors and processes that underlie this important phenomenon. In particular, the research found measurable positive effects on a major Olympic sponsor's corporate image which, to a large extent, were a product of the added value that results from sponsorship of the Olympics.
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Purpose This paper seeks to examine the effectiveness of internal processes of service quality recovery for an international airline. Design/methodology/approach An action research methodology was adopted. The research involved: a review of available service quality literature; the identification of causes of failure/errors within the host company; the development of key lessons and management guidelines. Findings It is argued that, for service recovery to be effective, it must be external (to the customer) as well as internal (to the organisation). The need to incorporate employees and not overlook their significance, power and influence on the delivery of quality service is highlighted. Through comparison with another airline the findings re‐assert that service quality excellence can only be achieved through employee satisfaction, commitment and loyalty as a result of senior management commitment, focus and drive. Research limitations/implications The methodology applied was appropriate, generating data to facilitate discussion and from which to draw specific conclusions. A perceived limitation is the single case approach; however, Remenyi argues that this can be enough to add to the body of knowledge. For further investigation, there is an ongoing opportunity for future research in the area of service quality, failure and recovery, as well as the service quality gaps within the airline. Practical implications Key lessons and management guidelines for improving service quality are presented. Originality/value The paper describes how an international airline has tangible service quality failure and recovery systems in place, but fails to capitalise on the data and information generated.
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Marketers and investors face a heated, provocative debate over whether excelling in social responsibility initiatives hurts or benefits firms financially. This study develops a theoretical framework that predicts (1) the impact of corporate social performance (CSP) on firm-idiosyncratic risk and (2) the role of two strategic marketing levers, advertising and research and development (R&D), in explaining the variability of this impact among different firms. The results show that higher CSP lowers undesirable firm-idiosyncratic risk. Notably, although the salutary impact of CSP is greater in firms with higher (versus lower) advertising, a simultaneous pursuit for CSP, advertising, and R&D is harmful with increased firm-idiosyncratic risk. For theory, the authors advance the literature on the marketing-finance interface by drawing attention to the risk-reduction potential of CSP and by shedding new light on some critical but neglected roles of strategic marketing levers. They also extend CSP research by moving away from the long-fought battle for a universal CSP impact and toward a finer-grained understanding of when some firms derive more risk-reduction benefits from CSP. For practice, the results indicate that the “goodwill refund” of CSP is not unconditional. They also empower marketers to communicate more effectively with investors (i.e., doing good to better manage the risk surrounding firm stock prices).