Chapter 9: Cross-cultural consumer responses to cause-related marketing: theoretical insights and future research
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Cause-related marketing (CrM), which involves companies promoting their products through supporting a social cause, has emerged as a popular corporate socially responsible strategy around the world. Given that cultural differences play a crucial role in shaping consumer perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR), CrM efforts are likely to have differential impact on consumers from culturally distinct backgrounds. Despite the research advances, evidence on consumer responses towards CrM across countries and cultures is, so far, limited to the Western market and a few Asian markets. Within the few comparative studies, theoretical explanations accounting for the difference of consumer perceptions towards CrM are sparse. This chapter aims to address the gap in the literature by providing theoretical extrapolations in the domain. The chapter first provides a critical review of the state of the art in comparative consumer research on CrM. Through the lens of established theories from social psychology, the chapter then reviews research on the impact of (a) cultural orientations, (b) temporal orientations, (c) cross-cultural cognitive styles, and (d) cross-cultural emotional dispositions on consumers’ responses to CrM campaigns. The chapter ends with suggestions on several interesting areas for future research.

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