CSR-consumption paradox: Examination of UK apparel companies

Mei Yu, Dongmei Cao, Juh Yan Tan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
572 Downloads (Pure)


Despite extensive study into various aspects of corporate social responsibility (CSR), the effect on consumer behaviour is less explored. A growing amount of research is concerned with the phenomenon that CSR has a minor effect on actual purchases although CSR practices enhance consumers’ purchase intentions. This is documented as the CSR-consumption paradox and is yet to be resolved. The purpose of this paper is to further understand this paradox.

Questionnaires were administered face-to-face to consumers in Birmingham. These questionnaires concern consumer behaviour in relation to CSR practices of 21 popular apparel companies in the UK.

Results suggest that consumers’ pro-social priority is significantly related to pro-social consumption and that consumers’ awareness of CSR practices is insignificantly associated with their purchase behaviour. The pro-social consumption does not differ significantly among different demographic groups.

Research limitations/implications
To explore the external motivational factors in consumers’ decision making will be a potential research direction in future.

Practical implications
The empirical results provide implications for UK apparel marketers and policy makers to engage and motivate socially responsible consumers so as to reap strategic rewards for their CSR efforts.

This paper contributes to the knowledge of socially responsible consumption and how it is affected by CSR.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-137
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Fashion Marketing and Management
Issue number1
Early online date3 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2019

Bibliographical note

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  • Apparel
  • Consumer behaviour
  • Consumer perception
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Customer surveys
  • UK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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