This study aims to build an integrated model to explain why purely altruistic corporate disaster relief giving may result in different (both positive and negative) consumer responses and the study is based mainly on expectation-satisfaction theory. The method of backward reasoning is adopted in this study. Using this method, we build the expected model by taking three steps. The study found out that consumers have different responses because they have different levels of satisfaction (or dissatisfaction) with a firm’s disaster relief giving and making different attributions toward the firm’s motivation. Satisfaction leads consumers to make positive motivation attribution, and vice versa. Consumers satisfying or not with a firm’s giving is determined by the gap between this giving and the expected giving of consumers on it. Consumer expectation is further determined by firm capability, severity of the disaster, peers’ giving and other contingencies. This study contributes to the literature on corporate social responsibility (CSR) by identifying the underlying mechanism of consumer response to corporate philanthropy. It suggests that firms not only need to do good, but also need to do good in a right way.
Key words: Corporate disaster relief giving, consumer response, corporate social responsibility (CSR), expectation-satisfaction theory.
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