Co-creation: A Key Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Trust, and Customer Loyalty

  • Oriol Iglesias
  • Stefan MarkovicEmail author
  • Mehdi Bagherzadeh
  • Jatinder Jit Singh
Original Paper


In an ever more transparent, digitalized, and connected environment, customers are increasingly pressuring brands to embrace genuine corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and co-creation activities. While both CSR and co-creation are social and collaborative processes, there is still little research examining whether CSR can boost co-creation. In addition, while previous research has mainly related co-creation to emotional outcomes (e.g., customer affective commitment), limited empirical research has related it to rational (e.g., customer trust) and behavioral outcomes (e.g., customer loyalty). To address these shortcomings in the literature, this paper examines the influence of CSR on customer loyalty, considering the mediating roles of co-creation and customer trust. It also investigates the influence of co-creation on customer trust. The data were collected in Spain in late 2017 using an online survey, and the sample contained 1101 customers of health insurance services brands. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized relationships simultaneously. The results show that CSR influences customer loyalty both directly and indirectly through co-creation and customer trust. However, the indirect impact is the stronger of the two, implying that embracing co-creation activities and developing customer trust can make it easier for CSR practices to enhance customer loyalty. In addition, co-creation has a direct effect on customer trust.


Co-creation Corporate social responsibility Customer loyalty 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Ethical Approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed Consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Marketing DepartmentUniversitat Ramon Llull, ESADESant Cugat del Vallès, BarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Department of MarketingCopenhagen Business SchoolFrederiksbergDenmark
  3. 3.Strategy and Entrepreneurship DepartmentNEOMA Business SchoolReimsFrance
  4. 4.Department of Marketing, Operations and SupplyEADA Business SchoolBarcelonaSpain

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