Co-creation: A Key Link Between Corporate Social Responsibility, Customer Trust, and Customer Loyalty
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.
KeywordsCo-creation Corporate social responsibility Customer loyalty
Compliance with Ethical Standards
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 was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
- Berry, L. L. (1980). Services marketing is different. Business, 30(3), 24–29.Google Scholar
- Booms, B. H., & Bitner, M. J. (1981). Marketing strategies and organization structures for service firms. Marketing of Services, 25(3), 47–52.Google Scholar
- Chazal, C. (2008). Co-creation: Insurance done differently. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://www.axa.com/en/spotlight/story/co-creation-insurance-done-differently.
- Delgado-Ballester, E., Munuera-Aleman, J. L., & Yague-Guillen, M. J. (2003). Development and validation of a brand trust scale. International Journal of Market Research, 45(1), 35–54.Google Scholar
- DKV. (2018). DKV, in the Merco top 20 ranking for companies with business responsibility and corporate governance. Retrieved February 26, 2018, from https://eng.dkvseguros.com/empresa-responsable/institucional/dkv-entre-las-veinte-empresas-con-responsabilidad-empresarial-y-gobierno-corporativo-del-ranking-merco-12-02-2018.
- Edelman Trust Barometer. (2018). 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer Report. Retrieved August 2, 2018, from https://cms.edelman.com/sites/default/files/2018-01/2018%20Edelman%20Trust%20Barometer%20Global%20Report.pdf.
- Eiglier, P., & Langeard, E. (1977). A new approach to service marketing. In P. Eiglier, E. Langeard, C. H. Lovelock, J. E. G. Bateson & R. F. Young (Eds.), Marketing consumer services: New insights (pp. 33–58). Cambridge: Marketing Science Institute.Google Scholar
- Freeman, R. E. (1999). Divergent stakeholder theory. Academy of Management Review, 24(2), 233–236.Google Scholar
- Gallo, A. (2014). The value of keeping the right customers. Harvard Business Review Magazine. Retreived from https://hbr.org/2014/10/the-value-of-keeping-the-right-customers [Accessed 16 January 2018].
- Hannan, S., Suharjo, B., Kirbrandoko, K., & Nurmalina, R. (2017). The influence of customer satisfaction, trust and information sharing on customer loyalty of professional services company: An empirical study on independent surveyor services industry in Indonesia. International Journal of Economic Perspectives, 11(1), 344–353.Google Scholar
- Hayes, A. F. (2017). Introduction to mediation, moderation, and conditional process analysis: A regression-based approach. New York: Guilford Publications.Google Scholar
- Hosseini, M. H., & Hosseini, V. S. (2013). The impact of co-production on customer loyalty in banking services: A case of Saman Bank. Iranian Journal of Management Studies, 6(2), 105.Google Scholar
- Iglesias, O., & Ind, N. (2016). How to build a brand with a conscience. In N. Ind & S. Horlings (Eds.), Brands with a conscience. Amsterdam: Kogan Page.Google Scholar
- Iglesias, O., Markovic, S., Singh, J. J., & Sierra, V. (2017). Do Customer perceptions of corporate services brand ethicality improve brand equity? Considering the roles of brand heritage, brand image, and recognition benefits. Journal of Business Ethics. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-017-3455-0.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Iglesias, O., Markovic, S., & Rialp, J. (2018). How does sensory brand experience influence brand equity? Considering the roles of customer satisfaction, customer affective commitment, and employee empathy. Journal of Business Research. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.05.043 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Lagace, R. R., Dahlstrom, R., & Gassenheimer, J. B. (1991). The relevance of ethical salesperson behavior on relationship quality: The pharmaceutical industry. Journal of Personal Selling & Sales Management, 11(4), 39–47.Google Scholar
- Lovelock, C., & Wirtz, J. (2011). Services marketing: People, technology, strategy. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.Google Scholar
- Markovic Markovic, S. (2016). 21st-century brands: An innovation opportunity and an ethical challenge. PhD dissertation. Barcelona, Spain: Universitat Ramon Llull.Google Scholar
- Markovic, S., Iglesias, O., Singh, J. J., & Sierra, V. (2018). How does the perceived ethicality of corporate services brands influence loyalty and positive word-of-mouth? Analyzing the roles of empathy, affective commitment, and perceived quality. Journal of Business Ethics, 148, 721–740.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Nambisan, S., & Nambisan, P. (2008). How to profit from a better’virtual customer environment’. MIT Sloan Management Review, 49(3), 53.Google Scholar
- Nunnally, J. C., & Bernstein, I. H. (1994). Psychological theory. New York: MacGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
- Prahalad, C. K., & Ramaswamy, V. (2000). Co-opting customer competence. Harvard Business Review, 78(1), 79–90.Google Scholar
- PwC. (2016). Redefining business success in a changing world. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from http://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/2016/landing-page/pwc-19th-annual-global-ceo-survey.pdf.
- Rajah, E., Marshall, R., & Nam, I. (2008). Relationship glue: Customers and marketers co-creating a purchase experience. Advances in Consumer Research, 35, 367–373.Google Scholar
- Reputation Institute. (2016). 2016 Global RepTrak 100 Report. Retrieved April 7, 2018, from https://www.pwc.com/gx/en/ceo-survey/2016/landing-page/pwc-19th-annual-global-ceo-survey.pdf.
- Singh, J. J. (2014). RSC ha llegado para quedarse [CSR is here to stay]. In G. Costa & M. Casabayó (Eds.), Soul marketing (pp. 53–62). Barcelona: Profit Editorial.Google Scholar
- Von Hippel, E. (2005). Democratizing innovation. Cambridge: The MIT Press.Google Scholar
- West, S. G., Finch, J. F., & Curran, P. J. (1995). Structural equation models with non-normal variables: Problems and remedies. In R. H. Hoyle (Ed.), Structural equation modeling: Concepts, issues, and applications. Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar