Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 659–680 | Cite as

Social Responsibility and the Olympic Games: The Mediating Role of Consumer Attributions

  • Matthew Walker
  • Bob Heere
  • Milena M. Parent
  • Dan Drane


Current literature suggests that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can affect consumers’ attitudes towards an organization and is regarded as a driver for reputation-building and fostering sustained consumer patronage. Although prior research has addressed the direct influence of CSR on consumer responses, this research examined the mediating influence of consumer’s perceived organizational motives within an NGO setting. Given the heightened public attention surrounding the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, data were collected from consumers of the Games to assess their perceptions of the International Olympic Committee’s (IOC) socially responsible initiatives. We hypothesized that consumers of the Games were likely to cognitively elaborate on CSR messages by way of three specific attribution effects derived from the literature. The results show that, contingent on CSR awareness, consumers responded positively to social efforts judged to be values-driven and stakeholder-driven; and a negative response was seen for efforts judged to be strategic. These attribution effects influenced various types of patronage and perceived organizational reputation.


consumer attributions social responsibility Olympic Games mediation 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthew Walker
    • 1
  • Bob Heere
    • 2
  • Milena M. Parent
    • 3
  • Dan Drane
    • 4
  1. 1.University of FloridaGainesvilleU.S.A.
  2. 2.University of TexasAustinU.S.A.
  3. 3.University of OttawaOttawaCanada
  4. 4.University of Southern MississippiHattiesburgU.S.A.

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