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Durham e-Theses
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Beyond Helping: A Cross-National Investigation of Psychological Distance in Cause-Related Product Buying Decisions

Beyond Helping: A Cross-National Investigation of Psychological Distance in Cause-Related Product Buying Decisions.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Cause-related marketing (CRM) has become popular in recent years, where corporate giving for a cause is tied to consumers’ purchase of the firm’s products. The prior research has mainly focused on how consumers perceive cause-company relationship e.g. cause fit) and consumers’ pro-social characteristics (e.g. altruism) in influencing
CRM effectiveness. Additionally, more studies have been called to focus on emerging market’s cause-related product (CRP) buying. In an attempt to address these research gaps, this thesis examines CRP buying by bring the consumers’ self-cause relation into focus, adopting psychological distance as a theoretical framework in order to offer a
deeper understanding of the psychology of buying decisions in CRM. A mixed method approached was applied. Study One conducted in-depth interviews to explore the psychological distance in CRM context. Using a cross-national sample from China (225) and the UK (220), Study Two conducted a scenario-based survey to examine the role of psychological distance in CRP buying in different country contexts.
Overall, the findings demonstrate all four dimensions of psychological distance affect CRP buying, among which consumers’ perceived temporal distance and uncertainty toward social causes have the most influential impact. The perceived closeness’ positive influence on CRP buying could be enhanced by consumers’ favourable perceptions towards CRM and their pro-social characteristics. It also shows that
products with an accumulative nature and a relatively large donation magnitude should be tied with psychologically closer social cause. Significant differences are found among consumers’ CRP buying in developed and emerging markets: 1. Unlike UK consumers, Chinese consumers are not affected by their perceived social and physical
distance towards social causes. 2. Chinese consumers are not in favour of providing extra effort in participating a CRM campaign other than buying a CRP whereas UK consumers may be willing to actively involve in devoting time and effort in CRM campaign. 3. UK consumers tend to buy more CRPs linked with high donation magnitude than Chinese consumers. Theoretical and practical contributions are given.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2016
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Mar 2016 08:53

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