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Corporate social irresponsibility and consumer punishment: a systematic review and research agenda

C. Valor, P. Antonetti, G. Zasuwa

Journal of Business Research Vol. 144, pp. 1218 - 1233


This paper offers an integrative review of the past work on consumers’ reactions to corporate social irresponsibility (CSI). The study summarises and integrates the existing research into two conceptual models: a punitive response to CSI and a nonpunitive response to CSI. In each model, the study reviews relevant antecedents, mediators, and moderators. The paper also identifies gaps in the literature and problematizes several key research assumptions that have gone unquestioned in earlier accounts of consumers’ reactions to CSI. The paper contributes to the existing research by offering a parsimonious and yet comprehensive conceptualization of which, when, why and how consumers punish (or do not punish) firms following CSI. The analysis further leads to the identification of a research agenda to continue advancing our understanding of how consumers respond to CSI.

Spanish layman's summary:

¿Castigan los consumidores a las empresas irresponsables? Una revisión integrativa de 197 estudios, lleva a identificar dos trayectorias -  punitiva y no punitiva – y explica las condiciones que llevan a los consumidores a castigar o no a las empresas por sus actos irresponsables.

English layman's summary:

Do consumers punish irresponsible firms? Based on an integrative review of 197 studies, we identify two trajectories- a punitive and a non-punitive trajectory- and we explain the circumstances under which consumers punish (or not) brands for their transgressions.

Keywords: Corporate social irresponsibility; Wrongdoing; Consumers; Value transgressions; Punishment; Systematic review

JCR Impact Factor and WoS quartile: 11,300 - Q1 (2022)

DOI reference: DOI icon https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2022.02.063

Published on paper: May 2022.

Published on-line: February 2022.

C. Valor, P. Antonetti, G. Zasuwa, Corporate social irresponsibility and consumer punishment: a systematic review and research agenda. Journal of Business Research. Vol. 144, pp. 1218 - 1233, May 2022. [Online: February 2022]

    Research topics:
  • Management and measurement of stakeholder satisfaction