Endorsement of CSR Initiatives: The For-Profit or Nonprofit Status of Organizations and the Stereotypicality of For-Profit Organizations
The present study examines the impact of stereotypes about for-profit organizations on the evaluation of CSR (corporate social responsibility) initiatives. Past work on micro-foundations of CSR has primarily focused on the positive effect of CSR on acting organizations through individuals’ reactions and on conditions under which CSR might backfire. We add to this literature by studying aspects of the process of CSR evaluation. More specifically, we argue that fundamental beliefs such as stereotypes about different types of organizations (e.g., for-profit vs. nonprofit) account for differences in appraisal outcomes and behavioral endorsement of CSR initiatives between these two types of organizations. We further argue that changing the stereotypicality of for-profit organizations can reduce these differences. Results from a laboratory experiment based on a real fundraising event, the Big Ride for Africa, with actual monetary donations as the measurement of behavioral endorsement supported our hypotheses. The results of this paper have implications for the literature on micro-foundations of CSR and for the literature on stereotypes.