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Psychological Distance in Cause-Related Product Buying Decisions

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Abstract

Cause-related marketing (CRM) is now increasingly gaining prominence as a global form of promotion to support an organisation’s corporate social responsibility aims and to increase market share (Barone et al. 2007). While prior research has focused on charitable donations and other methods of helping causes and constituents, less attention has been directed to the perceived distance/closeness of a social cause in driving consumers’ cause-related product (CRP) buying decisions. For example, even though research has often called attention to personal relevance and presentation of cause-related cues in CRM promotion (Pracejus and Olsen 2004), psychological distance has not obtained the attention it deserves. It cannot be denied that psychological distance is a key antecedent to pro-social and inter-temporal decision-making among consumers. Moreover, perceptions of psychological distance may vary widely in different cultural contexts. We contribute to the emerging literature on cause-related shopping by empirically demonstrating the impacts of various psychological distance constructs on cause-related shopping among samples of consumers in the UK (n = 220) and China (n = 225).References available upon request.