Assessing the Impact of (Overly) Socially Desirable Brand Attributes in Choice Conjoint Tasks

André Carlos Martins Menck, João Bento Oliveira

Abstract


This research assesses the effects of corporate social responsibility on choice behavior. The construct social responsibility is highly socially desirable by definition. As a result, choice tasks in such setting may be biased by social desirability. This paper unveils a data treatment on choice conjoint tasks that sorts out the respondents who are likely to be mostly affected by social desirability. In this research a survey with choice conjoint tasks is used to evaluate interaction effects of corporate social involvement on functional attributes. Choice on four different product categories is assessed in a 215 within-subject design embedded in a 3x2x2 between-subject design. The main effects of corporate social involvement come out strong. The predicted interactions between social involvement and the functional attributes of the products seem to be affected by social desirability, leading to unclear results. The sub-samples resulting from the data manipulation, however, provide empirical support to the hypotheses on the interaction terms. This indicates the appropriateness of a model in which social involvement signals that the firm’s arguments on its products’ credence attributes are worth trusting. Nonetheless, the results with the full data prevent assertive conclusions.


Keywords


demand artifacts; social desirability; conjoint analysis; corporate social responsibility

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/ijbsr.v4i3.439

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International journal of business and social research (Print)
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[International Journal of Business and Social Research (IJBSR) previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]