International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99

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International Journal of Hospitality Management
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/ijhosman

CSR and customer loyalty: The roles of trust, customer identification with the company and satisfaction
Patricia Martínez ∗ , Ignacio Rodríguez del Bosque 1
University of Cantabria, Faculty of Economics, Avenida de los Castros s/n, 39005 Santander, Cantabria, Spain

a r t i c l e

i n f o

a b s t r a c t
Corporate social responsibility (CSR) has become a crucial construct in hospitality companies. One of the main reasons is due to the idea that CSR influence consumer loyalty. This paper presents a model of influence of CSR on hotel customer loyalty by simultaneously including trust, customer identification with the company and satisfaction as mediators by showing the direct and indirect effects among these constructs. In the proposed model, loyalty is indirectly affected by perceived CSR, via the mediation of trust, identification and satisfaction. Empirical testing using a survey of Spanish hotel consumers confirms most of our hypothesized effects except the effect of customer trust on customer identification with the company. Finally, managerial implications and limitations of our findings are discussed. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Corporate social responsibility Customer trust Customer identification Customer satisfaction Customer loyalty Hospitality industry

1. Introduction The hospitality industry is one of the world’s fastest growing sectors playing an essential role in tourism, since tourists are undertaking travel to increasingly distant places and locations, in increasing numbers (De Grosbois, 2012). This sector is frequently viewed as a source of economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits through its support of job creation, improvements to infrastructures and cultural understanding (Bohdanowicz and Zientara, 2009). Nevertheless, in satisfying the growing needs of hotel guests, there are many negative impacts such as air and noise pollution, biodiversity loss, waste generation, non-compliance with fundamental labor standards, and the growth of prostitution (Chan, 2011). Therefore, a corporate social responsibility (CSR) orientation is a strategy for companies in the hospitality sector to minimize the negative impacts of their activities on natural, cultural and social environments (Chan, 2011). CSR means that organizations take on responsibility toward others in society, not only on their shareholders and customers (Holloway, 2004). Nowadays, customers are vulnerable to diverse problems they are dealing with, such as crisis in values, natural disasters, climate change and enormous differences among regions and financial crisis in developed countries. These are issues for hospitality companies to play a constructive role in society by introducing CSR into firms’ strategy to achieve customer loyalty and sustainable competitive

∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +34 942 20 16 61. E-mail addresses: martinezrp@unican.es (P. Martínez), rbosquei@unican.es (I. Rodríguez del Bosque). 1 Tel.: +34 942 20 16 61. 0278-4319/$ – see front matter © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijhm.2013.05.009

advantages (Nemec, 2010). As a result, a growing number of hospitality companies have implemented a number of socially responsible practices to show their commitment toward this concept. Meliá Hotels International, Marriott International, NH Hotels and Novotel Hotels have all implemented numerous CSR initiatives including energy and water conservation, recycling and community involvement (Goeldner and Brent Ritchie, 2006). For example, Meliá Hotels International cooperates with TUI Travel – the leader travel group in Europe – in the distribution of a specific guide in which they educates clients on souvenir purchasing. Similarly, NH Hotels created the “Ecomeeting” concept, in which events, congresses and conventions are organized based on sustainability requirements ensuring a respectful use of energetic resources, using products with low environmental footprint and fair trade. One of the main reasons for this growing interest is because of the idea that CSR influence consumer loyalty at a time when hospitality companies are facing an extremely business competitive environment and ever growing customer expectations (Han et al., 2011). Many hospitality firms are having difficulty increasing their market share because of rising international competition, slower growth rates, decreased population growth, and oversupplied and mature markets (So et al., 2013). Thus, firms within this sector have become more interested in looking after and retaining their customers because the advantages seem obvious. When customers become loyal, they buy more, are willing to pay more and recommend more (Harris and Goode, 2004). However, creation of loyalty among customers represents a challenge for hospitality business since switching hospitality supplier can represent a risk because it is difficult to estimate the quality of the service before it is consumed (Nemec, 2010).

.. Therefore. in their search for increasing their loyal customers. According to these studies. identification) with social exchange variables (e. 2009) and customer trust (Chaudhuri and Holbrook. 2004) contribute to consumers’ psychological processes. 2000. This study considers that CSR influence on customer loyalty is explained better by including in the analysis the role played by social identity variables (e. Customer loyalty and its antecedents Within the hospitality context.. First. To date the literature devotes insufficient attention to social identification antecedents (e. Oliver (1997. However. 1994. 2005. 2001). However. Consequently. recent studies empirically demonstrate a positive relationship between CSR and customer loyalty (García de los Salmones et al. trust and satisfaction).g. Tanford et al. routinely track their guests’ likes and dislikes. trust and satisfaction.. 2012). firms try their best to develop long-term relationship with customers. 2012). limited research integrates social identity variables (e. Customer identification with the company (C-C identification) is defined as a cognitive state of consumer connection and closeness to a company (Dutton et al. CSR is such a significant attribute of corporate image that it is able to mechanically attract the consumer. 2000). With this increased interest in customer relationships. 2012). 2012).. Tajfel and Turner. 2. p. In fact. it test and demonstrates that CSR plays a significant indirect role in the development of hotel customer loyalty. 2006). The behavioral component of customer loyalty is related to repeated transactions made from the consumer in a specific period of time.. Han et al. 2011). Although several studies have attempted to link CSR to consumer responses. The present research makes a number of contributions to the hospitality literature. Marin et al. thereby causing repetitive same-brand or same brand-set purchasing... it has become increasingly obvious that hospitality theory and practice must include customer loyalty as a central construct in relationships and must also incorporate its antecedents. there is intense interest in identifying those factors that determine guest loyalty to hotels because it is generally believed that loyal customers lead to greater profitability. 2011. Second. 2011)... 1994). To the best of our knowledge. Considerable debate exists in the academic literature regarding the definition and dimensionality of consumer loyalty. fairly recently the CSR notion has been used in studies incorporating the customer loyalty model. our research distinguishes itself by expanding prior research on social identity perspective of customer loyalty through incorporating the mediation effects of social exchange constructs and social identity variables along the path from CSR to customer loyalty. 2006).90 P. Similar definitions for the construct exist but much of the original research on customer loyalty defined it in behavioral and attitudinal terms (Han et al. I. this research confirms the pivotal role of C-C identification in the process of CSR to customer loyalty development and stresses the mediating effects of customer trust and satisfaction on the effects of CSR on customer loyalty. Recent studies propose that a social identity perspective could be useful to explore the relationship between companies and their stakeholders (Bhattacharya and Sen.. 2009. Most of these studies propose that CSR directly generates more customer loyalty. repurchase behavior can be due to satisfaction or just to a lack of alternatives. To the best of our knowledge. 2012). including both courses into a broader conceptualization of customer loyalty development seems logical. the consumer is the most limited resource for the company and their loyalty directly affects its profits (Edvardsson et al. due to the fact that a subject can satisfy self-definitional needs through his/her relationship with a socially responsible company (Sen and Bhattacharya. 2003). 392) defines this construct as “a deeply held commitment to re-buy or re-patronize a preferred product or service consistently in the future. 2013. previous empirical studies in the hospitality sector did not incorporate different perspectives of customer loyalty into a more general framework by stressing the mediating roles of customer identification. 2003).. 2011. it is doubtful that CSR will be taken into account mechanically by consumers when making consumption decisions. 1979) and interpretations of service dynamics (Harris and Goode. trust and satisfaction) in explaining customer loyalty (He et al. a general approach to analyze customer loyalty is to differentiate between consumer’s attitudinal loyalty and behavioral loyalty (Chaudhuri and Holbrook. due to the inherent complexity of the construct. . In this sense.g. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 Therefore. 2006.1. Martínez. 2004. Perez et al. identification) and social exchange variables (e. Most hotels offer reward schemes. there is still a limited understanding of the different paths that connect CSR to loyalty (Marin et al.. 2012). which happen when the repurchase takes place even if the organization has a negative image in the market (Dick and Basu. Analysis of C-C identification can be used to provide a more effective explanation for the influence of CSR on customer loyalty. Research model and development of hypotheses 2. By doing so. but none that has investigated the loyalty determinants presented here within a single study. despite situational influences and marketing efforts having the potential to cause switching behavior”. Harris and Goode (2004) state that services researchers continue to devote considerable attention to these social exchange variables as attempts to understand the dynamics of service.. Perez et al. previous empirical studies in the hospitality sector did not expand prior research on social identity perspective of customer loyalty through incorporating the mediation effects of trust and satisfaction as social exchange constructs.. brought about by subjective comparison of the organizational entity and the consumer’s own identity. 2012). Marin et al. There is considerable studies on the drivers of loyalty in hospitality businesses (Mattila. or as a reason of convenience or habit. 2008). This research offers an integrated framework to overcome this gap.... this research expands previous studies that suggest that social identification perspective of customer loyalty can integrate with other perspectives such as the conceptualization of service dynamics (Harris and Goode. 2001.g.. or deciding which company to strengthen relations with (Bhattacharya and Sen.. He and Li.. In this context. identification) to customer loyalty and has not yet incorporated them into established frameworks. without requiring the intervention of mediating variables. 2009. Previous studies largely focus on the examination of key marketing concepts that serve as customer loyalty antecedents such as customer satisfaction (Lee et al. and give special deals for repeat customers (Mason et al. Academic literature provides evidence on the effects of customer identification with the company on customer loyalty (He and Li. p. 100)... fulfilling their various needs and wants (Han and Back. However. 2001).g. Precisely.. 2009). Furthermore. and customer identification as a social identity variable along the path from CSR to customer loyalty. little research has provided a conceptual model to understand how CSR influences hotel customer loyalty formation process (Mason et al. Since both social identification processes (Stets and Burke. 2004) through incorporating the mediation effects of social exchange variables in explaining customer loyalty (He et al. So et al.g. it is thought that this approach can lead to identifying as loyalty some behaviors that have been usually described as “spurious loyalty” or even “no loyalty”. In the last years an integrated approach is rising that incorporates these constructs into holistic conceptualizations (He et al. Extant literature presents several perspectives on this topic (Harris and Goode. He et al.

Therefore. Moreover. 2012). 1994.1. The underlying premise is that individuals typically go beyond their personal identity to develop a social identity with the hope of articulating their sense of self (Kreiner and Ashforth. p.. 2005. Oliver. we propose the following hypothesis: H1 . infrastructures of the hotel.. 1994). hospitality research has not documented the role of C-C identification on hotel customer loyalty which represents a fundamental advance in academic literature within this context. 2003) where the existence of shared values plays an important role (Scott and Lane. a potential loyalty. 2000). Tajfel and Turner.. However. 2003). Attitudinal loyalty means that a positive evaluation of the company is made together with the existence of an emotional link between the consumer and the organization that generates a real loyalty or. 1989.. at least. C-C identification will positively influence on customer loyalty. 2003). Therefore. Although customer loyalty has been linked to CSR both theoretically (Sen and Bhattacharya. Chaudhuri and Holbrook. you must first gain their trust”. Trust is conceived as having two components: (1) performance or credibility trust and (2) benevolence trust (Sirdeshmukh et al. The academic literature has suggested that if customers are satisfied with their chosen brands. To conclude. Customer trust will positively influence on customer loyalty. 2004).. supported in this study. Moreover. the commitment generated by identification is expressed by a more stable and lasting preference. 2003). 2000. A sequential approach. In those studies. I. 2002). where the mediation of certain constructs explains the different ways that CSR activities and behavioral outcomes are linked. In this sense. 2011). Dutton et al. Customers trust in the hotel’s benevolence refers to their belief that the hotel will not only act in a competent and reliable manner. an extensively tested relationship between consumer satisfaction and loyalty is included (Dick and Basu. so loyalty is a natural consequence of C-C identification. this cognitive state of connection and proximity implies a perception of overlap between the organizational and the personal identity (Ashforth and Mael. honesty and benevolence shown by the hotel. 2003). Marin et al. Bhattacharya and Sen (2003) propose that in consumer–company relationship contexts. Research has shown that customer satisfaction has a significant positive impact on customer retention. Since consumers identify not only with its products or services but also with a company.. and capability of the hotel to provide the expected information and services to customers when they arrive and stay at the hotel. Secondly. 1997). (2002) and Ball et al. and on share of customer purchases so customer satisfaction is considered to be one the main antecedents of customer loyalty (Verhoef. 2001).. 1989. 2004) and that individuals may also identify with organizations even when they are not formal members of these organizations (Scott and Lane. C-C identification originates consumers to become psychologically attached to and care about the company (Bhattacharya and Sen.. This occurs through a cognitive categorization process where an individual positions him/herself as a member of an organization by enhancing similarities with other members and differences with non-members. 2008. trust is considered key to building relationships within the hospitality industry. 2. 107) observe that “to gain the loyalty of customers. To this end.2. Bhattacharya and Sen. hospitality researchers insist and agree that measuring both attitudinal and behavioral aspects is essential to assess customer loyalty precisely (Han et al. By the awareness of belonging and connection to an organization individuals can achieve a positive social identity (Kreiner and Ashforth. 2013). organizational customers also have the need for self-definition and may express themselves through developing social identifying relationships. 2000). 1990). a customer’s favorable attitude toward a particular product or brand may not assure repeat patronage or repurchase frequency (Dick and Basu. we propose the following hypothesis: H2 . 2008). Within the hotel sector. Therefore. especially in the context of services markets.3. Perez et al. Perez et al. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 91 A broader and more complete vision of loyalty. Therefore. trust has been shown to be a strong determinant of loyalty. Many studies in . which positively stimulates their loyalty (Marin et al. A number of researchers have documented the role of trust in loyalty to hotels (Hikkerova. To our knowledge. In other words. below are the antecedents of loyalty that act as study variables in this research. 2009. Turner et al. Sirdeshmukh et al. the organization is psychologically accepted as part of that personal identity (Scott and Lane. Consumer trust Consumer trust is defined as a belief that the product or service provider can be relied on to behave in such a manner that the longterm interests of the consumers will be served (Crosby et al. competence trust suggests that the customer believes in the ability. (2006) “there is no general agreement on what creates loyalty to a hotel”.. brought about by a subjective process of comparison between the organizational identity and the consumers’ own identity (Ashforth and Mael. but will also have the wellbeing and interests of the customer at heart when making service decisions and providing services. Based on Social Identity Theory (Stets and Burke. 2009.. increasingly they will be inclined to re-purchase its products or services and finally become loyal customers exhibiting strong customer goodwill. Academic literature identifies trust as a prerequisite for the creation and preservation of long-term relationships between the company and consumers (Morgan and Hunt.1. Perez et al. 1987) C-C identification helps explain reasons and motivations which encourage individuals to relate to companies. loyalty is analyzed in terms of consumer preferences and intentions (attitudinal loyalty). based on these ideas about C-C identification. C-C identification also influences customer loyalty (Bhattacharya and Sen. So et al. based on these ideas about trust. As a result of this sense of connection. which not only means repurchase but also a positive word of mouth. 2. (2004). 2004. 1997). concern. The importance of trust in explaining customer loyalty is supported by authors such as Chaudhuri and Holbrook (2001). 1994). 1994.. C-C identification is a cognitive state of self-categorization. Similar to trust. Customer identification with the company Customer identification with the company (C-C identification) is an important but underutilized construct. 2001) and empirically (García de los Salmones et al. In this regard. 2012) there is still a limited comprehension of the alternative paths that link loyalty to CSR. 2012). 2009. Customer satisfaction Finally. 2000). benevolence trust is the customer’s reliance upon the care. refers to consumer loyalty as a step further. connection and proximity of a consumer to the company (Bhattacharya and Sen..P. their loyalty is likely to be invulnerable to minor modifications in product (or service) development and extend to all the products and services provided by the company (Bhattacharya and Sen. Thus. Martínez. Relationship marketing theory has been well supported in the marketing empirical literature and trust has been empirically demonstrated to be an important mediator between corporate activities and consumer loyalty (Ball et al. 1979) and Self-Categorization Theory (Hornse. As stated by Mason et al.1. 2011. 2.. Reichheld and Schefter (2000.. service usage. This type is linked to active loyalty. Marin et al.1. some hospitality researchers evaluated customer loyalty solely employing an attitudinal approach (Han and Back. skills and knowledge of the hotel employees. will be helpful for hospitality managers in order to implement and develop actions that enhance consumer’s loyalty in this specific sector. 2003. Oliver.

Secondly. Recently. Swaen and Chumpitaz. 1994). including customers. (2001) demonstrated that satisfaction was an important predictor of commitment and loyalty. individuals who are aware of the company’s efforts to develop socially responsible activities will develop higher stages of identification with the firm than those individuals who are not aware of these initiatives (Bhattacharya and Sen. 2006). this behavior provides information about corporate character and values (Brown and Dacin. CSR associations and customer satisfaction In the same way. when corporate performance expectations are not . As Hosmer (1994) states. 1996). Evanschitzky and Wunderlich. Marin et al. CSR associations will have a positive direct effect on C-C identification.. (2004. it is suggested that individuals are more likely to identify with those companies with higher levels of CSR in order to express a more ethical and social image and increase their self-esteem (Aquino and Reed II. Consumer trust is affected by the existence of values that the company and its consumer share (Morgan and Hunt. 2002). CSR initiatives associate the company with an image of responsiveness to the needs of the society it depends on for continued existence and survival (Marin et al. Actually. 2004. For this reason. 2008).. The perception that a company is ethical and responsible stimulates trust-based relationships founded in the belief that all exchange partners’ actions will be credible beyond any contractual or legal constraints (Swaen and Chumpitaz.92 P. 2004. Hence. 2001. CSR associations will positively influence on customer satisfaction. 3. 2011. 2001). 2006). So. 2003). a strong record of CSR creates a favorable image that positively enhances consumers’ evaluations of the firm and their attitude toward it (Sen and Bhattacharya. 1997). Luo and Bhattacharya. I. C-C identification provides a more favorable context for customers to respond to company performance experience as against prior expectation (He and Li. trust and satisfaction CSR associations reflect the organization’s status and activities with respect to its perceived societal obligations (Brown and Dacin.. Martínez. In support of this view. For instance. Influence of CSR associations on C-C identification. Identification and satisfaction Expectation disconfirmation theory of customer satisfaction (Oliver. 2009). although CSR information is better used to generate states of identification and connection for the consumer toward the company. However. 2008). 2001).. p. and basing on the previous literature review regarding customer satisfaction we propose: H3 . (2005) empirically demonstrate that perceived value is a key antecedent to promoting customer satisfaction.. we hypothesize: H6 . which in turns helps the customers to preserve its self-esteem (Aquino and Reed II.. Kennedy et al. 5) also recently proposed that “the creation of trust is one of the most immediate consequences of a company’s social performance” or the immediate or most proximate outcome of CSR activities (with attitude. 3. Luo and Bhattacharya (2006. Kim et al. 2001. 2006. Customer satisfaction will positively influence on customer loyalty. 2002). 3) articulate three reasons for what they name “the CSR activities-customer satisfaction effect”. (2005) suggest company’s customers can be potential stakeholders who cares about not only the economic performance of organizations but also to the overall standing (including social performance) of the company. Additionally. consequently. Taking into account all the literature review presented. CSR associations and customer trust Similar to C-C identification.. customers are likely to be more satisfied if services or products providers develop CSR initiatives and present a socially responsible behavior toward society (He and Li. Three. CSR associations create a favorable context around the company stimulating the emission of more favorable judgments about the service experience (Brown and Dacin.3. Regarding the link between CSR and C-C identification.. 3. 17) state that “the way that CSR initiatives create benefits for companies appears to be by increasing consumers’ identification with the company”. 2004. it seems appropriate to propose that: H4 . An increasing stream of research proposes to study the effects of CSR associations on consumer attitudes and behaviors emphasizing the identification of this collective with the company. However. Customers are more likely to derive better perceived value and. 1997) proposes that customers are more likely to be satisfied when the actual company performance exceeds or confirms prior expectations. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 the previous hospitality and tourist literature have proposed and tested the relationship between satisfaction and loyalty (Kim et al. Thus. as Maignan et al. Thus. the analysis of this relationship not basing the study on economic criteria is considered a contributing source to the literature (Bigné et al. and financial performance being more distal CSR outcomes). studies about C-C identification (Bhattacharya and Sen. those works in which has been tested the relationship between CSR and consumer satisfaction have based their analysis on economic criteria (Luo and Bhattacharya. Regarding CSR’s initiatives. 2006). p.1. 2008). the organizational identification literature teaches that company’s CSR activities reveal a corporate character and identity that allows stakeholders to identify with the firm on the basis of an evaluation of the overlap between their own identities and that of the company (Lichtenstein et al. p. 2003). this paper argues that CSR associations have an effect on customer satisfaction. and it is useful for enhancing general trust toward the organization (Aaker. Swaen and Chumpitaz. Following this line of thought. He and Li. 2011). when company performance expectations are confirmed (or exceed). trust is positively affected by CSR (Ball et al. those customers with higher levels of identification with the company will be more satisfied. Moreover. 2009). Firstly. Mithas et al.2. CSR associations will positively influence on customer trust. CSR initiatives are a key element of corporate identity that can lead customers to identify with the company and these customers are more likely to be satisfied with firm’s offerings (Bhattacharya and Sen. Thus. we put forward the following research hypothesis: H5 . Moreover. some researchers also suggest its relationship to consumer trust and satisfaction (Luo and Bhattacharya. Thus. 2011). since it reassures customers of their psychological attachment with the company. the academic literature has suggested that CSR associations can influence customer satisfaction (Bigné et al. Pivato et al. So that customers are more understanding to failures in the service delivery improving customer satisfaction.. Marin et al. behaviors. in the hotel industry. Lichtenstein et al. higher satisfaction from a product that is made by a socially responsible company (Luo and Bhattacharya. 2011. Lichtenstein et al. 1997). 3. 2011. 2004. 2011). 1997). 2006). More precisely. 2003. (2008. 2009) suggest that CSR initiatives are a key element of corporate identity that can induce customers to identify and develop a sense of connection with the company. Maignan and Ferrell. several authors have identified a positive influence of CSR associations on consumer identification with the company (He and Li. Sen and Bhattacharya. by injecting ethical and responsible principles into companies’ strategic decision-making processes firms can enhance the trust of all stakeholders..

investors and other bodies – as a crucial mission. Sirdeshmukh et al. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 93 TRU H5 H4 H9 H1 H8 CCI H7 H3 4. 2009). personal surveys of hotel customers were conducted during the period April 4–25. 52. Based on the previous argument. That a customer will perceive a linkage between its self-identity and a specific company when the firm distrusts the consumer is hard to imagine. were adopted to measure our variables. Finally. CSR associations were measured following the model provided by Brown and Dacin (1997). Yuksel et al. confirmed.2% of the sample. Bhattacharya and Sen (2003) propose that the extent to which consumers perceive the company identity as trustworthy will determine their response to it. He and Li. Identification and trust Mutual trust is a key characteristic of successful social exchanges. Further.9% of the respondents had a postgraduate degree. To ensure greater representation of the data. it is more likely that customers with higher levels of identification with the company experience more severe states of satisfaction. So that. In terms of educational level. benevolent and honest. Therefore. 20.. researchers have used both the unidimensional (Selnes and Sallis. According to these studies there are many different sources of trust and these will have a positive influence on the quality of experience with the organization (e. 1. upon experiencing the firm. with 38. So that. Thus.1. employees. 2011.. In this research. Thus. 1994. C-C identification was measured using a four item scale from Mael and Ashforth (1992). Some minor grammatical changes were made to the questionnaire following the pretest process. as a key factor in building close and long-term relationships. Zeithaml et al. During the pretest procedure.2. I. The quantitative method used to test the research hypotheses included the development of a survey questionnaire to measure customers’ perceptions of Spanish hotel companies. Customers are likely to identify with trustworthy organizations in order to communicate their self-definition and enhance their self-esteem (Keh and Xie. 2006). 5.3% over the age of 45. 2003. while male respondents represented 49. For instance. ranging from strongly disagree (1) to strongly agree (7). Ten percent of the respondents were under the age of 24. satisfaction judgment). 1). Customer trust will positively influence on customer satisfaction. 2001). Methods 4. Of the 400 questionnaires. The items on the questionnaire were used because they met the criteria for the item analysis. (2000). Therefore.8%. one may build trust in an organization based on positive word-of-mouth. trust should also be an antecedent of identified relationships. Academic literature in the hospitality context supports the close relationship between satisfaction and trust (Christou. 1996) and included four items measuring both the attitudinal and behavioral components of loyalty.g.5. wording. Nevertheless. 2005) to design the research sample. increasing satisfaction (Chiou and Pan. 2011). Results Table 1 displays the respondents’ profile. and 51. a multistage sampling by quotas was made by characterizing the population according to two criteria relevant to the investigation: the sex and the age of the respondent. By identifying with the trusted party characterized as being competent. customers with high levels of identification with the company will tend to be less dissatisfied due to their more affective attachment to the company (Chaudhuri and Holbrook. 2008). Therefore. Previous studies maintain that trust precedes satisfaction (Chiou and Pan.. 2010.. trust in an organization will create a positive attitude toward the organization. none of the items was deleted in response to the expert’s comments. customers tend to portray a similar profile to them. . Data collection and sample H2 LOY CSR H6 SAT Fig. 2002. The data collection was developed in collaboration with university students of the University of Cantabria coursing their last academic year. This will have a positive influence on his/her own judgment of the organization. A non-probability sampling procedure was chosen (Trespalacios et al. advertising. we took a multidimensional perspective and operationalized customer trust multidimensionally. 2002) and included five items measuring the performance and benevolence components of trust. customer loyalty measure was drawn from extant services literature (Sirdeshmukh et al. Measures Existing well-established multiple-item 7-point Likert scales. In this sense. Martínez. it is hypothesized that: H8 .. Conceptual model. Customer trust will positively influence on C-C identification. 3. Female respondents accounted for 50. who offered comments concerning item comprehensibility.7% between the ages of 25 and 44. and other types of communication. 2010). In the literature. 2009) (Fig. ambiguous or that they were unable to answer. 3... companies consider building a trustworthy identity among their stakeholders – customers. C-C identification will positively influence on customer satisfaction. The final measures are provided in the Appendix. 2003) and multidimensional views of trust (Kingshott. 382 usable questionnaires were returned. customers with stronger identification are more prone to be satisfied with the company (Bhattacharya and Sen. we propose: H7 . 2009).4.P. 4. readability. Trust and satisfaction Previous studies document that trust and satisfaction are closely related to each other.3% a graduate degree and 18.7% of the sample had an undergraduate degree. Customer satisfaction was measured following a six items scale provided by Cronin et al. Measures of consumer trust were adapted from extant research (Morgan and Hunt. ambiguity and any other weaknesses in the questionnaire design and instrumentation (Hair et al. Respondents were instructed to refer national hotels where they had spent their last holidays in the last year when answering questions regarding the variables integrated in the model. respondents were encouraged to comment any question that they thought was unclear. we propose: H9 . the questionnaire was assessed for content validity based on feedback from two scholars and sixteen postgraduate students who specializes in hospitality and tourism. Before the main study.

9 13.9 Occupation: Student Self-employed Worker Retired/pensioner Unemployed Housework 54 52 151 67 21 37 14. Results of the CFA are provided in Table 2 suggesting that our measurement model provides a good fit to the data on the basis of a number of fit statistics.70 Loyalty (LOY) 0. I.77 0. The psychometric properties (reliability and validity) of the measurement instruments were evaluated by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) containing all the multi-item constructs in our theoretical framework by using EQS 6.94 GFI = 0.65 0.2 Age: From 18 to 24 years From 25 to 34 years From 35 to 44 years From 45 to 54 years From 55 to 64 years Over 65 years Education: No education Basic/elementary/secondary Baccalaureate/FP/COU/BUP Associate degree Higher university N 38 76 72 72 53 71 31 87 114 78 72 % 10 19.66 0.22 0.94 IFI = 0.91 0.85 0. P. the measurement Table 2 Confirmatory factor analysis of the final model. 2010). .63 TRU SAT LOY 0.78 0.88 0.89 0. Firstly.39 0.82 The bold diagonal elements are the square root of the variance shared between the constructs and their measures.320 df = 164 (p = 0. respectively (Hair et al.86 0.7 and 0. lambda 0.06 0.63 NFI = 0. 1995).5 5.8 20.75 0.72 AVE 0. 1991).1 22.4 17.8 50. 1988).65 Note: AVE.6 8. Off diagonal elements are the correlations among constructs. Therefore.77 0. Finally.35 0.91 TLI = 0.7 Source: National Statistics Institute – INE (data from January 2011). 2010).29 CCI 0.72 Trust (TRU) 0.78 0.8 18.71 0.9 18.67 0. 1995). Table 2 also shows the convergent validity of the model since all the items are significant (p < 0. To analyze the data and test the proposed hypothesis this study employs a two-stage procedure of structural equation modeling (Anderson and Gerbing.71 0.87 0. the discriminant validity we followed the procedure described by Fornell and Larcker (1981) who compare the correlations of the factors with the square root of the average variance extracted for each of the factors. Martínez.3 18. the structural relations among the theoretically proposed latent variables were analyzed through a structural equation model (SEM).6 9. As evidence of internal reliability or consistency of the construct.93 CFI = 0.5.66 0.27 0.89 0.64 Satisfaction (SAT) 0.1 (maximum likehood estimation) (Bentler.67 0.50 0.94 Table 1 Respondents’ profile.89 Cronbach’s ˛ 0.06 C-C identification (CCI) 0.1 (Bentler. Factor CSR associations (CSR) Item CSR1 CSR2 CSR3 CCI1 CCI2 CCI3 CCI4 TRU1 TRU2 TRU3 TRU4 TRU5 SAT1 SAT2 SAT3 SAT4 LOY1 LOY2 LOY3 LOY4 Std.56 S–B 2 = 432.80 0. in order to confirm Table 3 Discriminant validity analysis from CFA. providing evidence for discriminant validity. The values of these statistics exceed the minimum recommended values of 0.90 0. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 N Gender: Male Female 190 192 % 49.79 0.. average variance extracted.62 0.82 0. As Table 3 shows the square root of the average variance extracted for each factor is greater than its correlations with other factors.89 0.91 0.9 29.90 0.1 13.89 0. using EQS 6..5 (Steenkamp and van Trijp.000) 2 /df = 2.7 39. the goodness of the measurement instrument’s psychometric properties was analyzed by a confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and secondly.85 0. we use the Cronbach’s alpha coefficient and the Average Variance Extracted (AVE) (Hair et al. and following Anderson and Gerbing (1988). CSR CSR CCI TRU SAT LOY 0.8 18.05) related to their hypothesized factors and their standardized lambda coefficients exceed 0.88 RMSEA = 0. Discriminant validity can be established if the square root of the average variance extracted for each one of the factor is greater that the correlations among the factors.

where a model can demonstrate acceptable fit but where acceptable fit alone is not sufficient to show that another model will not fit equally well or even better (Hair et al. 1988). Hypotheses H1 H2 H3 H4 H5 H6 H7 H8 H9 NFI = 0.11 (1. customer trust is related to customer satisfaction (ˇ = 0. analysis of the four conditions under which the existence of mediation can be supported is crucial.05) and customer satisfaction (ˇ = 0. customer trust is not related to C-C identification (ˇ = 0.000. H1 –H3 are supported. . a rival model was estimated with CSR associations affecting customer loyalty.05) in support of H4 .000).12) 0. Testing theoretically rival models is recommended to rule out equivalent or better fitting models (MacCallum and Austin.05). parsimony fit meas( ures as the Akaike information criterion (AIC) (Akaike. the ratio of the S–B 2 statistic to degrees of freedom ( 2 /df = 2. customer identification with the company and customer satisfaction on customer loyalty. we conducted a chi-square difference test.45*.. This approach is particularly relevant in SEM. the goodness of fit of the analysis was verified with the Satorra–Bentler 2 (S–B 2 ) (p < 0. the fit indices NFI and NNFI (or TLI) (Bentler and Bonnett.95. In summary. which supports H7 . The greater power of trust when determining customer loyalty is demonstrated.25 * Contrast Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted Accepted Rejected Accepted Significant p < 0.06 2 /df = 2. making this variable the main predictor of hotel customer loyalty.21.74)* 0.66)* 0. 2000). coefficient (Robust t-value) 0.90. p < 0. df = 4. identification and satisfaction). 2010). p < 0.53 (4. Testing for mediation To test the mediation effects of customer trust.93 IFI = 0. Comparing the values of the three coefficients. customer identification with the company (ˇ = 0.29.30*. Testing rival models While the literature review argues for the relationships hypothesized in this study.89. IFI and GFI (Bollen. On the other hand. which indicated that the rival model fits significantly worse than the originally proposed model 2 = 177. This model shows worse fit figures ( 2 = 531. four alternative structural models were estimated following the test procedures proposed by Baron and David (1986).45 (3.12 and CAIC is 593.05) and customer satisfaction (ˇ = 0. which indicated that the impact size of the paths were statisti2 = 5.49*. CFI = 0. p < 0. Thus.65)* 0.06). p < 0. In addition..07).68*. As the literature review suggests that a large number of customers claimed to be more loyal to companies involved in CSR activities (García de los Salmones et al. Martínez. df = 2.96. H1 –H3 examine the impact of customer trust.53*. In the original model.05).. The results show that CSR associations have positive direct effects on C-C identification (ˇ = 0. customer trust (ˇ = 0. C-C identification and customer satisfaction hypothesized as linking the independent variable (CSR) and dependent variable (loyalty).92. The third condition suggests that the independent variable (CSR) must significantly influence the dependent variable (loyalty). the significant and positive direct effects in the model confirm that the influence of CSR associations on loyalty is mediated not only by customer trust. AIC is 39. CFI = 0. 5. Therefore.11.000. NFI = 0. although the proposed structural model indicates a good model fit ( 2 = 353.95. results confirm that customer trust do not mediate the relationship between CSR and C-C identification.05). Table 2 shows the statistics calculated to verify these properties and the main goodness of fit indicators. fication is positively related to customer satisfaction (ˇ = 0. df = 161. cally different ( df = 2. 2 = 4. p < 0. In addition.384.73*.34*.96.05). 2 = 2.05) have positive effect on customer loyalty.93.738. We turn next to the indirect antecedents of loyalty.738.05). 2005) a theoretically logical possibility is that CSR associations could be modeled as a direct antecedent to customer loyalty.39 (2. Thus. The results of Model 1 (Table 5) indicate that both conditions have been satisfied. p < 0. we also examined an alternative model in the revised manuscript.92. IFI = 0. 2 /df = 2. Finally. in addition to the theoretical argument presented in the literature review. and RMSEA = 0. p < 0. Structural model H1 . so H8 is not supported.73 and CAIC is 348. p < 0.39*. 1989). indicating that the model provides a good fit.93 * 95 Structural relationship Trust → Loyalty C-C identification → Loyalty Satisfaction → Loyalty CSR → C-C identification CSR → Trust CSR → Satisfaction C-C identification → Satisfaction Trust → C-C identification Trust → Satisfaction TLI = 0.34 (3. but also by C-C identification and customer satisfaction. All values were greater than 0.000). NFI = 0.2.1.P. so H9 is supported. df = 157.3. H5 . df = 3. I. 5.49(4.29.30 (3. Finally. Furthermore. p < 0.000). 1998). df = 157 (p = 0. Prior to the examination of a mediating effect. p < 0.87 2 = 353. TLI = 0.38)* RMSEA = 0. On the basis of these statistical tests.122. C-C identip < 0.66. H2 . suggesting that the original model is preferable over the rival model. it seems that CSR associations have greater influence on customer satisfaction than on customers’ perception of corporate trustworthiness and customers’ judgment about whether to identify with a company.05.11. 1995). IFC (Bentler. 1987) and Bozdogan’s (1987) consistent version of this statistic (CAIC) were used to assess model parsimony and fit (Rust et al. p < 0. To further compare the two competing models. The estimation results of the model (Table 3) reveal that customer trust (ˇ = 0.95)* 0. Std.73(11.56) 0. model proposed is correct. it also acknowledges alternative models.25) is below the recommended cutoff point of 3 (Bagozzi and Yi. H1 . H4 –H6 . 2 /df = 3. p < 0. H2 .9 (Bentler.05). Furthermore. CFI = 0. the results show that CSR associations are not significant in predicting customer loyalty. IFI = 0. To statistically compare these relationships. 5. Thus. TLI = 0. GFI = 0.93. The first condition is satisfied if the independent variable (CSR) directly influences the mediators (customer trust.75)* 0. we conducted a chi-square difference test.25. the rival model is rejected in favor of the proposed structural model (Table 4). while in the rival model AIC is 209. 1992).02)* 0.73. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 Table 4 Structural equation model results. The second condition is met if the mediators directly influence the dependent variable (loyalty). and RMSEA = 0.68 (9. 1980).

Customers. Using the results presented in Table 5.73* – 0. but largely ignores the immediate effects of customer identification on satisfaction and trust (He et al. 6. while literature has shown that CSR associations are linked to consumer loyalty (García de los Salmones et al. identification and satisfaction to loyalty were not included.30* 0. He and Li. Marin et al.95 0. the full mediation model was supported. no mediation 0. its effects on the development of hotel customer loyalty remain relatively unexplored.93 0.30* 0. Perez et al. the direct path from the independent variable (CSR) to the dependent variable (loyalty) became non significant.21 0. The final test for full mediation involves testing whether the full mediation model (Model 1) produces a better fit than the no-mediation model (Model 3).68* 0. our research contributes to this literature by examining the variables that mediate and moderate the link between CSR and customer loyalty.05). lending support for the full mediation model (Model 1). without the presence of mediators (Model 2).. extant literature focuses on the direct effects of customer identification on customer loyalty.65 Base comparison – 99.75 0..05. The fourth condition is met if. this research supports previous studies suggesting that social identification approach of customer loyalty can integrate with other perspectives to model the consumer psychological TRU 0.907 453. Furthermore.73* Significant path Fig.22 0. the full mediation model (Model 1) was compared with the partial mediation model that includes both direct and indirect paths (Model 4).87 RMSEA 0. This study addresses this gap by examining the effects of C-C identification on hotel customer loyalty incorporating the mediation effects of trust and satisfaction.49* 0.. Structural model estimation.75 0. 2. 2013).49* 0. The results indicate that the no-mediation model (Model 3) was signif2 = 99. therefore satisfying this condition.35* 0.. full mediation Model 3.21 0. From a theoretical point of view. partial mediation 0.45* CCI LOY 0.06 0.93 Model 2 – – – 0. identification and satisfaction).49* 0. Recently. 2005.45* 0.92 0.53* 0.93 IFI 0.93 0. despite the recognized importance of C-C identification.40 0.61 347.38* – – – – – – – – – 0. 2012). thus satisfying the fourth condition. I.40 0.96 0.36* 0. identification and satisfaction.73 78.51* – – – – – – 0. 2009.96 Table 5 Mediation analysis results.34* 0. identification and satisfaction).94 0.08 Model 1. 2003. p < 0.96 GFI 0. Discussion This study makes a number of contributions to the literature of CSR and hotel customer loyalty.39* SAT . 2 graphically depicts the results of the final model. Fig.94 0. Actually.90 0. Martínez. can also develop strong identification and attachment with organizations (Bhattacharya and Sen. Fit estimates Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Model 4 2 P. despite being non-formal members of a company..43* 0.68* 0.74 CSR → Trust CSR → C-C identification CSR → Satisfaction CSR → Loyalty Trust → Loyalty C-C identification → Loyalty Satisfaction → Loyalty Trust → Satisfaction C-C identification → Satisfaction Trust → C-C identification R2 Trust C-C identification Satisfaction Loyalty * 0. the path was significant (p < 0. not significantly better than Model 1 ( df = 1. Additionally. 2003.11 0.39* 0.34* 0. The results show that Model 4 is 2 = 6.25* 0. p < 0.28 Model 4.72* 0. after the inclusion of the mediators (trust. To test for partial mediation.11 0.91 0.74 Significant p < 0.52* 0.08.30* 0.10 0.93 0. However.86 0. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 df 157 13 160 156 2 df – – 3 1 NFI 0.08 0.87 0.89 0.30* 0.87 6. the direct paths from the independent variable (CSR) to the dependent variable (loyalty) become non significant (full mediation) or reduce their strength (partial mediation).06 353. The proposed model not only includes traditional antecedents of customer loyalty but also demonstrates that there is a framework of relationships among these constructs that allows for a better understanding of how customers build loyalty toward a company.43 0. 0.05). a comparison of Model 2 and Model 4 indicates that.34* 0. He et al. satisfaction and trust)..70 0. 2012).95 CFI 0.59* 0.05). So et al. social identification theory is receiving increasing attention for customer loyalty (Bhattacharya and Sen. As the path from CSR to customer loyalty was found not significant after including customer trust. icantly worse than the full mediation model ( df = 3. after including the paths from the independent variable (CSR) to the mediators (trust. 2012. thus eliminating any indirect effect. this research is the first one that confirms the presence of significant direct effects of both CSR and C-C identification on traditional antecedents of hotel customer loyalty (e.11 0.88 0.g.14 TLI 0. As Table 5 indicates. A chi-square difference test was conducted to determine which model achieves the best fit.92 0.. where the paths from trust.53* CSR 0.87. 2011). This condition was investigated in a model with a direct path from the independent variables (CSR) to the dependent variable (loyalty).

From a practical point of view. Future research should test this model with larger random samples or samples in other contexts. Finally.. Fourth. and extends Luo and Bhattacharya’s (2006) research by proposing. Additionally. this study adds additional empirical evidence to the recent observation of the positive effect of CSR on customer identification (Lichtenstein et al. authentic and distinct from competitors will considerably improve the company’s attractive. hotel managers should make an effort to develop a distinct CSR-based corporate identity that resonates with customers. By strategically managing corporate identity hotel managers can enhance corporate associations which in turn foster senses of belonging and identification among various stakeholders (He and Li. In this sense. hospitality managers could reinforce their corporate strategy through their investment in CSR initiatives since a company that provides benefits through their various CSR activities will be perceived as a company that is both able and interested in caring for their customers (Marin et al. Managerial implications These findings have important managerial implications for hospitality companies in building strong and lasting relationships with consumers. So et al. . this study has a few limitations that present opportunities for further research. 2012) and customer satisfaction (Luo and Bhattacharya. Third. Thirdly. With regard to this. customer satisfaction and trust. as part of self-enhancement and self-stem. 2009.. these authors argue that the role of trust is not likely one that lasts forever and is highly dependent on other factors. Marin et al.. Martínez. for instance in different subsectors of the tourism industry to generalize the results obtained. It is also very important that managers. and provide additional insights into the development and benefits of CSR. 2012. He and Li.. our results indicate that companies play an important role in the everyday lives of consumers and can even influence the construction of individual’s identity. This research demonstrates this point by developing and testing a general framework that integrates social identity and social exchange perspectives on customer loyalty. and encourage favorable attitudinal and behavioral responses to the firms (Brown and Dacin. given that CSR has stronger effect on customer satisfaction. Although most of our hypotheses are supported. perceived value and complaint handling that could be included since the explanatory power of our model could still be improved. 1997). this research operationalizes consumers’ trust as a twodimensional concept composed of performance and benevolence components. The cause of discrepancy between the present study and previous research (Keh and Xie. 2011). 2001). the results suggest that by focusing on aspects that influence consumer behavior (e. other social exchange variables such as customer commitment can be included in future studies to form a more inclusive and comprehensive framework. Recently. any communication attempting to connect companies to a socially responsible identity must consider the extent to which that CSRbased identity is valued by customers. This result is consistent with the study of Choi and Kim (2011) who stated that only by creating and developing customer trust is not a guarantee of identification within the hotel industry. Hospitality companies should invest more on CSR initiates since it has been demonstrated that one of the reasons making the consumer feel satisfied with the company is the knowledge and perception of its social responsibility. Therefore.. Thus. developing and confirming the mediation role of customer identification on the relationship between CSR and customer satisfaction. this study expands previous research on social identity perspective of customer loyalty by incorporating the mediation effects of social exchange variables. Second. 2013) to customer loyalty. there are other antecedents of customer loyalty such as perceived quality. Finally. However. Specifically. Rodríguez del Bosque / International Journal of Hospitality Management 35 (2013) 89–99 97 path to customer royalty. or by fostering stakeholders’ interactions around CSR activities.P. this research expands the traditional view of CSR’s effects on customers and suggests that CSR associations do not only affect product evaluation. a focus on CSR provides an effective instrument for increasing trust between companies and their customers. and what aspects can be leveraged to enhance perceptions of self-importance associated with that identity. 2009) can be that unlike previous studies. which contribute to the trustworthiness and honesty of these companies and the satisfaction of customers. This finding surprisingly contradicts results from Keh and Xie (2009) who established a positive influence of consumer trust on consumer identification with the company.. besides offering additional benefits and showing trustworthiness. the consideration of separate constructs for loyalty. most notably consumers’ satisfaction and loyalty. any communication that makes CSR programs more credible. 2006. given that CSR was measured following the model provided by Brown and Dacin (1997).. may not only contribute to a superior explanatory power. customers are more willing to relate with companies carrying out socially responsible initiatives. 2004.g. this study proves the pivotal role of customer identification development and highlights the mediation influence of C-C identification on the effects of CSR on the path to customer loyalty. suggests that hospitality firms should invest in the area of corporate identity management. 2009). Moreover. Within the hospitality context. one more related to attitudinal loyalty and other to behavioral loyally. This way. when design programs aimed at reinforcing customer loyalty. This study tests the hypothesis with hotel consumers based on a convenient sample from Spain. something beyond legalities and contractual arrangements (Kennedy et al.. future studies may analyze the proposed model in this study by using different conceptual frameworks such as the Carroll’s pyramid or the sustainable development-based model in order to provide a more comprehensive model. Nevertheless. CSR facilitates the development of relationships that are formed on the basis of honesty and a belief on other’s promises and actions. but also customer identification with the company. Customers are more likely to believe that responsible companies operate honestly in their activities and reflect interests of both parties in the relationship when making decisions. but also to a better understanding of the nature of the relationships. 7. These findings suggest that hotel managers should invest more in socially responsible initiatives since customers tend to support and reward those companies that are perceived as socially responsible by developing a greatest loyalty toward them. Therefore. it is important to note that the effect of trust on C-C identification is not significant. by affiliating stakeholders to the company by shared concerns toward a specific social or environmental cause. Essentially. which can be positively influenced by the corporate communication of its CSR program. academic literature agrees to integrate the role of different constructs such as trust and satisfaction (He et al. and C-C identification on customer satisfaction and loyalty. the significant relevance of both CSR on C-C identification. Perez et al. hospitality companies should assign their resources to improve these areas. CSR-based identification) managers could achieve some important and desired consequences. It is vital for managers take into account the relevance of the company identity for their target market. First. 2011). companies may enhance stakeholders’ identification with the organization through several approaches such as the inclusion of CSR images in corporate communications. should communicate not only corporate identity but also create the notion of identification among customers. I.

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