Publication Details

This paper was originally published as: Pomering, A & Dolnicar, S, The limitations of consumer response to CSR: An empirical test of Smith's proposed antecedents, CD Conference Proceedings of the Australian and New Zealand Marketing Academy Conference 2006 (ANZMAC 2006), Queensland University of Technology, Gardens Point Campus, Brisbane, 4-6 December 2006.


Despite an increase in consumer expectations for business to do more for society than deliver on economic conditions and many firms' increasingly adopting socially-responsible stances, marketplace behaviour highlights a gap between what consumers report they expect from firms and what they are prepared to reward. In an effort to rationalise this gap, Smith (2000) has proposed three limits on consumers' ability to respond to firms' socially-responsible practices, or corporate social responsibility (CSR). Based on a study in Australia's retail banking sector, a high-contact service context, this paper empirically tests Smith's three proposed limits to consumers' CSR response. Key findings include a low level of general awareness of banks' CSR activities, despite high levels of social issue concern, and a low level of willingness to include CSR dimensions in bank purchase decisions.