Basil, Debra Z. and Herr, Paul M., 2006, Attitudinal Balance and Cause-Related Marketing: An Empirical Application of Balance Theory, Journal of Consumer Psychology, 16(4), 391-403.
We examine the effects of pre-existing organizational attitudes on consumer response to cause-related marketing (CRM) alliances, using a Balance Theory framework. Two experiments demonstrate that balanced attitudes (either both positive or both negative) resulted in perceptions of appropriateness, but did not necessarily lead to positive affect. The positive balance scenario led to a synergistic attitudinal boost when both pre-existing attitudes were positive. Attitudinal contamination was evident when either pre-existing attitude was negative. Fit operated within the balance scenario to enhance perceptions of the strength of the CRM alliance, leading to more positive responses.