Authors: Liang Shuyun and Nie Jinghong
Recent studies show that not only corporate crisis but also corporate social responsibility (CSR) reputations jump across firms, and even industry boundaries. Existing research has revealed that similarities between firms or products would probably trigger contagious spillover effect, while the differences between two firms within the same industry may trigger the competitive spillover effect. In order to delve into the competitive spillover effect on CSR reputations, this research examines under what conditions one firm's CSR reputation may competitively spill over and negatively influence others' CSR reputations. We argued that the occurrence likelihood of the competitive spillover effect on CSR reputations is positively related to the differences in CSR performance and corporate capability between two firms within the same industry. What's more, the past CSR reputation was proposed as a moderator of the competitive spillover effect. Two experiments were conducted to test the validity of the above relationships. After extensive analyses of experiment results, we show that only the difference in CSR performance leads to competitive spillover significantly, while past CSR reputations do not moderate the competitive spillover effect. This research advances the study of competitive spillover effects on CSR reputations and enlightens corporations as to strategies to improve CSR outcomes.
Keywords: competitive spillover effect, corporate social responsibility (CSR), reputation