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Truly Sustainability or Hypocrisy: The Effects of Corporate Sustainable Orientation on Consumers’ Quality Perception and Trust Based on Evidence from China

School of Economics and Management, Tongji University, Shanghai 200092, China
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Sustainability 2020, 12(7), 2735; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072735
Received: 28 February 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2020 / Accepted: 30 March 2020 / Published: 31 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Economic and Business Aspects of Sustainability)
Sustainable initiatives have been widely fulfilled by corporations, which can acquire better reputations by performing environmental, social, and economic responsibilities. However, if a corporation’s propaganda about sustainable orientation is contrary to the actual action, or even does not have a clear orientation, then it may also fall into the reputation of hypocrisy. In this study, from the perspective of consumer behavior and based on the moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability, we identify six types of sustainable corporations by their orientations toward sustainability, including value, goals, and structure. We empirically examine their direct effects on consumers’ sustainable quality perception and trust, as well as the moderating effects of corporate social responsibility associations and consumer–corporation identity. Data are collected in China; 203 adults participated in the survey. The results reveal that the types of sustainable goals and structure have a significant effect on consumers’ sustainable quality perception and trust. Furthermore, consumers’ perception is also positively associated with their trust in a corporation. Moreover, the consumer–corporation identity negatively moderates the relationship between perception and trust. These findings also bring theoretical and practical insights for governments and corporations. View Full-Text
Keywords: corporate sustainable orientation; sustainable quality perception; consumers’ trust; CSR association; consumer–corporation identity; moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability corporate sustainable orientation; sustainable quality perception; consumers’ trust; CSR association; consumer–corporation identity; moral responsibility theory of corporate sustainability
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MDPI and ACS Style

Liang, X.; Hu, X.; Meng, H. Truly Sustainability or Hypocrisy: The Effects of Corporate Sustainable Orientation on Consumers’ Quality Perception and Trust Based on Evidence from China. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2735. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072735

AMA Style

Liang X, Hu X, Meng H. Truly Sustainability or Hypocrisy: The Effects of Corporate Sustainable Orientation on Consumers’ Quality Perception and Trust Based on Evidence from China. Sustainability. 2020; 12(7):2735. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072735

Chicago/Turabian Style

Liang, Xiaobei, Xiaojuan Hu, and Hu Meng. 2020. "Truly Sustainability or Hypocrisy: The Effects of Corporate Sustainable Orientation on Consumers’ Quality Perception and Trust Based on Evidence from China" Sustainability 12, no. 7: 2735. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12072735

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