Impacts of Instrumental Versus Relational Centered Logic on Cause-Related Marketing Decision Making

Liu, Gordon (2013). Impacts of Instrumental Versus Relational Centered Logic on Cause-Related Marketing Decision Making. Journal of Business Ethics, 113(2) pp. 243–263.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-012-1292-8

Abstract

The purpose of cause-related marketing is to capitalise on a firm’s social engagement initiatives to achieve a positive return on a firm’s social investment. This article discusses two strategic perspectives of cause related marketing and their impact on a firm’s decision-making regarding campaign development. The instrumental dominant logic of cause-related marketing focuses on attracting customers’ attention in order to generate sales. The relational dominant logic of cause-related marketing focuses on building relationships with the target stakeholders through the enhancement of a firm’s legitimacy. The combination of these two types of logic gives rise to four types of cause-related marketing: altruistic, commercial, social and integrative. This paper uses the qualitative method to explore a firm’s marketing decision choices regarding campaign-related decision dimensions — campaign duration, geographical scope, cause selection, and implementation strategy — for each type of cause-related marketing. The finding provides theoretical, managerial and public policy implications.

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