Date of Award

12-1-2010

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Business Administration

First Advisor

Summey, John

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE DISSERTATION OF VERNON SWEETIN, for the Doctor of Philosophy degree, DEPARTMENT OF MARKETING, COLLEGE OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION, presented on June 23, 2010, at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. TITLE: WILLINGNESS TO REWARD OR PUNISH BRANDS AS MODERATORS FOR THE BRAND PERSONALITY DIMENSION OF SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. John H. Summey Social responsibility has received empirical support for its addition to the Brand Personality construct. The objectives of this study were first, to compare and contrast attitudinal reactions to varying descriptions of Social Responsibility as a Brand Personality dimension and second, to examine the data for possible moderation effects with the consumers' Willingness to Reward construct and the Willingness to Punish construct, with the latter as a proposed new construct for how consumers' respond to the Brand Dimension, Social Responsibility. The study tested 4 forms of social responsibility in a between-subjects factorial design. The study found that the subjects in the socially responsible condition had a difference in the Willingness to Reward construct when compared to the subjects in the socially irresponsible condition and the control condition. The study's support for the existence of the new moderator Willingness to Punish was found coupled with confirmatory support for Willingness to Reward as a moderator.

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