Business Ethics, Corporate Social Responsibility, and Brand Attitudes: An Exploratory Study

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© 2018 Elsevier Inc. It is important to understand the relative importance of business ethics and social responsibility in determining brand attitudes. However, there has been a failure in prior research to differentiate between attitudes toward business ethics and CSR. This research reviews customer-brand research related to business ethics and social responsibility and conducts a study to evaluate customer attitudes. Four scenarios offer variations in company behaviors related to positive and negative conduct of customer social responsibility and business ethics. Study findings from a panel of 351 respondents provide new insights related to a customer's expectations and perceptions of company CSR and business ethics behavior. We conclude that although CSR attitudes remain important, customers value business ethics as a critical behavior in their perceptions of brand attitudes.