Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

George Deitz

Committee Member

David Allen

Committee Member

Marla Stafford

Committee Member

Orrin Cooper


Drawing from signaling theory, this study investigates the shareholder wealth effects of marketing investments into cause-related marketing (CRM) campaigns. Although research has generally supported a positive relationship between sponsorship agreements and shareholder wealth, the relationship still remains unclear for several sponsorship categories, including when sponsorship is connected to a cause. Moreover, there have been many discrepancies in the literature as to whether or not corporate social responsibility (CSR) behavior should be practiced by the firm, as those funds could be used as a dividend payout to the shareholder or invested back into the firm for research and development of new products. This study extends prior research by suggesting that although CRM has been shown to have a positive impact on key product market outcome variables of the firm (e.g., consumer attitudes, corporate image and reputation, brand loyalty, and purchase intention), the initial financial implications are not as easily justified. This assertion is demonstrated by identifying a significant negative shareholder wealth effect associated with the announcement of cause-related marketing campaigns. A few factors specific to the firm, the nonprofit, and the alliance help explain cross-sectional variation in abnormal stock returns. Most of these factors are well documented in the sponsorship and CRM literature, although two factors, namely nonprofit governmental resource dependence and in-kind donations, have received little attention. Ironically, of the factors investigated, it is nonprofit governmental resource dependence and in-kind donations that investors are most sensitive toward when considering CRM investments of the firm. This study provides a framework and certain boundary conditions for executives to consider when deciding to utilize CRM as a marketing communication tool.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.