Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration



Committee Chair

Marla Royne Stafford

Committee Member

George Deitz

Committee Member

Daniel Sherrell

Committee Member

Kathrynn Pounders


Companies are spending more money on cause-related marketing (CM) than ever before, and a rapidly increasing number of consumers are demanding such philanthropic efforts become commonplace in the marketplace. However, managers face the difficult challenge of effectively communicating CM campaigns to increasingly skeptical consumers. This research attempts to illuminate the mechanisms by which advertisers can effectively communicate CM as well as the multifaceted regulatory processes consumers may use to interpret such communications. The use of two self-conscious emotions, guilt and pride, are explored, and the effects of these emotions are explained through an application of regulatory focus theory.Three studies explore the effects of regulatory fit, which occurs when individuals with prevention orientations encounter ads eliciting guilt or individuals with promotion orientations encounter ads eliciting pride. In Study 1, it is shown that regulatory fit results in more favorable attitudes and word of mouth intentions. Study 2 demonstrates that self-efficacy serves as a mediating variable between regulatory orientations and attitudes for ads eliciting pride, but not for ads eliciting guilt. Study 3 uses a triangulated approach involving self-report measures, behavioral indices, and physiological measurement technology and demonstrates the many advantages of achieving regulatory fit, including increased donations to affiliated charities, less visible confusion and frustration, greater physiological arousal, and less cognitive processing as indicated by pupil dilation. Contributions to theory and literature as well as managerial implications are provided in addition to opportunities for future research in this area.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

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