Culture Doesn’t Matter? The Impact of Apparel Companies’ Corporate Social Responsibility Practices on Brand Equity

Hongjoo Woo, Byoungho Jin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Although Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is a crucial issue for the apparel industry, it was limitedly investigated whether consumers' perceptions of CSR affect apparel companies’ brand equity in previous research. The purpose of this study was (a) to examine the impact of apparel companies’ CSR on brand equity compared to the impact of apparel product attributes; (b) to compare the relative impact of different CSR activities (i.e., human rights, labor, social, environmental, product responsibility, and economic) in enhancing brand equity; and (c) to discover the moderating effect of culture on the influence of CSR on apparel brands’ equity. In testing the cultural moderating effect, the authors selected the United States and South Korea as countries representing opposite sides of Hofstede’s cultural values. The results of analyzing 447 survey data revealed that both intrinsic and extrinsic apparel product attributes significantly enhance brand equity. Among the six types of CSR activities, only the CSR practices for product responsibility, economic, and environmental issues were found to enhance brand equity. There was no moderating effect of culture. However, additional analyses revealed that the U.S. consumers evaluated the apparel brands’ CSR practices higher than do the Korean consumers. Findings of this study suggest implications for apparel companies, such as the relative importance of the specific CSR dimensions and apparel product attributes on brand equity, and if such relative importance of CSR dimensions varies across cultures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-36
Number of pages17
JournalClothing and Textiles Research Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Jan 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, The Author(s) 2015.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Polymers and Plastics


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