UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Once is not enough : motivations driving initial and subsequent prosocial behaviour Kristofferson, Kirk Jason


Previous research has demonstrated that the cost or effort of an initial prosocial action is a key predictor of consumer responses to subsequent support requests. Specifically, consumers who perform costly (costless) prosocial behavior are more (less) likely to behave prosocially in the future. Investigating the prevalent issues of slacktivism and charitable support allocation, this dissertation extends this model by introducing additional factors that moderate previously documented findings. In essay 1, I show that social observability is a key moderator that predicts when and why token support for a social cause leads to more or less support for the cause. Importantly, I document the existence of slacktivism, uncover the motivations driving the behavior, and suggest strategies to mitigate its consequences. In essay 2, I investigate the impact that charitable support allocation, the proportion of consumer support passed directly on to cause recipients, has on consumers after consumers have provided effortful, or meaningful support for the organization. Specifically, I demonstrate that low charitable support allocation reduces consumer prosocial identity, leading to lower subsequent support not only for the originally supported cause, but also for other unrelated causes. Importantly, I reconcile this identity-based consequence from previously proposed theoretical models. Finally, I identify potential avenues for future research and discuss the theoretical and managerial implications of the work.

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