Journal Article

Consumer Purchasing Preferences and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Wood Products Industry: A Conjoint Analysis in the U.S. and China

Nov 1, 2013 | Zhen Cai, Francisco Aguilar

Abstract

The impacts of disclosed level of corporate social responsibility (CSR), domestic versus imported origin and type of construction on consumers' stated wood product purchasing preferences were examined in the U.S. and China. Hierarchical logit models based on a Bayesian framework were utilized to test the magnitude and statistical significance of each wood product attribute using survey data. Results indicate that U.S. and Chinese respondents: (a) were more likely to choose products from manufacturing companies with a higher level of CSR rating compared with an unknown one; (b) preferred domestically manufactured wood products compared to imported ones; and (c) expressed higher interest in wood products made of solid wood compared with composites. In terms of demographics, respondents' higher education levels corresponded with higher preferences for products from companies with the highest (five-star) CSR rating in the U.S. Statistically-significant income effects were detected only in the Chinese sample when respondents indicated their purchasing preferences for wood products with three-star or five-star CSR levels. Implications for improving wood products companies' managerial performance and suggestions for future studies are provided.