Trapped from within
: effect of CSR perceptions on consumer trust as a justification of car dependency: the case of the German automotive industry

  • Nora Hellmich (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The effectiveness of companies' CSR actions is strongly linked to their underlying motivations behind the action. Considering the four types of attributions (value-driven, stakeholder-driven, strategic and egoistic) as essential factors for evaluating how consumers perceive CSR initiatives, this research aims to fill a significant gap by examining 1) how CSR attributions influence consumer trust in German automotive companies and 2) how car dependency moderates the impact of CSR attributions on consumer trust. The results of Structural Equation Modeling, Multiple Linear Regression and Analysis of Covariances reveal that value-driven and stakeholder-driven attributions have strong positive effects on consumer trust. While strategic-driven CSR attribution does not have any influence on trust, egoistic CSR attribution is influencing consumer trust negatively. Further, the results indicate that car dependency does have a significant moderating effect on solely stakeholder-driven CSR attribution and trust. This study provides meaningful implications for the industry, as it illustrates the changes in consumer perceptions and underscores the importance of aligning CSR actions with companies’ values and stakeholder engagement. A particular focus on loyal, strong car-dependent customers is crucial for building and maintaining trust.
Date of Award25 Jan 2024
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorSérgio Moreira (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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