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The influence of religious commitment on consumer perceptions of closed-on-Sunday policies: an exploratory study of Chick-fil-A in the southern United States

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Many businesses operate long hours that often include nights and weekends to accommodate consumers. However, a few businesses maintain a closed-on-Sunday policy and do so while still operating successfully although closed-on-Sunday policies mean forgoing potential sales hours. As most Christian faiths consider the Sabbath as a day of rest, an oft-used rationalization for the success of businesses maintaining this policy is that they must be supported by consumers with strong religious beliefs, who appreciate the message sent by the company and as a result perceive the company favorably. The purpose of this paper was to investigate whether consumers' religious commitment influences their ethical judgment of a company's closed-on-Sunday policy and to determine whether this ethical judgment impacts a company's corporate or brand image and consumer loyalty intentions. The results suggest that consumers with higher levels of intra-personal religious commitment are more likely to hold favorable ethical judgments of closed-on-Sunday corporate policies. In addition, favorable ethical judgments of closed-on-Sunday corporate policies are likely to positively influence corporate image. A more positive corporate image ultimately results in higher consumer loyalty intentions.
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Keywords: consumer behavior; judgment; religiosity; reputation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: College of Business and Technology, The University of Texas at Tyler, 3900 University Blvd, Tyler, TX,75799, USA

Publication date: 2014-01-01

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