HCBE Theses and Dissertations

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Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - NSU Access Only

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


H. Wayne Huizenga School of Business and Entrepreneurship


Russell Abratt

Committee Member

Paul Dion

Committee Member

Leann Mischel


This research examined how perceived risk moderated the effect of a corporation's reputation for quality and corporate social responsibility, two attributes whose meanings have been the subject of ongoing interest in the current business-to-business literature. Relationships among the levels of perceived risk (high/low) and strength of CR argument for quality and CSR are hypothesized, and integrated into a Research Model. In order to test and validate the model, the data was collected from a total of 102 commercial and municipal fleet vehicle managers who provided evaluations of biodiesel suppliers with respect to their reputation for quality and corporate social responsibility. The fleet vehicle manager's evaluations (n=102) of biodiesel suppliers were analyzed and empirically tested using structural equation modeling. On a practical level, this research develops insights related to the utilization of CR-attributes in high and low perceived risk contexts. On a theoretical level, previous research (Dowling & Staelin, 1994; Balmer & Greyser, 2006) was extended to demonstrate that industrial buyers also respond to higher levels of perceived risk by relying on different types of available information related to corporate reputation. This study will report on the results of experiments that manipulated the level of perceived risk, one for each attribute (i.e. quality and CSR), in a novel and technically complex purchase decision.

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