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Moral Imagination, Parasocial Brand Love, and Customer Citizenship Behavior: Travelers’ Relationship with Sponsoring Airline Brands in the United States

Joonhyeong Joseph Kim () and Insin Kim ()
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Joonhyeong Joseph Kim: Department of Tourism and Convention, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea
Insin Kim: Department of Tourism and Convention, Pusan National University, Busan 46241, Korea

Sustainability, 2018, vol. 10, issue 12, 1-18

Abstract: While travelers tend to engage in reflective thinking processes, the relationship between the ability to imagine and the human–brand relations has not been clearly understood. In sustainability and consumer-brand literature, morally imaginative travelers and their relationship with and behavior toward a sponsoring brand have received little attention. In connecting moral imagination with the airline cause sponsorship literature, this study aims to investigate the antecedent of travelers’ parasocial brand love with airlines as sponsors of charitable causes and to identify what motivates customer citizenship behavior. Based on a study sample of 442 travelers who experienced US-based full-service airlines and who were aware of the airlines’ sponsorship of environmental and social charitable causes, the study analyzed the data employing a structural equation modeling (SEM) technique to examine the relationship between moral imagination, parasocial brand love, and customer citizenship behavior. The investigation revealed a positive association between reproductive, productive, and creative imagination and parasocial brand love. Additionally, a positive influence of parasocial brand love on customer citizenship behavior was confirmed. This study highlights that imaginative travelers are good at evaluating the airlines’ sponsorship-related moral situations, further developing parasocial brand love. The results provided important insights into practical, as well as theoretical, arenas.

Keywords: moral imagination; reproductive imagination; productive imagination; creative imagination; airline cause sponsorship; parasocial brand love; customer citizenship behavior (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q Q0 Q2 Q3 Q5 Q56 O13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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