The Impact of Fellow Consumers’ Presence, Appeal Type, and Action Observability on Consumers’ Donation Behaviors

Laurie Wu, Yixing Gao, Anna S. Mattila

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Many hospitality consumption experiences are shared with fellow consumers such as acquaintances, friends, or family members. Yet research examining the impact of fellow consumers’ presence on consumers’ donation behaviors is scant. To bridge that gap, the current research examines how the presence of fellow consumers influences consumers’ donation behaviors in a restaurant setting. Results from our experiment reveal that the impact of fellow consumers’ presence depends on two factors: observability of the donation and donation appeal type. Specifically, we found that when the act of donating is unobservable by others and the donation appeal highlights self-benefits, the presence of fellow consumers drives individuals to exhibit more favorable attitude and higher levels of donation intention. Conversely, when the act of donation is observable by others and the donation appeal portrays other benefits, the presence of fellow consumers makes individuals to exhibit less favorable attitude and lower levels of donation intention. Furthermore, our mediation analyses show that anticipated emotional benefits is the underlying psychological mechanism explaining the effects. We discuss the theoretical contributions and managerial implications of our findings as well as limitations and opportunities for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-213
Number of pages11
JournalCornell Hospitality Quarterly
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • action observability
  • anticipated emotional benefits
  • CSR
  • donation appeal
  • donation behavior
  • fellow consumers
  • restaurant consumer donation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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