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The Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns on Public Opinion



An experiment was conducted to examine the influence of corporate social responsibility campaigns on public opinion. It was anticipated that corporate social responsibility campaigns, which communicate corporate good deeds, exert considerable positive influence on public opinion. Results supported this expectation. Corporate social responsibility campaigns enhanced people's perceptions of sponsors' image, reputation and credibility.Corporate Reputation Review (2008) 11, 145–154. doi:10.1057/crr.2008.14
Corporate Reputation Review,
Vol. 11, No. 2, pp. 145–154
© 2008 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd,
1363-3589 $30.00
Corporate Reputation Review Volume 11 Number 2
An experiment was conducted to examine the
influence of corporate social responsibility cam-
paigns on public opinion. It was anticipated
that corporate social responsibility campaigns,
which communicate corporate good deeds, exert
considerable positive influence on public opin-
ion. Results supported this expectation. Cor-
porate social responsibility campaigns enhanced
people s perceptions of sponsors image, reputa-
tion and credibility.
Corporate Reputation Review (2008) 11, 145 154.
doi: 10.1057/crr.2008.14
KEYWORDS: corporate citizenship ; CSR
This investigation examines the infl uence of
corporate social responsibility (CSR) cam-
paigns on public opinion. CSR embodies an
organization s behaviors that contribute to
societal good ( Sen and Bhattacharya, 2001 ;
Smith, 2003 ). It is based on the premise that
organizations should contribute to the well-
being of communities in which they are
located and the broader society. Smith
indicates that CSR activities are more
widespread and more substantive than in the
past (2003, p. 55). Esrock and Leichty (1998) ,
for example, report that 80 percent of
Fortune-500 company websites feature CSR
activities. CSR campaigns constitute system-
atic attempts to communicate about an
organization s good deeds to infl uence
relevant stakeholders.
Scholarly research on corporate responsi-
bility dates back to the 1950s and 1960s
( Carroll, 1999 ; Wood and Logsdon, 2001 ).
Despite the increasing prevalence of CSR
initiatives ( Pava and Krausz, 1995 ; Sen and
Bhattacharya, 2001 ; Smith, 2003 ), evidence
documenting the benefi ts of such efforts is
equivocal. Many studies have examined the
link between CSR and fi nancial perform-
ance (for summaries see Margolis and Walsh,
2003 ; Orlitzky et al ., 2003 ) and found a
positive association. Most of these studies,
however, involve simple correlations between
corporate spending on CSR initiatives and
nancial performance indicators; they do
not assess people s response to CSR efforts
( Sen and Bhattacharya, 2001 ; exceptions
are Brown and Dacin, 1997 ; Creyer and
Ross, 1997 ; Ellen et al ., 2000 ; Luo and
The Infl uence of Corporate Social
Responsibility Campaigns on Public Opinion
Michael Pfau
University of Oklahoma, OK, USA
Michel M. Haigh
Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA
Jeanetta Sims
University of Central Oklahoma, OK, USA
Shelley Wigley
University of Texas at Arlington, AR, USA
Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns
Corporate Reputation Review Vol. 11, 2, 145–154 © 2008 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 1363-3589 $30.00
Bhattacharya, 2006 ; Murray and Vogel, 1997 ).
Furthermore, even fewer studies have
focused specifi cally on the infl uence of CSR
campaigns on public opinion. This fact
prompted David, Kline and Dai to observe
that, despite the unprecedented growth in
CSR initiatives, little is known about their
effects (2005, pp. 291 292). This study offers
an empirical test of the benefi ts of CSR
campaign initiatives on people s perceptions
of sponsor organizations.
CSR and Corporate Citizenship
Early advocates of CSR, such as Bowen
(1953) , urged organizations to take both the
profi t motive and legitimate social goals
seriously ( Pava and Krausz, 1995: 6 ). Initial
conceptualizations of CSR were based on
the idea that business could and should con-
tribute to a more just and healthier society
( Wood and Logsdon, 2001: 84 ).
Subsequent scholarship attempted to
defi ne CSR. Davis (1973) suggests that CSR
begins where legal compliance ends. Deetz
(2003) conceptualizes CSR as being respon-
sive to the needs of the wider society
(p. 610). Yet, Andriof and McIntosh (2001)
maintain that CSR consists of much more
than chequebook philanthropy (p. 15).
Carroll offered four main corporate social
responsibilities: economic, legal, ethical and
philanthropic responsibilities ( Carroll, 1991 ;
Carroll and Buchholtz, 2000 ).
In the 1990s, complementary themes for
CSR began to gain prominence ( Wood and
Logsdon, 2001 ). Stakeholder theory, business
ethics theory, corporate social performance
and corporate citizenship emerged as alter-
native concepts to CSR ( Carroll, 1999 ). Of
the alternative concepts, corporate citizen-
ship is regarded as a broader, more encom-
passing notion, including within it the
concepts of CSR ( Maignan and Ferrell,
2001 ). David, Kline and Dai defi ne CSR as
a citizenship function with moral, ethical,
and social obligations (2005, p. 293).
This investigation focuses on CSR, which
is an element of corporate citizenship
( Altman and Vidaver-Cohen, 2000 ). David
and colleagues refer to it as a citizenship
function with moral, ethical, and social
obligations (2005, p. 293). The study examines
the infl uence of instrumental CSR initia-
tives, which Heath defi nes as demonstrated
attributions that the organization is good,
which are then communicated to the public
(2006, p. 103). The investigation anticipates
that CSR efforts produce positive outcomes,
enhancing consumer perceptions of the
sponsor s image, reputation and credibility.
CSR and Consumer Behavior
The value of corporate citizenship is widely
accepted, although available evidence is some-
what equivocal. Although spending on CSR
initiatives exceeds $ 1bn per year in the US,
there is scant evidence of the effects of CSR
campaigns on consumers ( David et al ., 2005 ).
People readily assert that corporate behavior
matters to them. A national survey found
that 70 percent of consumers indicated that
they were more likely to buy from a so-
cially responsible fi rm; conversely, 50 percent
indicated that they would not buy from a
rm that was not socially responsible ( Gil-
dea, 1994 1995 ). A recent Hill & Knowlton /
Harris poll revealed that 79 percent of
consumers say that they consider corporate
citizenship in making purchase decisions
( Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004 ). A corporate
citizenship survey by Cone Communica-
tions reported that 84 percent of consumers
agreed that, if a brand is associated with a
positive cause, they would likely switch from
the brand they are using to the brand
associated with the cause ( Cone, 2004 ). Such
survey results, however, refl ect people s
opinions in a vacuum, absent information
about the cause and company s brands (eg,
price and quality). Survey results indicating
that corporate behavior matters do not
necessarily mean that corporate behavior
actually affects consumer behavior.
Pfau, Haigh, Sims and Wigley
© 2008 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 1363-3589 $30.00 Vol. 11, 2, 145–154 Corporate Reputation Review
Systematic studies of the relationship
between CSR initiatives and consumer
purchase decisions reveal more complex
ndings. Brown and Dacin (1997) and
Keller and Aaker (1998) reported a link
between CSR and purchase behavior, but
one that was indirect, working through
general attitudes about companies. David
and colleagues (2005) found that consumer
familiarity with CSR initiatives exerted an
impact on purchase intentions. Sen and
Bhattacharya (2001: 238) concede that the
relationship between CSR and purchase
behavior is positive but insist that the rela-
tionship is more complex than previously
thought. Bhattacharya and Sen (2004) con-
clude that the relationship is positive, but
only if consumers support the issue / cause
and only if they are not asked to sacrifi ce
either quality or price. Sen et al . (2006)
indicate that consumer awareness of CSR
efforts results in more positive attitudes about
companies and greater purchase intent for
brands but caution that consumer awareness
of such initiatives is typically low. Sen and
colleagues (2006) also identify moderating
factors, such as brand visibility and product
involvement. A study by Berens et al .
(2005) reported that CSR initiatives affect
product evaluation, but only if the brands
are less visible and the product class is more
If CSR campaigns affect consumer behav-
iors, they may indirectly infl uence the bot-
tom line. The available evidence focuses on
the relationship between the CSR spending,
or broader construct of corporate citizenship,
and fi nancial outcomes. Studies examining
the general relationship between CSR and
nancial performance suggests, at the most,
a weak positive relationship ( Sen and
Bhattacharya, 2001: 226 ). Most of these
studies involve simple correlations; nothing
more. An extensive review of 127 such
studies conducted between 1972 and 2002
by Margolis and Walsh (2003) noted prob-
lems with sampling, measurement, lack of
controls and failure to include potential
mediating / moderating variables.
Nonetheless, summaries of these studies
are relevant. Pava and Krausz (1995) sum-
marized 20 years of research on CSR. They
examined 21 existing studies. They found 12
studies that reported a positive association
between social responsibility and fi nancial
performance, one study that reported a neg-
ative association between the two variables,
and eight studies that reported no measur-
able association. In addition, they conducted
their own study. Based on data involving 53
rms, they reported that CSR sometimes
contributes to better fi nancial performance.
Margolis and Walsh’s (2003) narrative
synopsis of 127 studies conducted between
1972 and 2002 affi rmed a positive associa-
tion between corporate social performance
and corporate fi nancial performance, but
also called attention to shortcomings in the
designs of most of these studies. Orlitzky and
colleagues (2003) conducted a meta-analysis
of 52 studies examining the relationship
between corporate social and fi nancial per-
formance and found a positive association.
The effects of socially responsible behav-
iors are, however, not automatic. Luo and
Bhattacharya (2006) found returns to CSR
can be both positive and negative depending
on the levels of the fi rm s corporate abilities
(pp. 13 14). Furthermore, such behaviors
must be sustained and communicated. As a
research report by The Conference Board
(2000) concluded: The evidence shows it is
clearly possible to make fi nancial gains
through being good . . . However, it is equal-
ly possible to do all sorts of good things and
see no fi nancial gains, or worse, suffer fi nan-
cial losses .The difference lies in whether
corporate citizenship is an integral element
of core business strategy, rather than an ad
hoc add-on (p. 30). The Conference Board
added that good corporate citizenship, rather
than serving as a barometer for fi nancial
gain is increasingly important to sustain a
leadership position and even to stay in the
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game at all in some market segments
(p. 30).
Doing well also matters in the areas of
brand equity and public relations. Willmott
(2003) suggests corporate citizenship is tied
to branding (which he calls citizen brands)
with an indirect impact to building trust by
increasing perceived quality and creating a
goodwill bank. Both the goodwill bank
and increased perception of quality lead to
greater loyalty and higher value customers.
Existing conceptualizations of corporate
citizenship in the extant literature all
emphasize corporate action focusing on
doing well . The literature gives credence only
to corporate rhetoric that is backed repeat-
edly with corporate action. Indeed, in situ-
ations in which a corporation s actions do
not match its rhetoric, it is practicing decep-
tion, and a number of case studies chronicle
the failures of companies that talked good
citizenship, but failed to practice it ( Pava and
Krausz, 1995 ; Schwarze, 2003 ; Townsley and
Stohl, 2003 ).
CSR and Corporate Image and Credibility
One benefi t of CSR is image, according to
Daugherty (2001) . A corporation s image is
key to its survival. Image is determined by
perceptions of key publics. Bhattacharya and
Sen maintain that, People are more likely to
identify with an organization when they
perceive its identity enhances their self
esteem (2004, p. 15), concluding that, an
organization s character, as it is revealed by
its CSR actions, is fundamental and endur-
ing (p. 15). Sen et al . (2006) found that
people s awareness of CSR initiatives culti-
vates positive attitudes, but they caution that
awareness of such activities is typically low
and, therefore, that companies must generate
awareness in order to reap positive benefi ts
of CSR (p. 164). Abdeen (1991) recom-
mends businesses document their commit-
ment to social responsibility in published
annual reports and other venues, arguing that
social responsibility enhances a company s
image and increases consumer trust and
loyalty. Daugherty (2001) agrees. She states
that charitable giving must be promoted to
ensure visibility of such good deeds because
it enhances its position in the marketplace
(p. 399).
Dutton and Dukerich (1991) characterize
image as the way that outsiders view an
organization. Dowling (2001) defi nes a
corporate image as a global evaluation a per-
son has about an organization, whereas a
corporate reputation is the attributed values
evoked from the person s corporate image
(p. 19). Dutton et al . (1994) maintain that
company reputation and construed external
image often converge, particularly when
mediated efforts are used to disseminate an
organization s reputation. Keller (2000)
describes a variety of ways by which organi-
zations can foster corporate image. One
way involves the creation of consumer
perceptions of a company as contributing
to community programs, supporting artistic
and social activities, and generally attempting
to improve the welfare of society as a whole
(p. 122).
CSR enhances people s perceptions of
credibility of organizations ( Daugherty,
2001 ). Positive corporate social behaviors
enhance people s trust in companies. Fur-
thermore, consumers are more likely to
notice and to remember positive corporate
behaviors. Cone s longitudinal research
(2004) reveals that 80 percent of respondents
in 2004 could recall the name of one or
more companies they consider to be strong
corporate citizens; only 49 percent could do
so in 2001. Consumers positively view those
corporations whose behaviors resonate with
their own values ( Cone, 2004 ). The reason
is the strong relationship between trust and
perceptions of credibility. Makovsky explains:
If you provide me with accurate informa-
tion or you tell me something and it s con-
sistent with my experience, then I believe
you and trust you. You become credible
(2003, p.11). Corporate credibility may assist
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© 2008 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 1363-3589 $30.00 Vol. 11, 2, 145–154 Corporate Reputation Review
companies in times of crises since 83 percent
of Americans claim that they give the
benefi t of the doubt to those companies they
trust ( Makovsky, 2003 ).
The extant literature suggests that genuine
CSR efforts should result in a number of
favorable outcomes. Hence, this investigation
posits that, for companies with positive
: CSR campaigns are effective in infl uenc-
ing people s perceptions about sponsors,
as manifested in terms of more positive
assessments of
(a) corporate image;
(b) corporate reputation;
(c) and corporate credibility.
The purpose of this investigation is to assess
the infl uence of CSR campaigns, which
systematically publicize the good deeds of
Selection of Exemplars
The investigation featured two corporations
as CSR exemplars. Johnson & Johnson and
McDonalds were selected based on their sus-
tained records of positive contributions. Both
organizations have been recognized for
positive environmental records and active
community involvement. Both corporations
publish a corporate responsibility report.
Participants for the study were recruited
from introductory communication classes at
midwestern universities in the US. A total of
94 research participants completed both
phases of the study.
Experimental Materials
Researchers prepared multiple messages
for use in the investigation. Messages
were constructed for the social corporate
responsibility exemplars of Johnson &
Johnson and McDonalds. These messages
were adapted from the corporate responsibil-
ity reports located on their corporate
websites and then reformatted into news
releases. The word counts of the CSR
messages ranged from 447 to 449 words.
The investigation was conducted in two
phases. During Phase 1, the participants
completed a questionnaire designed to provide
sociodemographic information. Then, partici-
pants were assigned randomly to one of the
CSR conditions.
After being assigned to a condition,
participants completed questionnaire items
appropriate to the condition they had been
assigned to. Questionnaire items addressed:
the image, reputation and credibility of
Johnson & Johnson or McDonalds. Phase 1
of the study was administered the fi rst week
in April 2006, over a period of fi ve days.
Phase 2 was administered during the
third week in April. The Phase 2 booklets
contained a single message followed by a
questionnaire. Participants read a news release
extolling the contributions of either Johnson
& Johnson or McDonalds to their respective
communities. Next, the participants com-
pleted a questionnaire that measured the
image, reputation and credibility of the
respective corporation. Phase 2 was completed
over a period of fi ve days.
People s perceptions of the image, reputation
and credibility of the corporate exemplars
were assessed at Phases 1 and 2 using meas-
ures developed by Dowling (2001) .
Dowling s research indicates image, repu-
tation and credibility constitute independent
perceptions of corporations.
Corporate image . Dowling (2001) concep-
tualized corporate image as people s global
perceptions of an organization. Dowling s
image measure consists of fi ve seven-interval,
Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns
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Likert-type items that denote the name of
the organization and the following charac-
teristics: appears to be well managed, appears to
be technologically driven, appears to be successful,
appears to be innovative, appears to be customer
focused (or for front groups, appears to be mem-
ber focused ) and appears to be competitive . Alpha
reliabilities of the corporate image measure
were: Phase 1, 0.72 ( n = 177); and Phase 2,
0.76 ( n = 177).
Corporate reputation . Dowling viewed cor-
porate reputation as the attributed values
evoked from the person s corporate image
(2001, p. 19). Reputation was measured using
four Likert-type items that feature the name
of the organization and the following
attributes: appears to be an industry leader,
appears to be honest, appears to be a good
corporate citizen and appears to be respected .
Alpha reliabilities of the corporate reputa-
tion measure were: Phase 1, 0.88 ( n = 175);
and Phase 2, 0.90 ( n = 177).
Organizational credibility . Dowling (2001)
considered organizational credibility as an
output variable that was measured using four
Likert-type scales that list the name of the
organization and the following features:
appears to have confi dence, appears to be trust-
worthy, appears to show support and appears to
have a positive word-of-mouth . Alpha reliabili-
ties of the organizational credibility measure
were: Phase 1, 0.86 ( n = 177); and Phase 2,
0.89 ( n = 177).
This study examined the infl uence of CSR
campaigns, which involve communication
about the good deeds of corporations; in
short, reports of corporations behaving
well. The hypothesis predicted that CSR
campaigns are effective in infl uencing
people s perceptions of sponsors, as mani-
fested in terms of more positive assessments
of corporate image, reputation and credibility.
Two strategies were used to test this
hypothesis. First, the study assessed changes
in people s perceptions of corporations from
Phase 1 to Phase 2, following their exposure
to the CSR campaign messages. Correlated
t -tests were computed on the changes in
perceptions of corporate image, reputation
and credibility.
The results indicated that the CSR
campaigns contributed to more positive
perceptions of corporate image, t (92) = 5.35,
p < 0.01; reputation, t (92) = 4.39, p < 0.01;
and credibility, t (93) = 5.59, p < 0.01. Changes
in perceptions over time are revealed in
Table 1 .
Secondly, the study compared Time 2
perceptions of corporations on the part of
those who received CSR campaign
messages and those who did not (controls).
Multivariate Analysis of Covariance was
computed comparing treatment and control
participants on the Time 2 measures of
corporate image, reputation and credibility.
Time 1 measures served as covariates.
The omnibus results indicated that all
covariates were statistically signifi cant.
addition, the results indicated a signifi cant
difference between treatment and control
means, F (3,167) = 10.56, p < 0.01, partial
= 0.16. Subsequent univariate tests
revealed that treated participants scored
higher than controls on ratings of organiza-
tional: image, F (1,169) = 9.87, p < 0.01,
= 0.03; reputation, F (1,169) = 21.60,
p < 0.01,
= 0.05; and credibility,
F (1,169) = 31.945, p < 0.01,
= 0.07. Time
2 treatment and control means are shown in
Table 1 .
The pattern of results supports the
hypothesis. It is clear that CSR campaigns
work: they enhance perceptions of corporate
sponsors over time.
CSR campaigns are based on corporations
behaving well, reports of which are com-
municated to the general public. The study
began with the hope that corporations
would be rewarded for doing well; that
social responsibility campaigns exert positive
Pfau, Haigh, Sims and Wigley
© 2008 Palgrave Macmillan Ltd. 1363-3589 $30.00 Vol. 11, 2, 145–154 Corporate Reputation Review
infl uence on public opinion. The results of
the experiment supported this expectation.
For corporations with positive images, CSR
campaigns enhanced people s perceptions
of the image, reputation and credibility of
corporate sponsors.
Past research has suggested a weak, posi-
tive relationship between CSR initiatives
and attitudes about companies, and the
association of both with consumer behavior
or corporate profi tability ( Berens et al ., 2005 ;
Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004 ; Brown and
Dacin, 1997 ; Creyer and Ross, 1997 ; David
et al ., 2005 ; Keller and Aaker, 1998 ; Ellen
et al ., 2000 ; Margolis and Walsh, 2003 ;
Orlitzky et al ., 2003 ; Pava and Krausz, 1995 ;
Sen and Bhattacharya, 2001 ; Sen et al ., 2006 ).
The effects of CSR initiatives must, how-
ever, be communicated effectively and
public awareness of such initiatives is low
( Sen et al ., 2006 ). Furthermore, most extant
research reports simple associations involving
CSR and outcome variables. There have
been very few controlled experiments
assessing social responsibility campaigns ( Sen
and Bhattacharya, 2001 ), which prompted
David and colleagues to conclude that,
despite the prevalence of CSR initiatives,
little is known about their effects (2005,
pp. 291 292).
This investigation assumed, as Brown and
Dacin (1997) , Keller and Aaker (1998) and
Sen et al . (2006) argue, that CSR initiatives
affect general attitudes about companies. The
results of this investigation demonstrate that
CSR campaigns directly infl uence public
perceptions of image, which constitutes the
global evaluation of a corporation, reputa-
tion, which is the attributed values evoked
from corporate image ( Dowling, 2001:
19 ), and credibility, which embodies the trust
and confi dence people have in corporations
( Makovsky, 2003 ). The results suggest that
corporations that seek to positively infl uence
public perceptions are advised to, rst, adopt
behaviors that contribute to a more just and
healthier society ( Wood and Logsdon, 2001:
84 ) and, secondly, to feature these behaviors
in sustained communication campaigns. If
companies are to reap the positive benefi ts
of CSR ( Sen et al ., 2006: 164 ), they must
overcome typical low levels of public aware-
ness of such activities. They must systemati-
cally communicate about CSR initiatives
to relevant stakeholders ( Abdeen, 1991 ;
Daugherty, 2001 ). The results of this study
suggest that such campaigns produce
tangible payoffs in terms of enhanced image,
reputation and credibility.
Three limitations of the results of this
investigation must be addressed. First, there
Table 1 : Corporate Social Responsibility
Campaign Sponsors Ratings at Time
1 and Time 2 and Campaign Sponsors
Rating versus Controls at Time 2 on the
Measures of Corporate Image, Reputation
and Credibility
Time 1 Time 2
Corporate image
M 5.20 5.19 5.59
SD 0.84 0.57 0.67
Corporate reputation
M 5.49 5.12 5.90
SD 1.14 0.97 1.06
Corporate credibility
M 5.58 5.16 6.03
SD 1.01 0.96 1.08
Note: Perceptions of corporate image, reputation and
credibility were measured using 1 7-interval scales.
Higher scores indicated more positive perceptions of
Signifi cantly more positive perceptions following
administration of the corporate social responsibility
campaign message at Time 2 compared to initial
assessment at Time 1 at p < 0.01 and compared to
controls (those not exposed to campaign messages) at
Time 2 at p < 0.01
Corporate Social Responsibility Campaigns
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is evidence of multicollinearity across the
dependent variables of image, reputation and
credibility. Multicollinearity refers to inter-
relationships of what are assumed to be in-
dependent dimensions. Dowling’s (2001)
research indicates, both conceptually and
empirically, that image, reputation and cred-
ibility are independent constructs: image
refers to global perception of companies,
reputation involves the values evoked from
image and credibility functions as an output
variable. In this study, correlations among the
three variables are ranged from 0.62 to 0.78.
These associations, in themselves, are how-
ever not a cause for concern because the
results did not reveal symptoms that would
be expected if collinearity was a problem.
For example, with multivariate results, Phase
1 measures of image, reputation and credibil-
ity served as covariates. The results indicated
that each Phase 1 measure was signifi cantly
related to its respective Phase 2 measure
(eg, Phase 1 image was associated with Phase 2
image, etc), but was not signifi cantly
related to the other Phase 2 measures (eg.,
Phase 1 image was not associated with Phase 2
reputation or credibility).
The sole excep-
tion was Phase 1 credibility, which was re-
lated to Time 2 reputation and credibility.
Problems of collinearity stem from intercor-
relations that are so severe as to undermine
the integrity of results. As Asher explains,
there is no automatic level at which col-
linearity becomes a problem (1983, p. 52).
Secondly, this investigation did not feature
most moderator variables identifi ed in the
extant literature, including: attitudes toward
the issue supported in CSR initiatives
(Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004 ; Ellen et al .,
2000 ), brand visibility ( Berens et al ., 2005 ),
brand attributes (Bhattacharya and Sen, 2004 ;
Madrigal, 2000 ) and involvement in the
product class ( Berens et al ., 2005 ). It did, how-
ever, address a moderator variable, identifi ed
as very germane by Sen and Bhattacharya
(2001) and Sen et al . (2006) , and the most
relevant to campaign communication: people s
awareness of CSR initiatives; specifi cally,
whether campaign communication of
corporate CSR activities alters perceptions.
Results indicate that it does. Future research
is needed to determine the extent to which
campaign effects are moderated by the
other variables noted above.
Thirdly, compared to participants assigned
to the treatment condition, participants
assigned as controls manifested less positive
perceptions of corporate reputation and
credibility at both Phase 1 and Phase 2.
(Differences between control means from
Phase 1 to Phase 2 were not statistically
signifi cant.) This outcome is inexplicable,
but probably the result of small sample size,
which undermined stability.
1 All three covariates were signifi cant, but effects
were primarily limited to the same variable assessed
during Phase 2. The omnibus test indicated that
Time 1 image was signifi cant, F (3,167) = 10.46, p <
0.01, partial
= 0.16, with univariate tests revealing
signifi cance on the dependent variable of Time 2
image, F (1,169) = 25.45, p < 0.01,
= 0.08, but not
on Time 2 reputation, F (1,169) = 0.21, p = 0.65 or
credibility, F (1,169) = 0.80, p = 0.37. Time 1 reputa-
tion also was signifi cant, F (3,167) = 5.54, p < 0.01,
= 0.09, with univariate tests showing sig-
nifi cance on the variable of Time 2 reputation,
F (1,169) = 10.86, p < 0.01,
= 0.03, but not on
Time 2 image, F (1,169) = 0.03, p = 0.86 or credibil-
ity, F (1,169) = 1.52, p = 0.22. Finally, Time 1 cred-
ibility also was signifi cant, F (3,167) = 13.06, p <
0.01, partial
= 0.19, with univariate tests revealing
signifi cance on the dependent variables of Time 2
reputation, F (1,169) = 15.30, p < 0.01,
= 0.04,
and Time 2 credibility, F (1,169) = 35.02, p < 0.01,
= 0.08, but not on Time 2 image, F (1,169) = 2.84,
p = 0.09.
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... Unlike other measures of corporate performance, reputation is a holistic construct that looks at the sum of consumers' views of the corporation over time. Hence, CSR actions practiced by a corporation impact consumers' views of the corporation and its overall reputation (Aksak et al., 2016;Pfau et al., 2008) and may be an important facet of reputational evaluations for the company (Ellen et al., 2006;Fombrun et al., 2000). Simply communicating CSR actions through public relations campaigns can increase perceptions of corporate reputation (Morsing and Schultz, 2006;Pfau et al., 2008). ...
... Hence, CSR actions practiced by a corporation impact consumers' views of the corporation and its overall reputation (Aksak et al., 2016;Pfau et al., 2008) and may be an important facet of reputational evaluations for the company (Ellen et al., 2006;Fombrun et al., 2000). Simply communicating CSR actions through public relations campaigns can increase perceptions of corporate reputation (Morsing and Schultz, 2006;Pfau et al., 2008). ...
Purpose While research has shown that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can enhance a company's reputation, less is known about the effects of CSR communication on nonprofits. Hence, the current study seeks to understand how corporate reputation, message credibility and message source may impact consumers' attitudinal and behavioral intentions toward nonprofits. Design/methodology/approach A 2 (corporate reputation: low vs high) × 2 (CSR communication source: newspaper blog vs nonprofit blog) between-subjects online experiment was conducted. Real-world corporations (Toyota and Volkswagen) and a nonprofit (World Wildlife Fund) were chosen based on a pretest. Findings Nonprofit reputation increased after reading a CSR message, especially when it involved a partnership with a low-reputation corporation. Nevertheless, CSR partnerships with high-reputation corporations evoked higher volunteer intentions. Message credibility mediated the relationship between corporate reputation and nonprofit reputation. When the communication source was the nonprofit and the partnership involved a high-reputation corporation, positive evaluations of nonprofit likeability and competence resulted. Practical implications Nonprofit communication managers should understand the merit of communicating CSR partnerships with their constituents, regardless of medium. Additionally, the choice of a corporate partner is important for certain nonprofit outcomes. Lastly, message credibility is another important factor that should be considered. Originality/value The study bridges literature in communications that typically examines CSR by focusing on its effects on corporate outcomes with literature in nonprofit management that looks at nonprofit outcome measures. This study demonstrated that nonprofit–corporate alliances can also influence nonprofit reputation and donation/volunteer intentions based on the reputation of the corporate partner.
... 500) [6]. Despite the ubiquity of CSR initiatives in the twenty-first century, studies of CSR initiatives and consumer purchase decisions provide evidence of the complexities of such relationships [7]. For example, Bhattacharya and Sen [8] established the important role of consumer support for issues and causes that CSR practices aim to target. ...
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This paper examines the relationship between individual traits and values of consumers and their decision-making process pertaining to purchasing green products from companies with a strong commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR). Guided by the theory of planned behavior (TPB), the main goal of this online survey (N = 463) is to understand the relationship between self-transcendent values, environmentalism, attitudes, norms, perceived behavioral control, intentions, and purchase frequency to better understand how consumers make green purchasing decisions. A structural equation model shows support for our predictions that self-transcendent values significantly and positively predict environmentalism, which in turn predicted the TPB variables. Interestingly, only attitudes towards purchasing green products were significantly predictive of purchasing products from companies with strong commitments to CSR, which subsequently predicted actual purchase frequency. We hope that our research will benefit scholars and practitioners by contributing to the work in CSR and environmental communication.
... O envolvimento em atividades de RSC concretiza-se em ações através das quais as empresas atendem às expectativas de suas partes interessadas, como funcionários, clientes, ONGs, mídia e comunidades em que operam (BUERTEY; SUN; LEE; HWANG, 2020). A crescente exigência de Responsabilidade Socioambiental tem levado as empresas a divulgarem mais estas ações objetivando legitimar-se perante a sociedade e obter ganhos em reputação e confiabilidade (BHARDWAJ; CHATTERJEE; DEMIR; TURUT, 2018; PFAU; HAIGH; SIMS; WIGLEY, 2008). Este processo tem motivado empresas a buscarem avanços em práticas de RSC em um ambiente competitivo (NEWMAN; RAND; TARP; TRIFKOVIC, 2020). ...
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O enfoque Stakeholder preconiza que as empresas devem adotar uma política de Responsabilidade Social Corporativa (RSC) abrangendo a atenção a seu amplo espectro de stakeholders. Cada vez mais, empresas estão sendo mais demandadas por adequadas práticas socioambientais por seus stakeholders. A relevância dada à adoção de boas práticas de Governança Corporativa é vista como importante na relação entre empresa e mercado ao contribuir para um comportamento mais ético da empresa. Este comportamento mais ético pode se converter em melhor observância a bons princípios de conduta que podem contribuir para favorecer a RSC da empresa. Este trabalho objetiva avaliar o efeito da Governança Corporativa sobre a RSC da empresa brasileira. Para uma amostra de 1.965 observações anuais de 303 empresas listadas na B3 estimou-se modelos por regressão Logit e procedeu-se a testes de comparação de proporções. Os resultados mostram uma tendência de influência favorável da qualidade da governança corporativa sobre a RSC no Brasil. Este achado indica que uma melhor governança corporativa da empresa induz a mesma a um melhor padrão de RSC. A adoção de melhores práticas de governança corporativa parece ser, de fato, um fator que contribui para a implantação de uma melhor política de RSC. Isto significa que, ao atentar para a boa gestão, controle e comportamento ético, a empresa também está atentando para o melhor relacionamento com o seu amplo conjunto de stakeholders como também com meio ambiente.
... However, the conclusion is a positive relationship between energy efficiency and economic growth results from ( Robichaud, & Tiberti, 2018), and the government's strong commitment to encourage innovation for GHG reduction (Raybould, Cheung, Connor, & Butcher, 2020). In addition to that, the government needs to design the policy to increase public awareness and engagement on energy efficiency (Schönwälder, 2021), which among others, can be done through the role of Corporate Social Responsibility (Pfau, Haigh, Sims, & Wigley, 2008), and the involvement of knowledge brokers as government agencies in the implementation of policies on energy efficiency especially in the rural regions (Apostolopoulos, Chalvatzis, Liargovas, Newberry, & Rokou, 2020) ...
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Indonesia has set a unilateral greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction target by 29% and conditional targets with international support of up to 41%, compared to the business as usual by 2030. This paper aims to formulate energy conservation policies to increase productivity and promote economic growth in Indonesia. Indonesia's energy conservation policy has multiple aspects: supporting energy security, commitment to GHG emission reduction, state budget efficiency, and improving productivity and competitiveness. Using Social Accounting Matrix (SAM), this study found evidence that energy efficiency saving will positively affect ecological sustainability and economic agents in the five targeted sectors: energy, waste, industrial processes, and production use, agriculture, and forestry. Furthermore, the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policy provides positive effects in increasing economic growth and reducing income disparities.Keywords: Energy Conservation, Energy Efficiency, Economic Growth, Environmental Sustainability.JEL Classifications: Q40, O40, Q56DOI:
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Marketing aims to influence consumers to buy more; however, buying more is at the very core of the fashion industry’s current malaise. A new system of marketing has arisen in the past decades that promises to offer an alternative solution: supporting the viability of brands while increasing awareness of social issues in the fashion industry and changing consumer behaviour for the better. The marketing of social justice issues or social marketing (SM) (not to be confused with social media marketing) aims to educate, influence and, ultimately, move the consumer to change their purchasing behaviour and make choices for good. Drawing on behavioural change theories and using case study methodology, this paper examines how, through crafting a desired position away from ‘product push’ and towards a social justice ‘pull’, fashion brands are experimenting with SM strategies that propose to transform buying behaviour. The findings indicate that while SM is an emerging marketing strategy for fashion brands, it results in an elevated perception of the brand and, ultimately, an increase in consumption.
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This study aims to identify the interrelationships among three variables-corporate image, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and customer loyalty in the Philippine's television network industry. In particular, it examines whether corporate image can act as a mediator between CSR and customer loyalty. A convenience sampling technique was used in selecting the respondents. The participants were viewers and supporters of two leading television networks (ABS-CBN and GMA) in the Philippines. Quantitative research and a causal predictive approach were applied in this study. The survey-based data were scrutinized through partial least squares-structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) to estimate the parameters of the structural model. The results showed that CSR engagement has a significant and positive effect on corporate image. A significant relationship between CSR engagement and positive customer loyalty is also supported. Furthermore, corporate image also positively influences customer loyalty. The mediation analysis also revealed that corporate image mediates the relationship between CSR engagement and customer loyalty.
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We examine whether female board representation moderates the effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) performance on firm value. Using a two-stage dynamic panel generalized method of moments (GMM) method, we find that the effect of CSR strengths (CSR concerns) on the market assessed firm value, measured by Tobin's Q and annual stock return, is incrementally more positive (more negative) for firms with greater female representation on the board. Further analysis suggests that female board representation positively moderates the effect of CSR strengths on firm financial performance measured by return on assets (ROA); however, female board representation does not significantly moderate the impact of CSR concerns on ROA. Our findings suggest that board gender diversity enhances the effect of positive CSR performance on firm value, but exacerbates the negative market reactions to CSR concerns. Overall, our evidence suggests that board gender diversity may enhance or destroy firm value depending on a firm's social and environmental performance in dimensions other than diversity.
Purpose This study conceptualizes participatory corporate social responsibility (CSR) as a consumer empowerment strategy and examines the effect of participatory CSR on consumer responses in a social media setting. Design/methodology/approach This study uses a 2 (type of CSR campaign) × 4 (tone of consumer comments) between-subjects experimental design. The sample comprises college students and nonstudent participants recruited from Amazon Mechanical Turk. Findings Data indicate that the participatory CSR program leads to higher levels of perceived self-efficacy and social worth, which subsequently results in stronger intentions to spread positive word of mouth about the company’s CSR efforts. The findings suggest that participatory CSR has the power to boost a company’s reputation as an “admired” company through consumer empowerment. Originality/value This study advances the scholarship of CSR by explicating participatory CSR communication as a consumer empowerment strategy and providing empirical evidence for the effect of participatory CSR on public responses. The overall findings support the notion that CSR communication as an important function of public relations can generate public engagement with the organization and further co-create meaning with publics for mutual benefit.
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We examined the mediating effects of corporate governance and image on CSR and performance link. We find CSR positive related to firm performance but insignificant. We further established CSR and FP are positive and insignificant without the existence of CI and CG but becomes significant with the inclusion of both mediating variables. Therefore, corporate governance codes and principles should be enhanced in Cameroon, since CSR engagement helps in better governance practice through establishing good internal controls and monitoring that ultimately enhances a firm financial performance. Several policy recommendations were discussed.
Die Wandlungsfähigkeit von Unternehmen ist für den langfristigen Erfolg in dynamischen Märkten essenziell. Die rasant fortschreitende Digitalisierung sowie weitere technologische Neuerungen bedingen es, dass auch heute hoch erfolgreiche Unternehmen in der Lage sein müssen, sich permanent wandelnden Gegebenheiten anpassen zu können. Der vorliegende Beitrag zeigt, dass Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Unternehmen die Möglichkeit bietet, in ihre Wandlungs- und Anpassungsfähigkeit zu investieren. Zugrunde liegt dem das Argument, dass ein gutes CSR-Image, also die Wahrnehmung eines Unternehmens als verantwortlich, die Identifikation der Mitarbeitenden mit ihrem Arbeitgeber erhöht, infolgedessen selbige ein gesteigertes Interesse am Erfolg ihres Unternehmens haben. Letzteres manifestiert sich dabei in Form von verbesserten arbeitsrelevanten Einstellungen und Verhaltensweisen am Arbeitsplatz. Ausgehend hiervon wird argumentiert, dass Unternehmen mit einem guten CSR-Image in die Veränderungsbereitschaft ihrer Mitarbeitenden einzahlen. Vor dem Hintergrund, dass unternehmerischer Wandel häufig an internen Widerständen scheitert, ist ein gutes CSR-Image für Unternehmen heute wichtiger denn je.
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The concept of corporate social responsibility is being replaced by the term ‘corporate citizenship’. It may not be a bad idea to make this shift in terminology. But we are concerned that the core content of social responsibility may be lost in favour of a more narrow and voluntaristic concept of corporate community service. We argue in this chapter that the broad ethics-based norms of social responsibility must be intentionally integrated into corporate citizenship. We suggest that the alternative term ‘business citizenship’ may better incorporate the broader perspective on business rights and duties, stakeholder relationships, opportunities and challenges that accompany the global socioeconomy of the 21st century.
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This article traces the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) from its post WWII beginnings in popularity up through the end of the 1990s. The article focuses on definitions or understandings of the concept/construct. It does not focus on actual company practices during this time as they were quite varied. (This article has been ranked #1 most read in the Business and Society journal for years now).
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Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is not a new idea. However, CSR has never been more prominent on the corporate agenda than it is today. This article examines the pressures for increased corporate attention to CSR and whether this attention is warranted and likely to be sustained. It differentiates between the business case for CSR and the normative case and concludes that often there may be a compelling business case for making a substantial commitment to CSR, but an individual firm must assess the extent to which the general business case for CSR applies to its specific circumstances. For some firms, CSR may be a major influence on corporate strategy. Companies making a substantial commitment to CSR—because of a business or a normative case—are likely to find that this involves major challenges with respect to the formulation and implementation of CSR strategy, not least because of the uncertainties inevitably associated with determining a firm's societal obligations.
Although companies are devoting significant resources to corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, insights into the optimal formulation, implementation, and effectiveness estimation of CSR strategies are currently scarce. This article takes an indepth look at when, why, and how CSR works from a consumer's perspective. In contrast to the simple, monotonie relationships between CSR and consumer purchase behavior evident in marketplace polls, this article proposes a more complex, contingent model of consumer responses to CSR. It articulates both the internal outcomes (e.g., awareness, attitudes, attachment) and external outcomes (e.g., word of mouth, purchase, loyalty) of CSR initiatives for not just the company, but also the consumer and the CSR issue/cause. This article delineates the key factors that are likely to moderate the extent to which the inputs lead to the internal outcomes and the internal outcomes lead to the external ones. This framework can help guide companies in not only formulating and implementing their CSR initiatives, but also measuring the effectiveness of these initiatives.