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“We Care About How You Dialogue With Your Employees:” The Effects of Bottom-Up CSR Through the Lens of Dialogic Communication
The current study examines the effects of a bottom-up CSR approach, as compared to a top-down CSR approach, on consumer publics’ evaluation of CSR practices. By applying dialogic communication as a theoretical lens, this study also investigates the mediating effects of perceived dialogic organizational – employee communication in such relationships. Through a between-subject online experiment, the results showed that when a CSR program was implemented with a bottom-up approach (vs. a top-down approach), consumer publics perceived a higher level of organization – employee dialogic communication. Such perception, in turn, results in consumer publics’ favorable attitude toward the company, purchase intentions, and supportive behavioral intentions of CSR practices. In addition, the positive effects of the bottom-up CSR approach on consumer publics’ corporate evaluations via the mediation of perceived dialogic organization – employee communication were greater for individuals with higher levels of corporate distrust than those with lower levels of corporate distrust. The study extends our understanding of the value of dialogic communication in public relations and CSR communication.