Hypocrisy, skepticism, and reputation: the mediating role of corporate social responsibility

Hypocrisy, skepticism, and reputation: the mediating role of corporate social responsibility PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of corporate hypocrisy and consumer skepticism on perceived corporate reputation. In addition, the effect of perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) in mediating the relationship between corporate hypocrisy and consumer skepticism toward perceived corporate reputation.Design/methodology/approachAn experimental design was employed to test the effects of corporate hypocrisy and consumer skepticism on consumers’ perception of a firm’s corporate reputation, as well as the role of perceived CSR as a causal mechanism. Analysis involved structural equation modeling (AMOS) to test hypotheses. A convenience sample (n=837) was recruited from the USA and Australia to allow for any national biases or brand familiarity effects and to ensure the results were robust and generalizable.FindingsCorporate hypocrisy and consumers’ skepticism significantly influences perceived CSR and corporate reputation. Furthermore, a consumer’s level of perceived CSR acts as a causal mechanism, mediating the relationship between corporate hypocrisy and skepticism on perceived corporate reputation.Practical implicationsThe importance of being transparent and honest toward consumers. When companies are inconsistent in their CSR activities, it increases consumers’ skepticism toward the brand. Nonetheless, CSR has a positive influence on the consumers’ perception of corporate reputation and this, in turn, will positively influences consumers’ support for the firm.Originality/valueThe first empirical evidence that companies producing vices (such as beer) generate lower expectations in the minds of the consumers, meaning there is less impact on brand reputation when consumers feel the CSR does not fit with the brand image. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Marketing Intelligence & Planning Emerald Publishing

Hypocrisy, skepticism, and reputation: the mediating role of corporate social responsibility

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © Emerald Group Publishing Limited
ISSN
0263-4503
DOI
10.1108/MIP-10-2018-0434
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of corporate hypocrisy and consumer skepticism on perceived corporate reputation. In addition, the effect of perceived corporate social responsibility (CSR) in mediating the relationship between corporate hypocrisy and consumer skepticism toward perceived corporate reputation.Design/methodology/approachAn experimental design was employed to test the effects of corporate hypocrisy and consumer skepticism on consumers’ perception of a firm’s corporate reputation, as well as the role of perceived CSR as a causal mechanism. Analysis involved structural equation modeling (AMOS) to test hypotheses. A convenience sample (n=837) was recruited from the USA and Australia to allow for any national biases or brand familiarity effects and to ensure the results were robust and generalizable.FindingsCorporate hypocrisy and consumers’ skepticism significantly influences perceived CSR and corporate reputation. Furthermore, a consumer’s level of perceived CSR acts as a causal mechanism, mediating the relationship between corporate hypocrisy and skepticism on perceived corporate reputation.Practical implicationsThe importance of being transparent and honest toward consumers. When companies are inconsistent in their CSR activities, it increases consumers’ skepticism toward the brand. Nonetheless, CSR has a positive influence on the consumers’ perception of corporate reputation and this, in turn, will positively influences consumers’ support for the firm.Originality/valueThe first empirical evidence that companies producing vices (such as beer) generate lower expectations in the minds of the consumers, meaning there is less impact on brand reputation when consumers feel the CSR does not fit with the brand image.

Journal

Marketing Intelligence & PlanningEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 2, 2019

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