Signaling corporate values: Consumers' suspicious minds

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose - While managers and researchers recognize that corporate social responsibility is positively related to some corporate performance measures, the instrumental reason for this linkage is still unclear. The present research proposes that this relationship can be better understood if the concept of trustworthiness is included. Design/methodology/approach - Using an experimental design, the present research presents a study in which the presence or absence of environmental commitment information in a company profile is manipulated and presented to consumers, and reports the differences in the measures of consumers' perceptions of company trustworthiness and its sources originated by this manipulation. The analysis of these differences provided evidence of significant positive effects on perceived benevolence and negative effects on perceived ability measures. Findings - The findings of the present research seem to indicate that, in some contexts, companies' cause commitment can have different (positive and negative) effects on consumers' perception of firms' trustworthiness. Research limitations/implications - The small sample size is the principal limitation of the study. Also the exclusion of personal and cultural values as moderators of the effects is a limitation. Therefore, results should be analyzed carefully because they could vary if the study is replicated in a different culture. Future research should include these personal and cultural variables in a more comprehensive model. Practical implications - Managers must manage carefully this type of company commitment and the communication of these corporate activities to stakeholders. Originality/value - This paper tries to analyze from the individual behavior perspective the relationship between corporate social responsibility and corporate trustworthiness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-81
Number of pages12
JournalCorporate Governance (Bingley)
Volume5
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2005

Keywords

  • Corporate image
  • Social responsibility
  • Trust

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