The purpose of this paper is to determine whether the presentation medium of corporate social and environmental web site disclosure has an impact on user trust in such disclosure, and to examine the effect of media richness on user perception about corporate social and environmental responsibility.
The paper's methodology is a three‐by‐two between‐subjects design experiment, manipulating presentation medium and industry type. Participants viewed social and environmental web site disclosures and completed and communicated their perceptions of trust and the experimental companies' corporate social responsibility.
The presentation medium richness of social and environmental web site disclosures is positively associated with: trusting intentions, but not trusting beliefs, of web site users; and user perception of corporate social and environmental responsibility.
As with all controlled experiments, the research design focused on internal validity to maintain control over the task design, manipulation, and measurement of variables. While this required trade‐offs with external validity, the task was designed based on real‐world scenarios to maintain high levels of external validity within the experimental setting.
The paper provides evidence that corporations could use enhanced web‐based technology to potentially mislead users regarding their performance in the social domain.
The paper extends the visual disclosure literature by examining the richness of the image/visual media, and investigates whether user perceptions are impacted by the variations in its richness.
Cho, C.H., Phillips, J.R., Hageman, A.M. and Patten, D.M. (2009), "Media richness, user trust, and perceptions of corporate social responsibility: An experimental investigation of visual web site disclosures", Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Vol. 22 No. 6, pp. 933-952. https://doi.org/10.1108/09513570910980481Download as .RIS
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