The purpose of this paper is to examine Millennial consumers’ responses to two corporate social initiative types – socially responsible business practices and corporate philanthropy – in combination with proactive and reactive CSR communication strategies.
A 2 (corporate philanthropy/socially responsible business practices) ×2 (proactive/reactive CSR communication) between-subjects experiment was conducted.
The socially responsible business practices were largely perceived more positively than the philanthropic initiatives. Likewise, greater public-serving motives were attributed to the socially responsible business practices compared to the philanthropy. While philanthropic initiatives were perceived more negatively when communicated reactively, there were no significant differences between proactive and reactive socially responsible business practices.
As an attempt to initiate the comparative examination of the effects of different corporate social initiative types, this study suggests outperformance of the socially responsible business practices type of corporate social initiatives over the resources-giving (i.e. philanthropy) type of initiatives even in the reactive communication setting where reputational threat resides.
Kim, S. and Austin, L. (2019), "Effects of CSR initiatives on company perceptions among Millennial and Gen Z consumers", Corporate Communications: An International Journal, Vol. 25 No. 2, pp. 299-317. https://doi.org/10.1108/CCIJ-07-2018-0077Download as .RIS
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