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Motivations for supporting corporate social advocacy: applying the SIMCA model

Anli Xiao (School of Journalism and Mass Communications, University of South Carolina, Columbia, South Carolina, USA)
Holly K. Overton (Bellisario College of Communications, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 11 October 2022

Issue publication date: 28 November 2022




This study examines why publics support corporate social advocacy (CSA) by looking at their support as a form of collective action that is motivated by individuals' shared group efficacy, anger and politicized identity by applying the Social Identity Model of Collective Action (SIMCA).


This study adopted an online survey (N = 273), sampling US adults who supported a company's CSA effort.


The survey found that shared group efficacy with the company led to higher intention to participate in CSA, engaging in positive word of mouth (PWOM) and providing financial support for the CSA cause. Individuals' identification with the company and the CSA cause also predicted intention to support CSA and PWOM. Sharing CSA cause-related anger with the company negatively predicted PWOM.


This study is original as it investigated why and how people support for a company's CSA initiative by applying the SIMCA model. It extends the applicability of the SIMCA model to explain support for CSA. Moreover, this study enriches our theoretical understanding of CSA as it provides implications for why publics support CSA and how corporations can play a central role in gaining publics' support while taking stances on controversial issues.



This paper is funded by the Glen M. Broom Center for Professional Development in Public Relations.


Xiao, A. and Overton, H.K. (2022), "Motivations for supporting corporate social advocacy: applying the SIMCA model", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 26 No. 4, pp. 373-385.



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