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How does the corporate sector perceive non-profit organizations? Evidence from South Korea

Samsup Jo (Department of Public Relations & Advertising, Sookmyung Women's University, Seoul, Korea)
Jae-Woong Yoo (Department of Public Relations and Design Eulji University, Seongnam, Korea)

Journal of Communication Management

ISSN: 1363-254X

Article publication date: 2 November 2015



While non-profit organization (NPO)-corporate alliances have proliferated in recent years, study has yet to examine on the perception of corporations toward NPOs. The purpose of this paper is to explore the factors that shape corporate perceptions of NPOs. What does the corporation consider when evaluating the activities of an NPO? Which factors are accorded the most importance when the corporate sector observes the NPO sector?


Corporate respondents generally held negative attitudes toward NPOs in terms of general activism functions. In contrast, they held neutral perceptions on trustworthiness. In factor analysis, the four factors that directed how corporate executives perceived activist groups were “positive functions of activists,” “negative aspects of organizational culture,” “trustworthy characteristics,” and “expected ethical management practices.”


While the participating corporate executives expressed positive attitudes toward activists and the role that they play in society, they showed negative attitudes toward their management style and their organizational culture. In particular, they expressed negative perceptions of the activists’ perceived elitism in their management style and internally oriented approach to the decision-making process.


Empirical evidence gathered in this study could shed light on how public relations professionals at NPOs build and maintain relationships with corporate sector, which has resources to support organization financially as well as emotionally.



Jo, S. and Yoo, J.-W. (2015), "How does the corporate sector perceive non-profit organizations? Evidence from South Korea", Journal of Communication Management, Vol. 19 No. 4, pp. 324-334.



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