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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Virginia Harrison, Michail Vafeiadis, Pratiti Diddi and Jeff Conlin

While research has shown that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can enhance a company's reputation, less is known about the effects of CSR communication on nonprofits

Abstract

Purpose

While research has shown that corporate social responsibility (CSR) can enhance a company's reputation, less is known about the effects of CSR communication on nonprofits. Hence, the current study seeks to understand how corporate reputation, message credibility and message source may impact consumers' attitudinal and behavioral intentions toward nonprofits.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 (corporate reputation: low vs high) × 2 (CSR communication source: newspaper blog vs nonprofit blog) between-subjects online experiment was conducted. Real-world corporations (Toyota and Volkswagen) and a nonprofit (World Wildlife Fund) were chosen based on a pretest.

Findings

Nonprofit reputation increased after reading a CSR message, especially when it involved a partnership with a low-reputation corporation. Nevertheless, CSR partnerships with high-reputation corporations evoked higher volunteer intentions. Message credibility mediated the relationship between corporate reputation and nonprofit reputation. When the communication source was the nonprofit and the partnership involved a high-reputation corporation, positive evaluations of nonprofit likeability and competence resulted.

Practical implications

Nonprofit communication managers should understand the merit of communicating CSR partnerships with their constituents, regardless of medium. Additionally, the choice of a corporate partner is important for certain nonprofit outcomes. Lastly, message credibility is another important factor that should be considered.

Originality/value

The study bridges literature in communications that typically examines CSR by focusing on its effects on corporate outcomes with literature in nonprofit management that looks at nonprofit outcome measures. This study demonstrated that nonprofit–corporate alliances can also influence nonprofit reputation and donation/volunteer intentions based on the reputation of the corporate partner.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

Subhan Shahid, Annika Becker and Yasir Mansoor Kundi

This paper aims to untangle the underlying mechanisms through which reputational signals promote stakeholders' intentions to donate in nonprofit organizations via…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to untangle the underlying mechanisms through which reputational signals promote stakeholders' intentions to donate in nonprofit organizations via stakeholder trust.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors apply a moderated mediation model using an experimental design with N = 248 business and public management students of France.

Findings

The results indicate that both a formal reputational signal (third-party certificate) and an informal reputational signal (self-proclaiming to be social entrepreneurial) affect stakeholder trust and intentions to donate. Stakeholder trust partially mediated the relationship between the formal signal and intentions to donate, and the mediation effect was stronger when an informal signal was present (vs. not present).

Practical implications

Trust is central to the exchange of nonprofit organizations and their external stakeholders. To enhance trust and supportive behavior toward nonprofit organizations, these organizations may consider using formal and informal reputational signaling within their marketing strategies.

Originality/value

This research highlights the pivotal role of formal and informal reputational signals for the enhancing stakeholders' trust and donation behavior in a nonprofit context.

Details

Management Decision, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 7 June 2019

Virginia Harrison

The purpose of this paper is to examine corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnerships from the often-overlooked perspective of nonprofit beneficiaries, situated in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine corporate social responsibility (CSR) partnerships from the often-overlooked perspective of nonprofit beneficiaries, situated in the rapidly evolving higher education funding environment.

Design/methodology/approach

In-depth interviews with corporate relations officers from public research universities across the USA were conducted. Qualitative coding procedures from Lindlof and Taylor (2019) were employed to analyze transcript data.

Findings

Three main factors have contributed to a rapidly evolving climate for corporate partnerships: CSR partnerships help universities build their reputations rather than endowments; feature new preferences in communication-based stewardship practices; and raise questions about university autonomy and authority.

Research limitations/implications

New interpretations of interdependent relationships and stewardship may be needed to explain new corporate funding models, while threats to nonprofit organizational authority and autonomy may be growing.

Practical implications

Nonprofit practitioners may better understand how to position their organizations as more attractive to corporations while learning how to advocate for mutual benefits. They may also benefit from a new understanding of corporate stewardship.

Originality/value

While previous research has documented detrimental effects to nonprofits in CSR partnerships, higher education fundraisers in this study detail their struggles with new models of measuring success, new expectations for stewarding corporate partners and perceived threats to autonomy. Their voices add to a fuller understanding of rapidly evolving relationship management practices in higher education.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Book part
Publication date: 25 June 2016

Melissa S. Baucus and Philip L. Cochran

Investigate how leaders of illegal organizations build and maintain positive reputations and how the deaths of these firms impact groups of external stakeholders.

Abstract

Purpose

Investigate how leaders of illegal organizations build and maintain positive reputations and how the deaths of these firms impact groups of external stakeholders.

Methodology/approach

We conduct a forensic analysis of nine firms in eight different countries by leaders who appeared to be highly successful corporate citizens but who turned out to be operating illegal Ponzi ventures.

Findings

These illegal firms built positive reputations by engaging in activities that enhanced perceptions of their firms’ perceived quality, gaining certifications and approvals from influential external individuals/organizations, engaging in philanthropic activities, and affiliating with high-status actors. Death of these nine firms had profoundly impacted external stakeholders resulting in investor devastation, a toxic environment of mistrust, damage to reputations of anyone affiliated with these illegal firms, and a major earthshake to the philanthropic community.

Research limitations/implications

Extends Rindova et al.’s (2005) research on how leaders use signals of quality and prominence to build reputations in the context of illegal organizations. Philanthropic activities are added as a reputation-building mechanism used by illegal organizations. The results draw attention to the need to examine how the death of illegal organizations affects a variety of external stakeholders, both individuals and organizations.

Practical implications

Leaders of illegal firms can be quite successful in building positive reputations and this success exacerbates the negative consequences that occur when the firms collapse.

Originality/value

Provides a qualitative study of reputation building and the extensive impact on stakeholders of the dissolution of illegal ventures.

Details

Dead Firms: Causes and Effects of Cross-border Corporate Insolvency
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-313-9

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Article
Publication date: 20 September 2013

Kathryn Lefroy and Yelena Tsarenko

The goal of this study is to examine the influence of resources provided to nonprofit organisations by corporate partners on the achievement of nonprofits' social and…

Abstract

Purpose

The goal of this study is to examine the influence of resources provided to nonprofit organisations by corporate partners on the achievement of nonprofits' social and organisational objectives, accounting for mediation effects of dependence and relationship. This goal is investigated from the perspective of nonprofit organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

Following 20 preliminary in-depth interviews, an online survey was administered to people working in nonprofit industry who had experience working with their organisation's corporate partnership. With 273 completed questionnaires, the authors tested the model with mediation analyses, using bias-corrected bootstrap confidence intervals method.

Findings

Although reputation, non-financial resources and cash investments have strong and positive effects on achieving social and organisational objectives, these relations are fully mediated by dependence and relationship between partners. Further analysis shows that relationship is a significantly stronger mediator than dependence on the effect of reputation in regards to the achievement of both sets of objectives.

Originality/value

This article builds on marketing knowledge, using resource dependence theory to focus on the effects of corporate-provided resources on nonprofit organisations; a topic largely unexplored in extant literature. It is the first study to operationalise and empirically examine the specific effects of different types of resources on specific nonprofit performance objectives.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 47 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2021

Bill Merrilees, Dale Miller and Raisa Yakimova

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the voice of the internal stakeholder in a way that emphasizes the internal stakeholder as an active force and decision…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better understand the voice of the internal stakeholder in a way that emphasizes the internal stakeholder as an active force and decision maker in brand co-creation, as part of the new emerging paradigm of internal branding. The main aim is to understand the active role of volunteers in internal branding that is in the co-creation of value. A subsidiary aim is to understand why some volunteers engage deeply and seriously in a nonprofit organization while other volunteers seem less connected?

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual framework incorporates several motivators to volunteer-led co-creation. A quantitative, co-variance-based structural equation modelling approach is used on survey data of a sample of 357 volunteers from 14 organizations in the Australian nonprofit sector.

Findings

The research findings contribute to the newly emerging internal branding literature focusing on the active co-creation role of internal stakeholders. The main drivers of volunteer co-creation are volunteer engagement, commitment, altruism, values-congruency and brand reputation. Different explanatory mechanisms/motivators apply to each type of volunteer-led co-creation. In a major initiative, the paper demonstrates linkages across the different types of co-creation, with a foundation/pivotal role for one particular type of co-creation, namely, enhanced client-based solutions.

Research limitations/implications

The research is restricted to the public sector and further research is needed to test applicability to the private sector. Future studies could continue the initiative in the current study to explore the linkages across co-creation types.

Practical implications

Implications depend on which type of co-creation is targeted. Enhancing client-based solutions co-creation requires a very strong role for engaged volunteers. Innovation co-creation requires both engaged volunteers and a propensity to co-create by enhancing client-based solutions. Brand advocacy co-creation is driven by volunteer commitment, altruism and a propensity to co-create innovation.

Social implications

A non-profit context ensures major social implications.

Originality/value

The study operationalizes the Saleem and Iglesias (2016) new internal branding paradigm framework by demonstrating that brands are built organically by interacting and engaging with internal stakeholders (volunteers in this instance), which, in turn, inter alia, motivates co-creation by such internal stakeholders.

Abstract

The purpose of this article is to analyze intellectual capital (IC) measurement, management, and reporting practices at organizational level, with the aim to address a relevant research question: are IC reports used as accountability or as image-building tools? The article presents a single in-depth case study of an Italian nonprofit organization (NPO) which has been measuring and reporting its IC for several years. The research project was conducted using an interpretative approach, by analyzing organizational IC reports in the light of a framework, derived from corporate social responsibility (CSR) and IC literature, able to provide researchers with useful insights to interpret the role played by IC report in the investigated organization. The lenses provided by the designed framework give researchers the opportunity to offer a skillful interpretation of the information provided by the IC report. From the analysis, it results that the investigated NPO use IC report more as a managerial rather than an accountability tool. Even though the use of a single case study provides in-depth and rich data, it also limits the generalizability of the observations to other companies. Moreover, the results obtained can be influenced by the model built and adopted to address the research question. The findings can support companies to enable IC reporting practices and readers to understand the orientation of the companies towards a reputation or an accountability approach by reading the IC report using the research model. The article fills a gap in the research of voluntary disclosure of NPOs from a different approach (i.e., to analyze IC reports to make evident the approach followed in disclosing IC information). So doing, the article contributes to narrowing the gap between IC theory and practice and offers new insights on the reasons why NPOs disclose IC.

Details

Accountability and Social Accounting for Social and Non-Profit Organizations
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-004-9

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2018

Melanie Formentin and Denise Bortree

The purpose of this paper is to examine philanthropic partnerships between donor organizations and nonprofits and how ethics of care may play an important role in the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine philanthropic partnerships between donor organizations and nonprofits and how ethics of care may play an important role in the quality of relationship between the partners.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 29 in-depth interviews were conducted with communications professionals at nonprofit organizations to understand how their partnerships with national sport organizations benefited their organizations and how characteristics of the sport organizations’ communication and behavior have consequence for their partners.

Findings

The four dimensions of ethics of care (building trust, showing mutual concern, promoting human flourishing and responsiveness to needs) clearly emerged as the most beneficial ways sport organizations engage with their nonprofit partners.

Research limitations/implications

This study introduces the concept of ethic of care into the CSR literature and suggests that ethics of care may play an important role in relationship management with key publics.

Practical implications

Practically, this study offers insights for corporate partners about the way their communication and behavior influence nonprofits, and it suggests ways that corporations can improve their work with partners to create a more productive relationship.

Originality/value

This is one of the first studies to use ethics of care to examine the relationship of CSR partnerships and the first to conduct a study with sport organizations.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2020

Sarah-Louise Mitchell and Moira Clark

This paper aims to explore how volunteers choose one nonprofit organisation (NPO) rather than another. It identifies the drivers of choice, and the relationship between…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore how volunteers choose one nonprofit organisation (NPO) rather than another. It identifies the drivers of choice, and the relationship between them, to enable NPOs to strengthen their volunteer recruitment.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 51 service-delivery volunteers were interviewed, drawn from 5 leading NPOs. A laddering technique was used to understand the context in which the choice of organisation was made and the underlying personal needs and goals. The data was analysed using means-end chain (MEC) methodology to uncover the relationships between, and hierarchy of, the decision drivers.

Findings

Brand, cause, and role were found to be important in meeting personal needs and goals through volunteering. The paper makes three contributions. Firstly, it presents a clearer understanding of NPO choice through adopting an integrated theoretical perspective. Secondly, it identifies the decision-making process and key relationships between the attributes of the NPO, the consequences for the volunteer, and the connection to their personal needs. Finally, the study makes an important contribution to literature through presenting a new conceptual framework of volunteer decision-making in the nonprofit context to act as a catalyst for future research.

Research limitations/implications

This research is both impactful through, and limited by, its context selection: regular service-delivery volunteers from five NPOs within two causes. The paper presents a rich research stream to extend this understanding to other nonprofit stakeholders, other causes including medical volunteer, and smaller NPOs.

Practical implications

In an increasingly competitive nonprofit environment with a growing need to support the vulnerable in society, NPO sustainability is dependent on their ability to recruit new volunteers. NPOs compete not only with other organisations with similar causes but also those offering similar volunteering roles, and other uses of time to meet personal needs such as sport, career, or community. Understanding how volunteers make their choice of NPO rather than other uses of their time is of vital importance to make the most effective use of scarce marketing resources. This paper contributes to that practitioner understanding.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is the first to extend the understanding of generic motivations of volunteers to consider specific choice of NPO. Unlike previous literature, the authors bring together theory on brand, cause, and role with personal needs. The authors are also the first to apply MEC methodology to the nonprofit context to uncover the personal underlying, less salient reasons behind NPO choice and the relationship between them.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2021

Brittany Haupt and Lauren Azevedo

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of crisis communication and management along with its inclusion into the field and practice of emergency management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the evolution of crisis communication and management along with its inclusion into the field and practice of emergency management. This paper also discusses the inclusion of nonprofit organizations and the need for these organizations to engage in crisis communication planning and strategy creation to address the diverse and numerous crises that nonprofits are at risk of experiencing.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper utilizes a systematic literature review of crisis communication planning tools and resources focused on nonprofit organizations to derive best practices and policy needs.

Findings

The resources analyzed provide foundational insight for nonprofit organizations to proactively develop plans and strategies during noncrisis periods to support their organization when a crisis occurs.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this paper include limited academic research and practical resources related to nonprofit organizations and crisis communication planning. As such, several potential avenues for empirical research are discussed.

Practical implications

This paper provides considerations for nonprofit organizations engaging in crisis communication planning and aspects leaders need to partake in to reduce or eliminate the risk of facing an operational or reputational crisis.

Social implications

This paper highlights the critical need to generate a crisis communication plan due to the diverse crises nonprofit organizations face and their connection to the emergency management structure. Understanding the crisis and utilizing a crisis communication plan allows nonprofit organizations a way to strategically mitigate the impact of a crisis while also providing essential services to their respective communities and maintain their overall stability.

Originality/value

This paper is unique in its analysis of crisis communication planning resources and creation of a planning framework to assist nonprofit organizations in their planning efforts.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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