Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: re-assessment of classical theories about fit between CSR actions and corporate activities

Communication & Society

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Title Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: re-assessment of classical theories about fit between CSR actions and corporate activities
Comunicación de RSC: una revisión de las tesis clásicas sobre la coherencia entre la acción de RSC y la actividad organizacional
 
Creator Nuria Villagra
Miguel A. M. Cárdaba
José A. Ruiz San Román
 
Description The literature on effective communication of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) paints a complex and occasionally contradictory picture of the role of alignment between corporate activities and CSR actions, classically termed “corporate fit”. Some authors highlight the importance of such alignment for effective communication of CSR, whereas other authors suggest that such fit can engender skepticism and public behaviors that harm the company. In addition, more recent work suggests the importance of “personal fit”, which refers to alignment between CSR actions and what receivers of the CSR communication consider to be personally relevant. In order to clarify this complex picture, we randomly assigned 86 young people to three groups: one was exposed to CSR communication showing corporate fit, another to CSR communication showing personal fit, and the third to control (non-CSR) communication. In contrast to what the literature might predict, we found that the CSR message with corporate fit was as persuasive as the control message for convincing subjects to rate the company as sincere and honest and to be willing to sign a declaration in favor of the company. The message with personal fit led to higher ratings of sincerity and honesty, as well as greater willingness to sign the declaration. These results suggest the need to re-assess the role of classical corporate fit in the communication of CSR actions, and they raise the possibility that other types of fit exist and may even be stronger determinants of the effectiveness of CSR communication.
La literatura sobre comunicación eficaz de la Responsabilidad Social Corporativa (RSC) es compleja y, en ocasiones, contradictoria respecto al papel de la coherencia entre la actividad de la empresa y las acciones de RSC (fit empresarial clásico). Por una parte, subraya la importancia del fit para una comunicación eficaz. Sin embargo, otros investigadores afirman que el fit podría aumentar el escepticismo y resultar perjudicial. Por último, investigaciones recientes señalan otro tipo de fit: el fit personal, donde lo importante es la coincidencia entre la acción de RSC y los intereses del público. Para intentar esclarecer esta complejidad se llevó a cabo un experimento en el que 86 jóvenes fueron asignados aleatoriamente a tres condiciones experimentales: mensaje de RSC con fit clásico; mensaje de RSC con fit personal y mensaje control. A diferencia de lo que se podría esperar a partir de la literatura previa, no se encontraron diferencias significativas entre los que recibieron el mensaje con fit empresarial y aquellos que recibieron el mensaje control. Por el contrario, aquellos individuos asignados a la condición de fit personal evaluaron a la empresa como más sincera y honesta y manifestaron una intención conductual más favorable hacia ella que los sujetos asignados a la condición de control y que los sujetos asignados a la condición de fit empresarial. El artículo discute la necesidad de replantear el rol del fit clásico empresarial en la comunicación de acciones de RSC y resalta la existencia de otros tipos de fit que pueden ser incluso más determinantes.
 
Publisher Servicio de Publicaciones de la Universidad de Navarra
 
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article
info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion
 
Format application/pdf
application/pdf
 
Identifier https://revistas.unav.edu/index.php/communication-and-society/article/view/35927
10.15581/003.29.2.133-146
 
Source Communication & Society; Vol 29 No 2 (2016); 133-146
Communication & Society; Vol 29 No 2 (2016); 133-146
2386-7876
 
Language eng
spa
 
Relation https://revistas.unav.edu/index.php/communication-and-society/article/view/35927/30489
https://revistas.unav.edu/index.php/communication-and-society/article/view/35927/30259
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