Creating consumer confidence in CSR communications

Guido Berens, Wybe Popma

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

Abstract

We examine the role of communication in stimulating consumer attitudes and buying behavior regarding corporate social responsibility (CSR). We review the literature on communicating CSR to consumers through (1) messages constructed and verified by the company (such as product claims and corporate advertising), (2) messages constructed by the company, but verified by a third party (such as disclosures), and (3) messages constructed and verified by a third party (such as independent consumer guides and publicity). Communication messages constructed and verified by the company can be quite effective in persuading consumers, if they are communicated in a credible way. The latter can, for example, be done by including specific behaviors and/or outcomes in the message. Messages constructed by the firm, but verified by a third party tend to have a higher credibility, but risk containing either too little information or too much. Finally, messages constructed and verified by a third party can be seen as highly credible, but can sometimes be seen as merely PR. In addition, both messages focusing on deontological responsibility (the firm’s motives and behavior), and messages focusing on consequentialist responsibility (the outcomes of the firm’s behavior) seem important to consumers. The results offer suggestions on how to communicate about CSR to consumers. The chapter provides the first comprehensive overview of the literature on communication about CSR to consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCommunicating Corporate Social Responsibility: perspectives and practice
EditorsR. Tench, W. Sun, B. Jones
Place of PublicationUK
Pages383-403
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9781783507962
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Publication series

NameCritical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability

Fingerprint

Communication
Corporate Social Responsibility
Consumer confidence
Responsibility
Publicity
Credibility
Consumer attitudes
Disclosure
Buying behaviour
Firm behavior

Cite this

Berens, G., & Popma, W. (2014). Creating consumer confidence in CSR communications. In R. Tench, W. Sun, & B. Jones (Eds.), Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: perspectives and practice (pp. 383-403). (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability). UK.
Berens, Guido ; Popma, Wybe. / Creating consumer confidence in CSR communications. Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: perspectives and practice. editor / R. Tench ; W. Sun ; B. Jones. UK, 2014. pp. 383-403 (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability).
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Berens, G & Popma, W 2014, Creating consumer confidence in CSR communications. in R Tench, W Sun & B Jones (eds), Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: perspectives and practice. Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability, UK, pp. 383-403.

Creating consumer confidence in CSR communications. / Berens, Guido; Popma, Wybe.

Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: perspectives and practice. ed. / R. Tench; W. Sun; B. Jones. UK, 2014. p. 383-403 (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability).

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapterResearch

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Berens G, Popma W. Creating consumer confidence in CSR communications. In Tench R, Sun W, Jones B, editors, Communicating Corporate Social Responsibility: perspectives and practice. UK. 2014. p. 383-403. (Critical Studies on Corporate Responsibility, Governance and Sustainability).