The effect of corporate social responsibility and corporate social irresponsibility: Why company size matters based on consumers’ need for self-expression

Hyukjin Jung, Joonheui Bae (Corresponding Author), Hanku Kim

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Social networks service has an important role in disseminating information related to corporate social responsibility (CSR), which is becoming increasingly important in the digital era. This study examines how perceived CSR and corporate social irresponsibility (CSIR) for large versus small companies affect electronic “word of mouth” (eWOM), based on cognitive bias theory. In addition, our research suggests that consumers’ need for self-expression mediates the relationship between the interaction of perceived CSR vs. CSIR) by firm size and eWOM, which could be explained by social identity theory. We conduct an experiment to test our hypotheses and show that CSR initiatives have a more profound effect on eWOM for small companies, whereas evidence of CSIR has a stronger effect on eWOM for large companies. Importantly, the relationship is mediated by consumers’ need for self-expression. This research contributes to provide a framework for how consumers diffuse perceptions of CSR versus CSIR online.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)146-154
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Business Research
Volume146
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2022
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Cognitive bias
  • Corporate social irresponsibility
  • Corporate social responsibility
  • Electronic word of mouth
  • Need for self-expression

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Marketing

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