This experiment examines how three corporate communication strategies (i.e., corporate ability (CA) strategy, corporate social responsibility (CSR) strategy, and hybrid strategy) positively affect consumers’ evaluation of a company. It also tests whether consumers’ involvement with the company’s products moderates these effects. Additionally, in the context of hybrid strategy, the order effect of receiving CA and CSR messages is discussed. Results of the experiment support the value of all three strategies in cultivating positive company evaluation. Findings pertaining to hybrid strategy scenarios generally show that a single CSR message performs as well as hybrid strategies because of the transferring effect of CSR. In addition, CSR was found to have an additive effect on CA when CA is the first message. However, the positive effect of CSR is discounted when CSR is the first message. Meanwhile, the moderating effect of product involvement is not supported. This study contributes to current strategic communication scholarship on corporate communication through proposing and empirically testing an interdisciplinary model that articulates the contingent relationship of corporate messages to consumer reactions. Its findings can aid in future theory building efforts and assist strategic communication professionals in determining the types of corporate communication messages, as well as the order in which they are presented, that will have an impact on consumers’ perceptions.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science