The Overarching Effects of Ethical Reputation Regardless of CSR Cause Fit and Information Source

Weiting Tao, Mary Ann Ferguson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Our experiment examines how corporate prior ethical reputation, CSR cause fit, and information source interact with each other; and how this interaction influences consumers’ evaluations of the company. Meanwhile, our study tests the mediating effect of inferred CSR motives on consumer responses to CSR initiatives. Results show that corporate prior ethical reputation affects consumers’ company evaluations regardless of CSR cause fit and information source, and that this effect is partially mediated by inferred CSR motives. Our study contributes to CSR scholarship in the domain of strategic communication. Through adopting an interdisciplinary approach advocated by strategic communication researchers, it carries current piecewise understanding of consumer responses to CSR a step forward to a holistic framework. Practitioners will find its results useful in selecting and communicating CSR activities based on their firms’ reputation characteristics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-43
Number of pages21
JournalInternational Journal of Strategic Communication
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science

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