This study proposes a theoretical model that provides a segmentation method of publics based on their cognitive, affective, and behavioral responses toward corporate social advocacy (CSA). As one of the initial efforts in building a theory of CSA in public relations scholarship, the model segments consumers based on three outcome variables–boycott intention, purchase intention, and corporate reputation. This model also incorporates consumer-company congruence, company-cause fit, consumer-cause fit, and issue involvement as antecedent variables. A survey of 482 adult consumers found that consumer-company congruence and company-cause fit had significant negative impacts on boycott intention, but positive influences on purchase intention. Consumer-company congruence, company-cause fit, and consumer-cause fit all had significant positive impacts on corporate reputation. Moreover, interaction effects between company-cause fit and consumers’ involvement with the specific CSA issue were found significant on both boycott intention and purchase intention. How these findings help advance the understanding of publics in a CSA context is discussed.
- cognitive dissonance theory
- Corporate social advocacy
- corporate social responsibility
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration