To support or to boycott: a public segmentation model in corporate social advocacy

Cheng Hong, Cong Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalJournal of Public Relations Research
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

Keywords

  • boycott
  • buycott
  • cognitive dissonance theory
  • Corporate social advocacy
  • corporate social responsibility
  • publics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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