Effects of Issue Ownership, Perceived Fit, and Authenticity in Corporate Social Advocacy on Corporate Reputation

Joon Soo Lim, Cayley Young

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Based on the issue ownership theory and corporate reputation, this study examines the effect of corporate social advocacy (CSA) on corporate reputation, focusing on the relative impact of perceived fit between CSA and brand identity (CSA-brand fit) and CSA authenticity. To this end, this study first examined how Ben & Jerry's advocacy of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) rights through social media channels has influenced the assessment of issue ownership by comparing social analytics data with public survey data. Spearman's rank-order correlation revealed a high correlation between the salience of Ben & Jerry's LGBTQ-related social media posts and its top-of-mind ranking within the ten companies associated with the LGBTQ rights issue. Results of survey data showed the relative impacts of CSA-brand fit and authenticity on Ben & Jerry's issue-specific corporate reputation. Consistent with the predictions, both perceived authenticity and perceived fit turned out to be positive predictors for corporate reputation. Between the two theory-driven variables, perceived authenticity was the strongest predictor for corporate reputation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102071
JournalPublic Relations Review
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Keywords

  • authenticity
  • Ben & Jerry's
  • corporate reputation
  • corporate social advocacy
  • LGTBQ
  • perceived fit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Marketing

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