Linking Authenticity in CSR Communication to Organization-Public Relationship Outcomes: Integrating Theories of Impression Management and Relationship Management

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Grounded in theories in relational authenticity, self-verification, and impression management, this study examines the effect of enacting authenticity in CSR communication through digital media as a relationship-cultivating strategy on organization-public relationship (OPR) outcomes. Using data obtained from an online survey (N = 501), we conduct both exploratory factor analysis (EFA) and confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) to validate the proposed theory-driven measure for authenticity in CSR communication. We examine how authenticity in CSR communication predicts the four dimensions of quality OPRs. Results of CFA reveal that authenticity in CSR communication comprises three dimensions–genuineness, reflection of true identity, and consistency. Hierarchical regression analyses indicate that authenticity in CSR communication predicts trust, commitment, satisfaction, and control mutuality. Major theoretical contributions of the study include: (1) Authenticity in CSR communication is an OPR antecedent. (2) The genuineness aspect of authenticity provides important implications for company-cause fit research on CSR communication. (3) The reflection of true identity can provide theoretical explanations as to what needs to be considered in practicing corporate social advocacy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-486
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Public Relations Research
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

Keywords

  • Authenticity
  • CSR communication
  • impression management
  • OPR
  • relationship management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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