- Consistency in behavior of the CEO regarding corporate social responsibility
- Corporate Communications
- Volume | Issue number
- 17 | 4
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam School of Communication Research (ASCoR)
Purpose - When corporations adopt a corporate social responsibility (CSR) program and use and name it in their external communications, their members should act in line with CSR. The purpose of this paper is to present an experiment in which the consistent or inconsistent behavior of a CEO was studied.
Design/methodology/approach - In this experiment the authors offered materials about an organization that has an extensive program on sustainability. In the consistent condition the authors presented a CEO who traded in his sports car for a hybrid car (which actually happened), whereas in the inconsistent condition the authors presented material in which the CEO kept his sports car.
Findings - The hypotheses were not supported. Inconsistent behavior did not lead to a significantly different attitude towards the company or lower purchase intentions.
Research limitations/implications - The sample consisted of students who were maybe not familiar with the particular company, the CEO of the company and/or with the sustainability programs of the company. The materials developed in the experiment might be too weak.
Originality/value - Although the expected results were not found, the authors certainly think that consistent behavior of the CEO and other organizational members might decrease skeptical responses of stakeholders when they are confronted with CSR communication.
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