See How 'Good’ We Are: the Dangers of Using Corporate Social Activities in Communication Campaigns

Valerie Swaen, Catholic University of Louvain (FNRS) and IESEG School of Management
Joelle Vanhamme, Erasmus University RotterdamBERIM, LABACC
EXTENDED ABSTRACT - Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) has become an increasingly popular concept. More companies than ever engage in CSR activities (e.g., socially responsible employment, see Drumwright, 1994). Recent research in marketing, however, shows that communicating about CSR activities does not necessarily result in positive effects for companies (Sen and Bhattacharya, 2001). In addition, many studies clearly report that perceived socially irresponsible corporate activities lead to negative perceptions of the company and its products (e.g., Brown and Dacin, 1997). Lastly, it seems that companies that are doing the most in the area of CSR are also the ones that are criticized the most whereas the ones that are not doing anything are the least criticized (SEE Newsletter, 2001). As a result companiesBpromoting themselves as socially responsibleBneed to know how detrimental to their business accusations of irresponsible behaviors will be.
[ to cite ]:
Valerie Swaen and Joelle Vanhamme (2004) ,"See How 'Good’ We Are: the Dangers of Using Corporate Social Activities in Communication Campaigns", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 31, eds. Barbara E. Kahn and Mary Frances Luce, Valdosta, GA : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 302-303.