Past research shows how information about corporate irresponsibility that contradicts an organization's social responsibility commitments causes hypocrisy perceptions. Extant research on stakeholder engagement however, has not explained how inconsistent corporate social responsibility (CSR) information affects the perceptions of consumers strongly connected with a brand. This study investigates how, rather than protecting the firm against hypocrisy perceptions, self-brand connectedness magnifies the negative effect of inconsistent CSR information. We tested the research hypotheses across two experimental studies, using both fictitious and real brands in two different industries. We estimated a multi-group structural equation model model to show how self-brand connectedness increases people's willingness to distance themselves from the hypocritical brand. Results show that consumers that feel close to the hypocritical brand have a stronger desire to disengage their identity from the brand and protect their self-esteem. The desire to avoid the brand in turn drives more negative consumer reactions in terms of brand attitudes, brand loyalty and negative word of mouth. Our findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating that a close relationship between the consumer and the brand may aggravate behavioral reactions to hypocrisy perceptions. This is the first study to consider how hypocrisy perceptions influence attitude and behaviors of consumers that are closely connected to the company. Our results extend research on hypocrisy perceptions and brand avoidance by showing that closely connected consumers are especially likely to reject brands that send inconsistent messages about their involvement in CSR.

The higher they climb, the harder they fall: The roleof self-brand connectedness in consumer responses tocorporate social responsibility hypocrisy / Baghi, I.; Antonetti, P.. - In: CORPORATE SOCIAL-RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1535-3966. - 28:4(2021), pp. 1216-1230. [10.1002/csr.2122]

The higher they climb, the harder they fall: The roleof self-brand connectedness in consumer responses tocorporate social responsibility hypocrisy

Baghi I.;
2021

Abstract

Past research shows how information about corporate irresponsibility that contradicts an organization's social responsibility commitments causes hypocrisy perceptions. Extant research on stakeholder engagement however, has not explained how inconsistent corporate social responsibility (CSR) information affects the perceptions of consumers strongly connected with a brand. This study investigates how, rather than protecting the firm against hypocrisy perceptions, self-brand connectedness magnifies the negative effect of inconsistent CSR information. We tested the research hypotheses across two experimental studies, using both fictitious and real brands in two different industries. We estimated a multi-group structural equation model model to show how self-brand connectedness increases people's willingness to distance themselves from the hypocritical brand. Results show that consumers that feel close to the hypocritical brand have a stronger desire to disengage their identity from the brand and protect their self-esteem. The desire to avoid the brand in turn drives more negative consumer reactions in terms of brand attitudes, brand loyalty and negative word of mouth. Our findings contribute to the literature by demonstrating that a close relationship between the consumer and the brand may aggravate behavioral reactions to hypocrisy perceptions. This is the first study to consider how hypocrisy perceptions influence attitude and behaviors of consumers that are closely connected to the company. Our results extend research on hypocrisy perceptions and brand avoidance by showing that closely connected consumers are especially likely to reject brands that send inconsistent messages about their involvement in CSR.
2021
28
4
1216
1230
The higher they climb, the harder they fall: The roleof self-brand connectedness in consumer responses tocorporate social responsibility hypocrisy / Baghi, I.; Antonetti, P.. - In: CORPORATE SOCIAL-RESPONSIBILITY AND ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT. - ISSN 1535-3966. - 28:4(2021), pp. 1216-1230. [10.1002/csr.2122]
Baghi, I.; Antonetti, P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11380/1234928
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