This research examined how corporate social advocacy (CSA) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) efforts impacted perceptions of authenticity. Using an experimental survey, participants were randomly exposed to Nike's actions related to the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement via mock-online news articles. Participants completed a survey that contained Likert-type scale items regarding attitudes (perceived corporate intent, perceived authenticity, brand trust, and brand credibility) and behavioral intentions (word of mouth intentions (WOM), and purchase intention (PI)). Results indicated that positive attitudes significantly increased when Nike implemented an action step after taking a public stance on a controversial social-political issue. Further, results revealed significant differences for positive WOM intentions and PI, given the experimental prompt. This study extends public relations scholarship through expanding our understanding of stakeholder perceptions of authenticity when companies engage in CSA and CSR practices. To earn legitimacy, companies must meet stakeholder expectations through successfully executing socially responsible actions. This study illustrates a need for future research on stakeholder perceptions of authenticity when various action steps are added to a company stance on divisive social-political issues.
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Master of Arts (M.A.)
Nicholson School of Communication and Media
Communication; Interpersonal Communications
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Heffron, Eve, "Nike's Corporate Social Advocacy (CSA) Practices as Related to Strategic Issues Management (SIM) and Threats to Organizational Legitimacy" (2019). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 6502.