In a polarized society, organizations are increasingly forced to take sides on controversial corporate social responsibility (CSR) issues. In recent years organizations have been challenged for their wrongdoings, inactions, or misinterpretations of societal expectations, which have drawn questions about their CSR efforts. The current study draws upon expectation violation theory to examine how stakeholders’ expectations for an organization’s CSR efforts and their observed accountability for those CSR efforts influence two aspects of expectancy violations—violation importance and violation expectedness—while controlling for stakeholders’ perceived reputation of an organization and political ideologies. Survey findings indicate that stakeholders’ perceptions of an organization’s reputation and accountability indeed lead to favorable evaluations of an organization’s crisis response. Furthermore, the effect of stakeholders’ expectations for an organization’s CSR efforts is moderated by stakeholders political ideologies. These findings broaden expectation violation theory to include new variables in the context of CSR efforts that become closely associated with political issues.



Author ORCID Identifier

Aimei Yang: 0000-0003-3756-7812

Adam J. Saffer: 0000-0001-8032-4256