This study investigates the effects of corporate social advocacy (CSA) in mitigating public skepticism of corporate social engagement and reveals how CSA helps build relationships with publics. Ambiguity embedded in general corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities can cause public skepticism, but this study argues that corporations can signal their sincerity by engaging in CSA practices by taking a definitive stance on controversial socio-political issues. The results of an online survey (N = 960) showed that a corporation’s clear identification with a controversial social issue is positively associated with brand trust and loyalty mediated by reduced skepticism of corporate non-market activities. The findings of this study have practical implications for corporations as they attempt to optimize the effects of public communication through social engagement.
Scopus Subject Areas
- Business and International Management
- brand loyalty
- brand trust
- Corporate social advocacy (CSA)
- corporate social responsibility (CSR)
- CSR skepticism