Advertisement

Corporate Reputation Review

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 26–37 | Cite as

Natural born cynics? The role of personality characteristics in consumer skepticism of corporate social responsibility behaviors

  • Derek MoscatoEmail author
  • Toby Hopp
Original Article
  • 25 Downloads

Abstract

This study explored the relationship between the Big Five personality characteristics and consumer perceptions of organizational corporate social responsibility (CSR) behaviors. Specifically, the current work focused on both general consumer CSR skepticism and on consumers’ perceived motives for organizational involvement in CSR initiatives. The results suggested that those high in extraversion, agreeableness, and conscientiousness tended to be less skeptical of companies’ CSR efforts while those high in neuroticism were generally more skeptical of CSR behaviors.

Keywords

Corporate social responsibility Personality characteristics Consumer skepticism Sustainability 

References

  1. Amazon. 2018. Amazon Mechanical Turk. https://www.mturk.com/.
  2. Antonetti, P., and S. Maklan. 2014. An extended model of moral outrage at corporate social irresponsibility. Journal of Business Ethics.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-014-2487-y.Google Scholar
  3. Barrick, M.R., and M.K. Mount. 1991. The big five personality dimensions and job performance: A meta-analysis. Personnel Psychology 44: 1–26.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-6570.1991.tb00688.x.Google Scholar
  4. Basil, D.Z., and D. Weber. 2006. Values motivation and concern for appearances: The effect of personality traits on responses to corporate social responsibility. International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing 11 (1): 61–72.Google Scholar
  5. Baumgartner, H. 2002. Toward a personology of the consumer. Journal of Consumer Research 29: 286–292.Google Scholar
  6. Bazillier, R., and J. Vauday. 2009. The Greenwashing machine: Is CSR more than communication. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00448861.
  7. Berinsky, A.J., G.A. Huber, and G.S. Lenz. 2012. Evaluating online labor markets for experimental research: Amazon.com’s Mechanical Turk. Political Analysis 20 (3): 351–368.Google Scholar
  8. Bolton, L.R., L.K. Becker, and L.K. Barber. 2010. Big five trait predictors of differential counterproductive work behavior dimensions. Personality and Individual Differences 49 (5): 537–541.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2010.03.047.Google Scholar
  9. Brown, K.W., T. Kasser, R.M. Ryan, and J. Konow. 2016. Materialism, spending, and affect: An event-sampling study of marketplace behavior and its affective cost. Journal of Happiness Studies 6: 2277–2292.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10902-015-9694-9.Google Scholar
  10. Buckels, E.E., P.D. Trapnell, and D.L. Paulhus. 2014. Trolls just want to have fun. Personality and Individual Differences 67: 97–102.Google Scholar
  11. Capriotti, P., and A. Moreno. 2007. Corporate citizenship and public relations: The importance and interactivity of social responsibility issues on corporate websites. Public Relations Review 33 (1): 84–91.Google Scholar
  12. Carroll, A.B. 1991. The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Toward the moral management of organizational stakeholders. Business Horizons 34 (4): 39–48.Google Scholar
  13. Clark, C.E. 2000. Differences between public relations and corporate social responsibility: An analysis. Public Relations Review 26 (3): 363–380.  https://doi.org/10.1016/S0363-8111(00)00053-9.Google Scholar
  14. Cohen, E.L., and A.L. Lancaster. 2014. Individual differences in in-person and social media television coviewing: The role of emotional contagion, need to belong, and coviewing orientation. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking 17 (8): 512–518.Google Scholar
  15. Coombs, W.T., and S.J. Holladay. 2009. Corporate social responsibility: Missed opportunity for institutionalizing communication practice? International Journal of Strategic Communication 3: 93–101.  https://doi.org/10.1080/15531180902805445.Google Scholar
  16. Costa Jr., P.T., and R.R. McCrae. 1992. Four ways five factors are basic. Personality and individual differences 13 (6): 653–665.Google Scholar
  17. Côté, S., and D.S. Moskowitz. 1998. On the dynamic covariation between interpersonal behavior and affect: prediction from neuroticism, extraversion, and agreeableness. Journal of personality and social psychology 75 (4): 1032.Google Scholar
  18. De Geer, H.D., T. Borglund, and M. Frostenson. 2010. Reconciling CSR with the role of the corporation in welfare states: The problematic Swedish example. Journal of Business Ethics 89: 269–283.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-010-0393-5.Google Scholar
  19. De Hoogh, A.H., D.N. Den Hartog, and P.L. Koopman. 2005. Linking the Big Five-Factors of personality to charismatic and transactional leadership; perceived dynamic work environment as a moderator. Journal of Organizational Behavior: The International Journal of Industrial, Occupational and Organizational Psychology and Behavior 26 (7): 839–865.Google Scholar
  20. Du, S., C.B. Bhattacharya, and S. Sen. 2010. Maximizing business returns to corporate social responsibility (CSR): The role of CSR communication. International Journal of Management Reviews 12: 8–19.  https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2370.2009.00276.x.Google Scholar
  21. Eberle, D., G. Berens, and T. Li. 2013. The impact of interactive corporate social responsibility communication on corporate reputation. Journal of Business Ethics 118: 731–746.Google Scholar
  22. Elving, W.J.L. 2013. Scepticism and corporate social responsibility communications: The influence of fit and reputation. Journal of Marketing Communications 19: 277–292.Google Scholar
  23. Forehand, M.R., and S. Grier. 2003. When is honesty the best policy? The effect of stated company intent on consumer skepticism. Journal of consumer psychology 13 (3): 349–356.Google Scholar
  24. Fort, K., G. Adda, and K.B. Cohen. 2011. Amazon mechanical turk: Gold mine or coal mine? Computational Linguistics 37 (2): 413–420.Google Scholar
  25. Gerber, A.S., G.A. Huber, D. Doherty, C.M. Dowling, and C. Panagopoulos. 2013. Big five personality traits and responses to persuasive appeals: Results from voter turnout experiments. Political Behavior 35 (4): 687–728.Google Scholar
  26. Goodman, J.K., C.E. Cryder, and A. Cheema. 2013. Data collection in a flat world: The strengths and weaknesses of Mechanical Turk samples. Journal of Behavioral Decision Making 26 (3): 213–224.Google Scholar
  27. Hasselback, D. 2014. Corporate social responsibility is about the action, not the talk. Financial Post. http://business.financialpost.com/legal-post/corporate-social-responsibility-is-about-the-action-not-the-talk.
  28. Hayes, N., and S. Joseph. 2003. Big 5 correlates of three measures of subjective well-being. Personality and Individual Differences 34 (4): 723–727.Google Scholar
  29. Holden, C.J., T. Dennie, and A.D. Hicks. 2013. Assessing the reliability of the M5-120 on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Computers in Human Behavior 29 (4): 1749–1754.Google Scholar
  30. Hopp, W. 2014. Why social responsibility needs to be more than Just A Fad. http://www.fastcompany.com/3039427/why-social-responsibility-needs-to-be-more-than-just-a-fad. Accessed 19 Dec 2014
  31. Horn, J. 2014. Patagonia’s new line of activism is documentary “DamNation.” Los Angeles Times. http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/movies/la-et-mn-backstage-hollywood-patagonia-damnation-20140501-story.html#page=1.
  32. Jenkins, R. 2005. Globalization, corporate social responsibility and poverty. International Affairs 81 (3): 525–540.Google Scholar
  33. John, O.P., and S. Srivastava. 1999. The Big Five trait taxonomy: History, measurement, and theoretical perspectives. Handbook of Personality: Theory and Research 2 (1999): 102–138.Google Scholar
  34. Kent, M.L., M. Taylor, and W.J. White. 2003. The relationship between Web site design and organizational responsiveness to stakeholders. Relations Review 29 (1): 63–77.Google Scholar
  35. Kim, Y. 2014. Strategic communication of corporate social responsibility (CSR): Effects of stated motives and corporate reputation on stakeholder responses. Public Relations Review 40: 838–840.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2014.07.005.Google Scholar
  36. Kim, Y.J., and W.-N. Lee. 2009. Overcoming consumer skepticism in cause-related marketing: The effects of corporate social responsibility and donation size claim objectivity. Journal of Promotion Management 15: 465–483.  https://doi.org/10.1080/10496490903270232.Google Scholar
  37. Kim, S.-Y., and B.H. Reber. 2008. Public relations’ place in corporate social responsibility: Practitioners define their role. Public Relations Review 34 (4): 337–342.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2008.07.003.Google Scholar
  38. King, B. 2013. Managing the reputational and market risks of social activism. KelloggInsight. https://insight.kellogg.northwestern.edu/article/managing_the_reputational_and_market_risks_of_social_activism.
  39. Lange, D., and N.T. Washburn. 2012. Understanding attributions of corporate social irresponsibility. Academy of Management Review 37: 300–326.Google Scholar
  40. Lauritsen, B.D., and K.J. Perks. 2015. The influence of interactive, non-interactive, implicit and explicit CSR communication on young adults perceptions of UK supermarkets’ corporate brand image and reputation. Corporate Communications: An International Journal 20: 178–195.Google Scholar
  41. Lii, Y.-S., and M. Lee. 2012. Doing right leads to doing well: When the type of CSR and reputation interact to affect consumer evaluations of the firm. Journal of Business Ethics 105 (1): 69–81.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0948-0.Google Scholar
  42. Lin, C.H., H.L. Yang, and D.Y. Liou. 2009. The impact of corporate social responsibility on financial performance: Evidence from business in Taiwan. Technology in Society 31 (1): 56–63.Google Scholar
  43. Lounsbury, J.W., N. Foster, H. Patel, P. Carmody, L.W. Gibson, and D.R. Stairs. 2012. An investigation of the personality traits of scientists versus nonscientists and their relationship with career satisfaction. R&D Management 42 (1): 47–59.Google Scholar
  44. Luo, X., and C.B. Bhattacharya. 2006. Corporate social responsibility, customer satisfaction, and market value. Journal of Marketing 70: 1–18.Google Scholar
  45. Mason, W., and S. Suri. 2012. Conducting behavioral research on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk. Behavior Research Methods 44 (1): 1–23.Google Scholar
  46. Mathur, A., F.S. Ong, C.K. Fatt, P. Rakrachakarn, and G.P. Moschis. 2017. Beyond cognitive age: Developing a multitheoretical measure of age and its assessment. Journal of Marketing Analytics 5: 31–42.  https://doi.org/10.1057/s41270-017-0011-9.Google Scholar
  47. Moon, J., and X. Shen. 2010. CSR in China research: Salience, focus and nature. Journal of Business Ethics 94 (4): 613–629.Google Scholar
  48. Mulyanegara, R.C., Y. Tsarenko, and A. Anderson. 2009. The Big Five and brand personality: Investigating the impact of consumer personality on preferences towards particular brand personality. Journal of Brand Management 16 (4): 234–247.Google Scholar
  49. Öberseder, M., B.B. Schlegelmilch, and V. Gruber. 2011. “Why don’t consumers care about CSR?”: A qualitative study exploring the role of CSR in consumption decisions. Journal of Business Ethics 104 (4): 449–460.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-011-0925-7.Google Scholar
  50. Paolacci, G., J. Chandler, and P.G. Ipeirotis. 2010. Running experiments on amazon mechanical turk.Google Scholar
  51. Pirsch, J., S. Gupta, and S.L. Grau. 2007. A framework for understanding corporate social responsibility programs as a continuum: An exploratory study. Journal of Business Ethics 70 (2): 125–140.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-006-9100-y.Google Scholar
  52. Plewa, C., J. Conduit, P. Quester, and C. Johnson. 2015. The impact of corporate volunteering on CSR image: A consumer perspective. Journal of Business Ethics 127: 643–659.Google Scholar
  53. Pomering, A., and S. Dolnicar. 2009. Assessing the prerequisite of successful CSR implementation: Are consumers aware of CSR initiatives? Journal of Business Ethics 85: 285–301.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9729-9.Google Scholar
  54. Rexhepi, G., S. Kurtishi, and G. Bexheti. 2013. Corporate social responsibility (CSR) and innovation—The drivers of business growth? Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences 75: 532–541.Google Scholar
  55. Ridgell, S.D., and Lounsbury, J.W. 2004. Predicting academic success: General intelligence, big five personality traits, and work drive. College Student Journal 38 (4).Google Scholar
  56. Schmeltz, L. 2012. Consumer-oriented CSR communication: Focusing on ability or morality? Corporate Communications: An International Journal 17: 29–49.  https://doi.org/10.1108/13563281211196344.Google Scholar
  57. Schmeltz, L. 2014. Introducing value-based framing as a strategy for communicating CSR. Social Responsibility Journal 10 (1): 184–206.Google Scholar
  58. Schmitt, D.P., A. Realo, M. Voracek, and J. Allik. 2008. Why can’t a man be more like a woman? Sex differences in Big Five personality traits across 55 cultures. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 94: 168–182.  https://doi.org/10.1037/0022-3514.94.1.168.Google Scholar
  59. Shaver, P.R., and K.A. Brennan. 1992. Attachment styles and the” Big Five” personality traits: Their connections with each other and with romantic relationship outcomes. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 18 (5): 536–545.Google Scholar
  60. Skarmeas, D., and C.N. Leonidou. 2013. When consumers doubt, Watch out! The role of CSR skepticism. Journal of Business Research 66: 1831–1838.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.02.004.Google Scholar
  61. Skarmeas, D., C.N. Leonidou, and C. Saridakis. 2014. Examining the role of CSR skepticism using fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis. Journal of Business Research 67: 1796–1805.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.12.010.Google Scholar
  62. Soto, C.J., O.P. John, S.D. Gosling, and J. Potter. 2011. Age differences in personality traits from 10 to 65: Big five domains and facets in a large cross-sectional sample. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 100: 330–348.  https://doi.org/10.1037/a0021717.Google Scholar
  63. Tang, Z., C.E. Hull, and S. Rothenberg. 2012. How corporate social responsibility engagement strategy moderates the CSR–financial performance relationship. Journal of Management Studies 49 (7): 1274–1303.Google Scholar
  64. Tian, Z., R. Wang, and W. Yang. 2011. Consumer responses to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in China. Journal of business ethics 101 (2): 197–212.Google Scholar
  65. Vander Weyer, M. (2014). Forget corporate social responsibility: Just do a proper job. http://specc.ie/1tv5wpC.
  66. Vanhamme, J., and B. Grobben. 2009. “Too good to be true!”. The Effectiveness of CSR history in countering negative publicity. Journal of Business Ethics 85 (2): 273–283.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-008-9731-2.Google Scholar
  67. Wagner, T., R.J. Lutz, and B.A. Weitz. 2009. Corporate hypocrisy: Overcoming the threat of inconsistent corporate social responsibility perceptions. Journal of marketing 73 (6): 77–91.Google Scholar
  68. Walumbwa, F.O., and J. Schaubroeck. 2009. Leader personality traits and employee voice behavior: Mediating roles of ethical leadership and work group psychological safety. Journal of Applied Psychology 94 (5): 1275.Google Scholar
  69. Yoon, Y., Z. Gürhan-Canli, and N. Schwarz. 2006. The effect of corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities on companies with bad reputations. Journal of Consumer Psychology 16: 377–390.  https://doi.org/10.1207/s15327663jcp1604_9.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited & Reputation Institute 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of JournalismWestern Washington UniversityBellinghamUSA
  2. 2.Advertising, Public Relations and Media DesignUniversity of ColoradoBoulderUSA

Personalised recommendations