In two experiments, we investigated the effects of positive and negative attribute framing in corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication on consumer attitudes toward the firm and purchase intentions. Study 1 shows a positive main effect of positively framed CSR communication with consumer perceived corporate hypocrisy and CSR associations as mediators. This effect tends to be stronger for products that consumers can evaluate more (as compared to less) easily. Study 2 replicates the positive main effect of Study 1 and finds the effect to be stronger for CSR communication with concrete (as compared to vague) arguments. In combination, the findings provide new insights into how attribute framing in CSR communication affects consumer reactions, additionally demonstrating product type and message specificity as boundary conditions.

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Journal of Business Research
Business-Society Management

Bartikowski, B., & Berens, G. (2021). Attribute framing in CSR communication: Doing good and spreading the word – But how?. Journal of Business Research. doi:10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.12.059