Corporate crises call for effective communication to shelter or restore a company’s reputation. The use of corporate social responsibility (CSR) claims may provide an effective tool to counter the negative impact of a crisis, but knowledge about its effectiveness is scarce and lacking in studies that consider CSR communication during crises. To help fill this gap, this study investigates whether the length of company’s involvement in CSR matters when it uses CSR claims in its crisis communication as a means to counter negative publicity. The use of CSR claims in crisis communication is more effective for companies with a long CSR history than for those with a short CSR history, and consumer skepticism about claims lies at the heart of this phenomenon.

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ERIM Top-Core Articles
Journal of Business Ethics
Erasmus Research Institute of Management

Vanhamme, J., & Grobben, B. (2009). "That's too good to be true!": The Effectiveness of CSR History in Countering Negative Publicity. Journal of Business Ethics, 85(SUPPL. 2), 273–283. doi:10.1007/s10551-008-9731-2