Studies highlight the importance of corporate social responsibility (CSR) for companies' stakeholders. Consumers, however, are often unaware of such initiatives. Understanding how to effectively communicate socially responsible initiatives is an important challenge for both researchers and managers, who invest considerable resources in CSR initiatives. This study examines consumers' responses to two types of CSR initiatives (environment-related and employee-based) using two types of message appeals (emotional and rational) across two service types (hedonic and utilitarian). Responses provide data on consumers' awareness of CSR initiatives, attitudes toward the company, perceived company uniqueness, emotional response, and attributions of company motives to engage in CSR activities. Rational appeals more effectively communicate environment-related CSR initiatives, whereas emotional appeals more effectively communicate employee-based CSR initiatives. Effects on consumers' attributions of company motives to engage in CSR are significant in both service types. Finally, rational message appeals affect consumers' CSR awareness and emotional responses in utilitarian service.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes