Examining the impact of message frames on information seeking and processing: A new integrated theoretical model

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Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to apply the situational theory of publics and framing theory in the context of environmental corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication research to determine how message frames impact information seeking and processing. Design/methodology/approach: Using a 3 (message frame: diagnostic, prognostic, or motivational) × 2 (environmental issue: general vs specific) plus control between subjects experimental design, the study examines the attitudes, cognitions, and behavioral intentions different publics may form about two different environmental responsibility issues presented in this study. Furthermore, the study aims to examine how different types of message frames (diagnostic, prognostic, or motivational) and topics may impact how a company can move a public toward information seeking behaviors. Findings: Based on theoretical considerations, structural equation modeling was used to examine significant paths between variables, thus creating a proposed new theoretical model that can be applied to CSR, public relations, and strategic communication literature. Originality/value: The study offers a proposed new integrated theoretical model that can be applied to strategic communication literature and used to assist companies with enhancing their CSR communication and strategic communication planning efforts to determine how to move a public toward information seeking behaviors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)327-345
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Communication Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 24 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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