Communicating a company's positive impact on society - can plausible explanations secure authenticity?

J Rekom, FM Go, DM (Dayenne) Calter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

41 Citations (Scopus)


Organizations could prosper by delivering products and services that make society a better place. However, they face the challenge of successfully communicating what they contribute to society, especially if their contributions are closely related to their core business activities. The thin line between genuine societal engagement and the pursuit of profitability may feed society's increasing skepticism about the genuineness of organizations' care for societal issues. This study addresses the question of how a for-profit organization can successfully communicate what it intends to contribute to society while still coming across as authentic. If customers can explain the organization's envisaged societal contributions in terms of characteristics of the organization, they can see more clearly how its contributions fit the organization and will perceive the organization as more authentic. Perceived authenticity, in turn, increases customer loyalty and perceived fit enhances stakeholders' attitudes toward the organization's societal engagement.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1831-1838
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Business Research
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2014


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