Consumer skepticism towards Corporate-NGO partnerships: The impact of CSR motives, message frame and fit

Jasmin Schade, Yijing Wang*, Anne-Marie van Prooijen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – Corporate-NGO partnerships are gaining increasing importance as part of a company’s CSR effort. This study aims to understand which communication tactics (CSR motive, CSR message frame, CSR fit) lead to more positive consumer outcomes in the context of corporate-NGO partnerships, and whether consumer skepticism and consumer trust mediate the proposed relationships.
Design/methodology/approach – An online experiment was conducted (N 5 298) to examine the theoretical predictions, involving a 2 (CSR motive: firm-serving/public-serving) x 2 (CSR message frame: narrative/
expositive) x 2 (CSR fit: high/low) between-subjects design.
Findings – The results confirmed that consumer attitudes and electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) can be affected by CSR motives and CSR fit. Also, CSR skepticism and consumer trust both mediate the relationship of CSR motives and consumer outcomes.
Practical implications – The results of this study make a strong case for expressing public-serving CSR motives and refraining from firm-serving CSR motives when communicating about a corporate-NGO partnership to consumers.
Originality/value – Focusing on the communication tactics of corporate-NGO partnerships extends existing literature by uncovering whether and how the factors driving effective communication in other CSR activities can be applied to the context of corporate-NGO partnerships.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-55
Number of pages17
JournalCorporate Communications: an International Journal
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Jasmin Schade, Yijing Wang and Anne-Marie van Prooijen.

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