Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine multinational corporations’ (MNCs) response strategy in social media to effectively communicate their international CSR practices. Design/methodology/approach: An experiment was conducted by adopting a case of an MNC’s globalized CSR campaign in United Arab Emirates. The interaction effects of corporate communication strategy and company’s response sidedness were examined as well as a mediating role of the perceived altruism. Findings: The current study suggests how two-sided response strategy can be applied and benefits MNCs’ international CSR campaigns. The findings demonstrate that a company’s two-sided response helps to increase people’s attitude toward the company and word-of-mouth intention through enhanced perceived altruism when the company has no prior CSR experience in a host country. Practical implications: The current study provides insights on how to respond to negative publicity in social media. MNCs are suggested to use different response strategies based on their prior CSR experience in a host country. Originality/value: The success of CSR depends on how consumers take the message and perceive a company’s motive of CSR. The current study examines how to best respond to the consumers’ criticism by utilizing message sidedness strategies depending on the company’s presence of CSR.
- Consumer criticism
- Corporate social responsibility
- Global campaign
- Message sidedness
- Multinational companies