What happens when brands tell the truth? Exploring the effects of transparency signaling on corporate reputation for agribusiness

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Abstract

This study focused on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) within agribusiness–an industry confronted with particularly high expectations from its societal environment. This study examined the effects of transparency signaling and its interaction with the nature of CSR on publics’ evaluation of an agribusiness company with regards to perceived integrity, perceived competence, and company reputation. Our findings showed that high transparency signaling led to higher perceived integrity, but there were no significant effects on perceived competence and company reputation. Moreover, the effects of transparency signaling were moderated by the nature of CSR on company reputation. The study also revealed that perceived integrity influenced the relationship between transparency and company reputation, while perceived competence was not influenced by transparency signaling. Researchers discuss the implications of these findings for communication professionals sharing CSR information, especially for high involvement industries like food and agriculture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-459
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Applied Communication Research
Volume47
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 4 2019

Keywords

  • CSR report
  • Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
  • company reputation
  • transparency
  • trust

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