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EMAC 2022 Annual

The Use of CSR Advertisements by Different Business Models and Its Effects on the Perception of Corporate Credibility

Published: May 24, 2022


Verena Batt, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Finja Fischenbeck, Unity AG; Adrienne Schäfer, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Karina Von dem Berge, Lucerne School of Business / Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Katharina Windler, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts; Anja Zimmermann, Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts


In this study, we examine the influence of CSR advertisements by companies with different business models on perceived corporate credibility. We compare the business models of social enterprises and for-profit firms. We assume that for-profit firms’ CSR messages lack credibility due to the inconsistency between social engagement and the strong profit maximisation objective embedded in their business model. In contrast, since social enterprises pursue a primarily social mission, we assume that their communication of social and environmental commitments is perceived more credible. To test our hypotheses, we conduct independent t-tests and regression analyses based on data of 109 participants of an online experiment. We find that CSR advertisements by social enterprises lead to a higher degree of perceived corporate credibility compared to for-profit firms and that perceived manipulative intent mediates the effect of CSR advertisements on the perception of corporate credibility.