Taehoon Park

Date of Award

Spring 2019

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Moore School of Business

First Advisor

Elise Chandon Ince

Second Advisor

Anastasiya Pocheptsova Ghosh


The author investigates the roles of consumer inferences and consumer suspicion in responses to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) activities by companies.

Chapter 1 examines how consumers infer a company’s motive for its prosocial activity when the same company is also involved in a socially harmful accident. When a company is involved in both CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) and CSI (Corporate Social Irresponsibility), consumers can infer the motive for the CSR campaign from the temporal order of these two events. The author further proposes that this effect will be moderated by perceived invested effort in CSR campaign. Specifically, high effort invested by the firm in the CSR reduces consumers’ focus on the potential ulterior motive of the company, which, in turn, improves consumer reaction to the campaign, but only when the CSR precedes the CSI. Thus, companies invested effort in CSR has differential payoffs depending on CSR-CSI temporal order.

Chapter 2 examines how the language form of CSR communication messages affects consumers inferences about company’s motive for proposal activity. The author predicts that passive form CSR communication messages lead to more favorable company evaluation when consumers have a high suspicion of the company. Based on linguistics literature, the author argues that passive form CSR messages shift the readers' interpretation focus from the agent (company) to the acted-upon agent (CSR campaign), increasing attitude toward the company.


© 2019, Taehoon Park