Purpose: This study aims at investigating the differential impact of different CSR communication strategies on consumers' brand trust and consequent attitudes and behaviors in the credence goods market. Design/methodology/approach: An experimental laboratory study was conducted to collect data from graduate students (n = 414) from two Chinese universities. Structural equation modeling was used to test the hypothesized model. Findings: The results show that a dialogical communication strategy, compared to a monological communication strategy, is significantly more effective in increasing consumers' brand trust for credence goods as well as their willingness-to-buy and positive word-of-mouth. The results also confirm the mediating effect of CSR knowledge and the moderating effect of broad-scope trust on the relationship between CSR communication strategies and brand trust. Practical implications: This study implies that in order to promote consumer trust and supportive behaviors toward brands, managers of companies in credence goods market should consider the increased use of various dialogical CSR communication strategies. Originality/value: The study is one of the first to verify the impact of dialogical vs monological CSR communication strategies on consumers of credence goods.
- Brand trust
- Broad-scope trust
- Corporate social responsibility communication
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Business and International Management
- Strategy and Management