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Title:
An experimental analysis of the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions within the context of corporate credibility
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Book
Language:
English
Creator:
Hudak, Ashlea
Publisher:
University of South Florida
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Tampa, Fla
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Subjects / Keywords:
Corporate credibility
Corporate social responsibility
Theory of reasoned action
Chipotle
Dissertations, Academic -- Mass Communications -- Masters -- USF   ( lcsh )
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non-fiction   ( marcgt )

Notes

Summary:
ABSTRACT: Recently, the use of corporate social responsibility initiatives has grown in popularity and prominence among organizations as research increasingly suggests that these initiatives positively impact the corporation's bottom line. This study contributes to theory driven research in strategic communications by using an experimental design to test the influence of six distinct corporate social responsibility initiatives, as identified by Kotler and Lee (2005), on the beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intention of message receivers, using Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action as a theoretical framework. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), attitudes about an object are the result of the total of many varying beliefs about the object. This study extends understanding of the Dual Credibility Model by examining the influence of corporate credibility as a belief set and mediator between organizations and their target publics.This study is uniquely focused on developing a better understanding of how corporate social responsibility initiatives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility beliefs. Findings do not indicate significant differences among corporate social responsibility initiatives. Only significant differences between using and not using an initiative were found. However, among the initiatives cause related marketing demonstrated the highest mean score, although not a significant difference. CSR initiatives do influence belief sets, specifically CSR beliefs. The corporate credibility/ trust belief set showed the strongest positive influence on attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the organization. Attitude towards the organization demonstrated a significant influence on behavioral intention toward the organization. These results support the theory of reasoned action.Exploratory research found that corporate credibility/trust and corporate credibility/expertise directly and significantly influenced behavioral intention toward the organization, suggesting an extension of the theory within the context of corporate credibility.
Thesis:
Thesis (M.A.)--University of South Florida, 2008.
Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references.
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Mode of access: World Wide Web.
System Details:
System requirements: World Wide Web browser and PDF reader.
Statement of Responsibility:
by Ashlea Hudak.
General Note:
Title from PDF of title page.
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Document formatted into pages; contains 99 pages.

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aleph - 001999210
oclc - 318186086
usfldc doi - E14-SFE0002444
usfldc handle - e14.2444
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ABSTRACT: Recently, the use of corporate social responsibility initiatives has grown in popularity and prominence among organizations as research increasingly suggests that these initiatives positively impact the corporation's bottom line. This study contributes to theory driven research in strategic communications by using an experimental design to test the influence of six distinct corporate social responsibility initiatives, as identified by Kotler and Lee (2005), on the beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intention of message receivers, using Fishbein and Ajzen's (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action as a theoretical framework. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), attitudes about an object are the result of the total of many varying beliefs about the object. This study extends understanding of the Dual Credibility Model by examining the influence of corporate credibility as a belief set and mediator between organizations and their target publics.This study is uniquely focused on developing a better understanding of how corporate social responsibility initiatives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility beliefs. Findings do not indicate significant differences among corporate social responsibility initiatives. Only significant differences between using and not using an initiative were found. However, among the initiatives cause related marketing demonstrated the highest mean score, although not a significant difference. CSR initiatives do influence belief sets, specifically CSR beliefs. The corporate credibility/ trust belief set showed the strongest positive influence on attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the organization. Attitude towards the organization demonstrated a significant influence on behavioral intention toward the organization. These results support the theory of reasoned action.Exploratory research found that corporate credibility/trust and corporate credibility/expertise directly and significantly influenced behavioral intention toward the organization, suggesting an extension of the theory within the context of corporate credibility.
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An Experimental Analysis of the Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives on Beliefs, Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions Within the Context of Corporate Credibility by Ashlea Hudak A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts School of Mass Communications College of Arts and Sciences University of South Florida Major Professor: Kelly Page Werder, Ph.D. Derina Holtzhausen, Ph.D. Kelli Burns, Ph.D. Date of Approval: April 7, 2008 Keywords: corporate credibility, corporate social responsibility. theory of reasoned action, Chipotle Copyright 2008, Ashlea Hudak

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to take this opportunity to thank the people who have helped me succeed in my graduate school and thesis e ndeavors. I would like to thank all of the University of South Florida School of Ma ss Communications faculty and staff for the support throughout both my graduate and unde rgraduate academic careers at USF. I would like to especially thank my thesis ch air, Dr. Kelly Page Werder, for her guidance during the thesis proce ss. I would also like to thank my committee members, Dr. Derina Holtzhausen and Dr. Kelli Burns, for taking time to assist me in my research and scholarly pursuits. I would also like to th ank USF College of Nursing Dean, Patricia Burns and Administrative Coordinator, Guy Engelhardht for their gracious support and flexibility. Finally, I would like to thank my close friends and family for being understanding, encourag ing, and supportive.

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i TABLE OF CONTENTS List of Tables iii List of Figures iv Abstract v Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Introduction to the Study 1 Background to the Study 3 Purpose and Hypotheses 4 Significance of the Study 6 Chapter 2: Review of the Literature 9 Introduction 9 Corporate Cause Promotion 12 Cause Related Marketing 13 Corporate Social Marketing 14 Corporate Philanthropy 14 Community Volunteering 15 Socially Responsible Business Practices 16 Corporate Credibility 17 Dual Credibility Model 20 Theory of Reasoned Action 22 Purpose and Hypotheses 26 Chapter 3: Methodology 31 Participants 33 Stimulus Materials 34 Instrumentation 43 Manipulation Check 46 Data Analysis 48 Chapter 4: Results 49 Tests of Hypotheses 54 Chapter 5: Discussion 66 Chapter 6: Conclusion 75

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ii References 79 Appendix A: Treatments 86 Appendix B: Questionnaire 93

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iii LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments 36 Table 2 Manipulation Check Results 47 Table 3 Item Mean and Standard Deviations 49 Table 4 Cronbach’s alpha for multiple-item indexes 50 Table 5 Corporate Credibility/trust belief set mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment 52 Table 6 Corporate Credibility/expertise belief set mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment 53 Table 7 Corporate Social Responsibility belief set mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment 53 Table 8 CSR belief ANOVA Bonfe rroni Post Hoc Results 55 Table 9 Belief Set/ Attitude Set Correlations 58 Table 10 Belief sets influence on Attitude toward the Advertisement 59 Table 11 Belief sets influence on Attitude toward the Organization 60 Table 12 Attitude Sets/ Subjective Norm Correlations 61 Table 13 Attitude Sets and Subjective Norm influence on Behavioral Intention 62 Table 14 Exploratory Re search Correlations 63 Table 15 Belief sets influen ce on Behavioral Intention 64

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iv LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Model of hypothesized influence of CSR initiatives on beliefs, attitudes, and beha vioral intentions 30 Figure 2. CSR Belief Set Mediator Model 74

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v An Experimental Analysis of the Influence of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives on Beliefs, Attitudes and Behavioral Intentions Within the Context of Corporate Credibility Ashlea Hudak ABSTRACT Recently, the use of corporate social re sponsibility initiatives has grown in popularity and prominence among organizations as research increasingly suggests that these initiatives positively impact the corpora tion’s bottom line. This study contributes to theory driven research in strategic communications by usi ng an experimental design to test the influence of six distin ct corporate social responsibilit y initiatives, as identified by Kotler and Lee (2005), on the beliefs, attit udes, and behavioral intention of message receivers, using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action as a theoretical framework. According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), attitudes about an object are the result of the total of many varying beliefs about the object. This study extends understanding of the Dual Cr edibility Model by examining the influence of corporate credibility as a belief set and mediator be tween organizations and their target publics. This study is uniquely focused on developi ng a better understanding of how corporate social responsibility initiatives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility beliefs.

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vi Findings do not indicate significant differences among corporate social responsibility initiatives. On ly significant differences betw een using and not using an initiative were found. However, among th e initiatives cause related marketing demonstrated the highest mean score, although not a significant difference. CSR initiatives do influence belief sets, specifica lly CSR beliefs. The corporate credibility/ trust belief set showed the strongest po sitive influence on attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the or ganization. Attitude towards the organization demonstrated a significant influence on beha vioral intention toward the organization. These results support the theo ry of reasoned action. Expl oratory research found that corporate credibility/trust and corporate cred ibility/expertise directly and significantly influenced behavioral intention toward the organization, suggesting an extension of the theory within the context of corporate credibility.

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1 CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION Introduction to the Study Strategic communications pract itioners often advise clients to employ elements of corporate social responsibility to build relationships with strategic publics and enhance public perceptions of the corporation. “An essent ial role of public relations is to maintain or enhance a company’s reputation so it can serve its customers pr ofitably” (Koten, 1997, p. 149). According to Austin and Pinklet on (2001), an organization’s corporate citizenship focuses on factors with civic si gnificance (Kendall, 1996; Austin & Pinkleton, 2001, p. 61). Corporations are progressively seek ing to make corporate contributions that support both community and organizational goa ls. Corporate contributions are intended to benefit communities as well as to imp rove profitability (Koten, 1997, p. 149). Over the last few years, the trend toward s charitable giving has increased in both the corporate and private sect or. According to a Giving USA (2007) press release, overall charitable giving in the United States exceeded $295 billion dollars in 2006, setting a new record. Corporate and foundation donations contribute $12.72 billion to this total. “Without the 2005 disaster relief gifts include d, corporate giving is estimated to have increased 1.5 percent in 2006” (Giving USA, 2007). Furthermore, Fortune magazine (2006) reports strong confidence in the compe titive profitability of organizations that engage in corporate social responsibility in itiatives and corporate giving. “About one in every ten dollars of assets under management in the U.S. an estimated $2.3 trillion out of $24 trillion is being invested in companies th at rate highly on some measure of social responsibility. Thats a $2.3 trillion wage r that socially responsible companies will

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2 outperform companies that dont engage a wide array of stakeholders ” (Fortune Magazine, 2006). Corporate social responsibility is especia lly relevant to strategic communications because it is important to take a strategic approach to this type of communication (Werder, 2008). “Creating awareness of CSR practices among key stakeholders requires accurate and timely communication” (p. 3). Hi storically, literature on corporate social responsibility lacks research on the co mmunication methods best employed to accomplish organizational goals through the us e of corporate social responsibility initiatives. “By including such techniques, one can enhance the development and overall impact of managing corpor ate-stakeholder relationshi ps” (Clark, 2000, p. 363). Many scholars consider stra tegic communications to be the function within a corporation that should and does engage the organization in corporate social responsibility initiatives. A ccording to Golob and Bartle tt (2007), relationships and communication with key stakeholders “forms a central charter for public relations in communicating and creating mutual understand ing” (p. 1). According to Hon (2007), there are clients of strategi c communications practitione rs who possess an advanced understanding of communications principles and values, includi ng the importance of corporate social responsibility (p. 14). Strategic communicat ion provides a framework for corporate social responsibility communi cation because, by definition, strategic communication encompasses all communica tions disciplines that further an organization’s mission (Hallahan, Holtzhause n, Van Ruler, Vercic, & Krishnamurthy, 2007).

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3 Background to the Study Corporations engage in practices that they hope will improve profits as well as relationships with key stake holders such as investors, consumers, employees, and the community. “Corporations are now finding that stakeholders expect them to have an ethical, and not necessarily financial, inte rest in their policies and how those policies affect the rest of the world” (Center & Jackson, 2003, p. 387). Companies benefit from contributions to society that minimize th e negative effects on the environment. It is increasingly possible to tie the use of social responsibil ity initiatives to positive financial results (Kotler & Lee, 2005) Surveys indicate that consumers view corporations that support a cause more favor ably than those that do not. “Their buying decisions are influence by a company’s commitment to a cause, and they believe companies are obligated to give back to the community in some way” (Iacono, 2007, p. 11). Kotler and Lee (2005) identified six initi ative types under which most corporate social responsibility practices and actions fit. They include: 1) corporate cause promotions, 2) cause-related marketing, 3) corporate social mark eting, 4) corporate philanthropy, 5) community volun teering, and 6) socially resp onsible business practices. The credibility of the corpor ation engaged in the corpor ate social responsibility initiative is important be cause the communications init iative’s success depends on the audience’s perception of the organization. “T he success or failure of the entire public relations transaction can hi nge on how the source of co mmunication, the spokesperson for the client or organization, is percei ved by the intended audience” (Hendrix, 2004, p. 37).

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4 Credibility has been increasingly linked to corporate social responsibility research. Carrigan and Attalla ( 2001) suggest that ethical behavi or is an important factor in determining purchase intention (p. 564). Results of a study by Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell (2002) indicate that corporate cr edibility has a sign ificance influence on consumers’ attitudes and behavioral intention. Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action suggests that an individual’s beliefs about an object affect their attitudes about the object, that the attitudes affect behavioral in tentions regarding the object, and behavioral intentions influence the behavior of the individual (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 14). According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), attitudes about an object are the result of the total of many varying beliefs about the object. “A person’s attitude toward so me object is related to the set of his beliefs about the obj ect but not necessarily to a ny specific belief” (Fishbein & Ajzen, p.14). The theory of reasoned acti on, which is based on the conceptual relationships between the variables of belief, attitude, behavioral in tention, and behavior, offers a framework for the study of the infl uence of corporate so cial responsibility initiatives on audience receiver variables, including belief se ts about corporate credibility and social responsibility. Purpose and Hypotheses This study seeks to contribute to th e current body of knowledge about the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on rece iver variables. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to further cu rrent theory-driven strategic communications research by using an experimental design to test the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on be liefs, attitudes, and behavior al intentions. This study is

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5 uniquely focused on developing a better unders tanding of how CSR initiatives influence corporate credibility and corporate social respon sibility belief sets. Therefore, it asks the following research question and tests a related hypothesis. RQ1: How do corporate social responsibility initiatives differ in their influence on receiver belief sets? H1: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives influence receiver belief sets. P1.1: Corporate social responsibility initiatives influence corporate credibility beliefs. P1.2: Corporate social responsibility initiativ es influence corporate social responsibility beliefs. This study seeks to extend We rder’s (2008) research that examined the effects of corporate social responsibility initiatives identified by Kotle r and Lee (2005) on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral in tentions using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action. This study uniquely focuse s on the link between corporate social responsibility initiatives and th eir impact on corporate credibi lity beliefs. It extends the research of Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell’s (2002) Dual Credibility Model and seeks to understand the influence of corporate credibil ity as a belief set and mediator between corporate social responsibility initiatives and their subse quent influence on receiver attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the organization, and behavioral intention toward the organization. Theref ore, it posits the following hypoyheses and related propositions:

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6 H2: Receiver belief sets infl uence receiver attitude sets. P2.1: Corporate credibility belief sets influence attitude toward the advertisement. P2.2: Corporate social responsibility belief sets influence attitude toward the advertisement. P2.3: Corporate credibility belief sets influence attitude toward the organization. P2.4: Corporate social responsibility belief sets influence attitude toward the organization. H3: Receiver attitude sets influence receiver behavioral intention sets. P3.1: Attitude toward the ad influences behavioral intention toward the organization. P3.2: Attitude toward the organization influence behavioral intention toward the organization. Significance of the Study This study seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge about corporate social responsibility initiatives. It is uniquely focused on devel oping a better understanding of how CSR initiatives influence corporate credib ility. As such, it attempts to contribute to strategic communications theory development, practice, and pedagogy. This research seeks to position corporate social responsibility within a strategic communications framework. It seeks to cont ribute to theory development through an experimental methodology testing the influen ce of corporate social responsibility initiatives outlined by Kotler and Lee (2005) on receiver’s beliefs, attitudes, and

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7 behavioral intention. This research tests the theory of reasoned act ion in a new context. As one of the first strategic communications theory-driven studies to address corporate social responsibility using the framework of the theory of reasoned action, this study extends application of the theory and contribut es to marketing literature on the topic of corporate social responsibility. This study will influence strategic co mmunications and marketing practice through the identification of the most successful corporate soci al responsibility initiatives and the contingent environment in which they are effective. This knowledge will benefit practice as organizations can plan corporate social responsibility strategies that will help them reach their goals, which may include improved relationships with key publics, increased financial earnings, and brand awareness. This research will, over time, also im pact strategic communications pedagogy through the accumulation of case studies demons trating the use of successful corporate social responsibility initiative strategies. This study may influence how educators teach strategic communications and inform strategic communicati ons students about corporate social responsibility. With minimal research on this topic within the strategic communications context, this study will also serve as a building block for further strategic communications theo ry-driven research in the area of corporate social responsibility. Findings of the study will be valuable to strategic communications theory, its practitioners, educators, marketing professi onals, and organizations in general. The findings of this study will benefit practi tioners through the creation of new knowledge and support of previous information about corp orate social responsibility effectiveness.

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8 Educators will embrace the extension of knowle dge, as there is currently very little evidence-based research in this area, and actively impart this information to their students. Organizations and corporations will benefit from the practical knowledge gained through this study. An understanding of the most successful corporate social responsibility initiatives will help organizations more eff ectively communicate to achieve their goals. The next chapter contains a review of relevant literatu re. This is followed by the methodology, which describes the methods and pr ocedures used to conduct this research. The results chapter provides a review of the data analysis and re search findings. The discussion chapter provides a overview of the findings of this study, as well its significance and limitations. Finally, the conclusi on offers directions for future research.

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9 CHAPTER TWO: REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE Introduction Recently, the use of corporate social re sponsibility initiatives has grown in popularity and prominence in the U.S. as co rporations progressively seek to make strategic corporate contributi ons that support both the comm unity and their bottom line. This study seeks to contribute to stra tegic communication theory through the development of an understanding of corporate social responsibility initiatives. According to Hallahan, Holtzhausen, Van Ruler, Vercic, and Sriramesh (2007), strategic communication is defined as the purposeful use of communication by an organization to fulfill its mission. Strategic communication, a developing field that seeks to meet the needs of today’s changing corporate co mmunications climate, constitutes all communications disciplines that further an organization’s mi ssion, thus providing a framework for the study of corporate social responsibility and corporate credibility. Although their specific activiti es can be conceptualized in various ways—from coordinating administrative functions to product promotion and relationship building—all of these disciplines involve th e organization, defined in its broadest sense, communicating purposefully to adva nce its mission. This is the essence of strategic communication. It further implies that people will be engaged in deliberate communication practi ce on behalf of organizatio ns, causes, and social movements (Hallahan et al., 2007, p. 4). This research seeks to examine corpor ate social responsib ility and corporate credibility in the context of strategic co mmunication management. The following section reviews literature relevant to this study. The literat ure review brings together the concepts of corporate social responsibility, cor porate credibility, and the independent and dependent variables of the theory of reasoned action. Corporate Social Responsibility

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10 Boone and Kurtz (2005) define social re sponsibility as “marketing philosophies, policies, procedures, and actions that have the enhancement of society’s welfare as a primary objective” (p. 89). In addition, social re sponsibility has close ties with the public relations practice of symmetrical communi cation. “According to this philosophy, the mission of public relations is to develop and maintain win-win situations for the organization and the publics on whose goodwill it s success depends… the implications of evolving relationships can have long-ter m, measurable effects on the bottom line” (Austin & Pinkleton, 2001, pp. 274-6).) Research suggests that ethi cal behavior is a factor in determining purchase inte ntion (Carrigan & Attalla, 2001, p. 564). Corporations engage in practices that they hope will improve profits as well as relationships with key stake holders such as investors, consumers, employees, and the community. According to Boone and Kurtz (2005 ), companies benefit from contributions to society that minimize the negative effect s of the company on the environment and community. “Social responsibility demands that marketers acce pt an obligation to give equal weight to profits, consumer satisfac tion, and social well-being in evaluating their firm’s performance” (Boone & Kurtz, 2005, p. 88). Research suggests that the social res ponsibility initiatives of a corporation improve its financial bottom line. “A wide ra nge of benefits have been experienced by corporations that adopt and implement socially responsible business practices, and there appears to be an increasing ability to link these efforts to positive financial results” (Kotler & Lee, 2005 p. 211). According to the marketing literature of Boone and Kurtz (2005), social responsibility initiatives can benefit financial success as well as relationships with customers and employees ( p. 30). Other benefits of corporate social

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11 responsibility include decreased operati ng costs, spreading community good will, creating brand awareness and preference, building partners hips, enhancing employee well being and satisfaction, as we ll as establishing solid bra nd positioning (Kotler & Lee, 2005). The shift towards more socially responsib le corporations also results from the increase of choices for consumer purchase. Si nce there are more choices for consumers in the marketplace, they are increasingly using additional information, such as the ethical actions of a company, to help deci de what products to purchase. In our global marketplace, consumers have more options and can make choices based on criteria beyond product, price, and distribution channels… consumers are also basing their purchase decisions on reputation for fair and sustainable business practices and perceptions of comm itment to the community’s welfare. (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 208) Increased corporate reporting has increas ed the importance and use of corporate social responsibility (Kotler & Lee, 2005) Technology and the improved access to news and information have also helped boost corp orations’ socially res ponsible initiatives. Recent corporate financial scandals and resul ting disastrous bankruptcies have led more large organizations to declare their social responsibility open ly in hopes of boosting credibility and gaining consumer trust, according to Maignan and Ferrel (2004, p. 3). Overall, consumers are now more aware of corporations’ actions and behaviors towards the environment and the community, thus they are more likely to make purchase decisions based on this knowledge (Kotle r & Lee, 2005, p. 209). According to Ellen, Web, and Mohr (2006), company spending on so cial causes has grown tremendously in the last few years. Furthermore, indices of corporate credibility are increasingly using corporate responsibility as a key factor (12Manage, 2007; Ellen, Web & Mohr, 2006).

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12 There are many ways corporations can in tegrate corporate social responsibility into their organizations and practices. Kotler and Lee (2005) identified six in itiative types under which most corporate social responsibility practices and actions fit. They include: 1) corporate cause promotions 2) cause-related marketing, 3) corporate social marketing, 4) corporate philanthropy, 5) community volunteering, and 6) socially responsible business practices. Corporate Cause Promotion In cause promotion, the corporation provides “funds, in-kind contributions, or othe r corporate resources to increase awareness and concern about a social cause or to support fundraisi ng, participation, or vol unteer recruitment for a cause” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 23) This initiative utilizes persuasive communication to engage consumers by getting them to c ontribute to the cause through donations, volunteering, or other means. Many times, the corporation is approached by a non-profit organization seeking support for its cause. Ot her times, the corporation will develop its own campaign or join others’ campaigns th at include similar views and interests. Excellent examples of corporations ut ilizing cause promotion include Washington Mutual, which supports teacher recruitmen t by identifying ways to help address a growing teacher shortage. According to Kotler and Lee (2005), Washington Mutual sponsored a town hall meeting to discuss the issue, in addition to publicizing the event by paying for and distributing flyers in the community. Ben & Jerry’s is also very active in cause promotion. In 2002, the icecream company collaborated with a popular musi c group, The Dave Matthews Band, and an environmental group, SaveOurEnvironment.org, to help create awareness about global warming. The group created “One Sweet Whir led,” a campaign to create concern over

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13 the issue of global warming. The programmi ng included the creation of a new ice-cream flavor of the same name, as well as a con cert tour and CD by th e Dave Matthews Band, and a comprehensive Web site with links to more information about global warming (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 55). Cause Related Marketing Cause related marketing init iatives rely on consumer action to initiate corporate contribution. “In cause related marketing (CRM) campaigns, a corporation commits to making a contribution or donating a percentage of revenues to a specific cause based on product sales” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 81). This initiative type is different than the others in that it is the most reliant on the consumer. Furthermore, the corporation stands to gain financial prof it through consumer spending on products that will initiate the corporation’s donation to a cause. Since this initiative entails heavy promotional efforts and paid advertising, the marketing department of the corporation is most likely to organize this type of in itiative, according to Kotler and Lee (2005). Many organizations participate in cause related marketing. Washington Mutual is engaged in cause related marketing, accordi ng to Kotler and Lee (2005). The “WaMoola for Schools” program seeks to fulfill school wish lists by donating approximately five cents from every voluntarily-enrolled cu stomers’ purchases made on a Washington Mutual check-card. Other corpor ations, such as Avon, raise funds for charitable causes by donating a portion of their pr ofits on a certain item. Avon’ s “Heart of the Crusade” breast cancer awareness pin sells for $3, and 83% of this price is returned to the breast cancer cause (Kotler & Lee, p. 90). QVC and the American Legacy Foundation together support the cause of women struggling with tobacco addiction w ith the “Circle of

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14 Friends” pin, of which $5 of the $16 price is donated back to the American Legacy Foundation (Kotler & Lee, 2005, pp. 91-92). Corporate Social Marketing Focusing mostly on behavior change, corporate social marketing involves a corporati on’s support for the “development and/or implementation of a behavior change campai gn intended to improve public health, safety, the environment, or community well being” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 114). This type of corporate social responsibili ty initiative may include goa ls to educate and create awareness; however, the main goal of this t ype of campaign, and what makes it different than the other types, is the focus on in fluencing a specific behavior change. According to Kotler and Lee (2005), Washi ngton Mutual is in volved in corporate social marketing programs in addition to its other many corporate social responsibility campaigns. The bank’s “School Savings” pr ogram provides “students with hands-on lessons about handling money responsibly” (p. 28). With this program, Washington Mutual seeks to make a life-long impact on fi nancial habits. Companies such as Subway are also involved in corporat e social marketing. Subway util izes this type of corporate social responsibility by partnering with hea lth organizations such as the North Carolina Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention Task Fo rce. As a related effort, Subway offers “healthy, convenient fast food and currently f eatures seven sandwiche s with six grams of fat or less” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 119). Corporate Philanthropy Corporate Philanthropy is the mo st traditional of all types of corporate social responsi bility. “Corporate philanthropy is a direct contribution by a corporation to a charity or cause, most often in the form of cash gr ants, donations and/or in-kind services” (Kotler & L ee, 2005, p. 144). Donations such as these are crucial for

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15 non-profit organizations. Trends in corpor ate philanthropy indicate a move towards a strategic approach regarding wh ich organizations to sponsor philanthropically, as well as the move toward long-term rather than shor t term relationships be tween organizations. “Washington Mutual also gives millions of dollars each year to fund the professional development of teachers, leader ship training for principles, organizational development for schools, and programs th at provide information about school performance to parents” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 31). These cash grants impact the longterm success of the institutions receiving the funds. ConAgra Foods helps fight child hunge r with its “Feeding Children Better” corporate philanthropy initiative, which consists of a large campaign committed to fighting child hunger in the United Stat es. With the campaign, ConAgra funds improvements to food bank technological and transportation systems which will benefit children for years to come (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 150). Community Volunteering “Community volunteering is an initiative in which the corporation supports and encourages employees, retail partners and/or franchise members to volunteer their time to support local community organizations and causes” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 175). The donation of time may incl ude a contribution of skills, knowledge, labor, and personal talents. Corporations ofte n sponsor or help organize these efforts on behalf of organizations or th e cause of volunteering itself. So me corporations even offer compensation for the employees’ time away fr om work. “Corporate support may involve providing paid time off from work, matchi ng services to help employees find opportunities of interest, recognition for servic e, and organizing teams to support specific causes the corporation ha s targeted” (p. 175).

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16 “CAN,” or Committed Active Neighbors, is the community volunteering effort established by Washington Mutual that prov ides support and incentives for eligible employees to volunteer as many as four hours a month with paid time off from work. The volunteers often travel to schools to in struct students about money and credit management (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 31). Hewlett-Packard participates in volunteerism that suppor ts its vision “of a future where everyone in the world has access to the social, educa tional, and economic opportunities offered in the digital age” (K otler & Lee, 2005, p. 182). Their corporation invests in this cause through employee volunt eerism efforts in underserved communities, like its, “i-community” program that allows employees to help th e citizens learn about technology. Socially Responsible Business Practices Corporate socially responsible business practices are voluntary structural ly ingrained corporate social responsibility in itiatives of an organization that protect, benefit, or s upport a cause or fundamental ethic. “Socially responsible business practices are where the corporation adapts and conducts discretionary business practices and investme nts that support social causes to improve community well-being and prot ect the environment” (Kotle r & Lee, 2005, p. 208). These practices are not required by law and are c hosen for execution by the organization as an action that will benefit the community. These actions go above and beyond the expectations of the corporation. This type of corporate social res ponsibility initiative “includes a focus on activities that are discre tionary, not those that are mandated by laws or regulatory agencies, or are simply exp ected, as with meeting moral or ethical standards” (p. 208).

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17 Washington Mutual’s internal practice of seeking intern s from local schools that later may become employees is an example of a socially responsible business practice. Its efforts provide extensive training and job e xperience to the High School Intern Program (HIP) students. “Among the company’s top pr iorities in support of its commitment to socially responsible business practices is the development of a workforce responsive to the needs of the diverse communities in which Washington Mutual does business” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 33). Ben & Jerry’s engages in socially respons ible business practices, beginning with the corporation’s mission statements. The icecream company not only has a product mission that is focused on “promoting busin ess practices that respect the earth and environment,” but it also has a “Social Mi ssion” that acknowledges the role that the company has in “initiating innovative ways to improve the quality of life locally, nationally, and intern ationally” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 55). Corporate Credibility The success of a corporate social responsibility camp aign, and the many different types of initiatives utilized, can depend on th e perceived credibility of the organizations involved in the programs. Thus, it is importa nt to understand how an organization can be viewed as a source of credible information. Credibility is based on the perceived trustworthiness, expertness, and attractiveness of the organi zation (Newell & Goldsmith, 2001; Berlo, Lermert, & Mertz, 1970; Haley, 1996). “Source credibility refers to the believability of sources of information” (Rubin, Palmgreen, & Sypher, 2004, p. 327). Organizations cannot

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18 physically possess credibility. Instead, credib ility is bestowed upon an organization by each individual that comes into contact with the organization. According to Hendrix (2004), source cred ibility is one of the key factors in effective communication. “The success or failure of the entire public relations transaction can hinge on how the source of communicat ion, the spokesperson for the client or organization, is perceived by the intended audi ence” (p. 37). Credibility is in the mind of the individual, thus it can be di fficult to establish, cultivate, and maintain. Research has been conducted to determine the variables rela ted to credibility and how corporations can functionally address them to gain success. Berlo, Lemert, and Mertz, researchers in the 1970s, conducted formative research in source credibility that focused on perceive d expertness and trustworthiness and sought to determine factors that led to evaluation of these percepti ons (Rubin et al., 2004; Berlo et al., 1970). “Source credibilit y—ethos, prestige, or image— was originally conceived as a uni-dimensional attitude a re ceiver has about a source, but this changed…when two lines of research began promoting it as a multidimensional attitude (Rubin et al., 2004, p. 332).” Haley (1996) investigated what makes an organization a credible sponsor of advocacy advertising and found that one of th e key factors is the consumer’s perception of the organization. This study confirmed three measures of credibility; trustworthiness, expertness and attractiveness. Scholars have also sought more information about the consumer’s assessment of source credibilit y. Slater and Rouner (1996) found that the quality of a message helps mediate source cred ibility assessment regarding expertness (p. 984).

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19 Research regarding “perceived corporate credibility has been hindered by the lack of a reliable and valid measure” (Newell & Goldsmith, 2001, p. 235). Newell and Goldsmith (2001) thus developed a scale to measure consumer perceptions of corporate credibility by operationalizing co rporate credibility as a special type of source credibility. Using data from five studies and over 849 rese arch participants, they formulated a scale based on past credibility research, that meas ured corporate expertise and trustworthiness as dimensions of corporate credibility. Newe ll and Goldsmith (2001) used: 1) expertise, the competency and capability of the organizatio n; 2) trustworthiness, the reliability of the organization; and 3) trut hfulness and honesty, the honest or misleading practices of the organization (Newell & Goldsmith, 2001, p. 238). They concluded that the eight-item Likert-type scale measuring expertise and trustworthiness is reliable and valid and suggest its usefulness in measuring corpor ate credibility (New ell & Goldsmith, 2001, p. 245). Research conducted by Lafferty and Gold smith (1998) suggested a link between the variables of endorser and corporate cred ibility and consumer purchase intentions. Furthermore, Lafferty and Goldsmith’s research demonstrated that corporate credibility alone has a significant influence on consumer purchase intentions. “Whereas endorser credibility seems to have a greater infl uence on attitude-towar d-the-ad, corporate credibility seems to have a greater infl uence on attitude-tow ard-the-brand and on purchase intentions” (p. 109). Subsequent research by Goldsmith, La fferty and Newell (2000) supported the finding that corporate credibility plays an important role in mediating consumer receiver variables. “Corporate credibility influences purchase intent because consumer perception

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20 of the trustworthiness and expertise of a company are part of the information they use to judge the quality of the company’s products a nd therefore whether they want to buy them or not” (p. 46). Dual Credibility Model Lafferty, Goldsmith, and Newell (2002) s uggest a Dual Credibility Model that “partially predicts and explains advertis ing effectiveness” regarding endorser and corporate credibility (p. 1). Most importan tly, the Dual Credibility Model posits that corporate credibility is positively and direc tly related to attitude towards the ad and directly related to purchase intentions. In order to test the relationships posed by the model, the corporate credibility scale de veloped by Newell and Goldsmith (2001) was used to measure corporate credibility in this study. Results of Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newe ll (2002) further su pport the significance of corporate credibility as a va riable that influences consum er receiver variables. They found that “corporate credibility plays an im portant role in consumer evaluation of advertisements. In addition, a company’s cred ibility seems to have a direct effect on perceptions of brands and of purchase intentions” (p. 8). The study by Lafferty, Goldsmith, a nd Newell (2002) indicated that both corporate and endorser credib ility impact attitudes and purchase intentions. Further research also supported the Dual Credibil ity Model. Goldsmith, Lafferty and Newell (2000) found a strong relationship between corpor ate credibility and attitude toward the brand, which proposes that, “cor porate credibility plays an im portant role in consumers’ reaction to advertisements and brands, inde pendent of the equally important role of endorser credibility” (Goldsmith et al., 2000, p. 43). According to Goldsmith et al.,

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21 (2000) and Lafferty and Goldsmith (1999), corp orate social responsibility influences purchase intention. “Product purch ase intentions are in part influenced by consumers’ view of the parent company’s good citizensh ip and the consumers’ confidence in the corporate brand” (Goldsmith et al., 2000, p. 51). The research conducted by Lafferty, Gold smith and Newell (2002) suggests a link with Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theo ry of reasoned action by examining beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral inte ntion in the context of endor ser and corporate credibility. Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell’s (2002) study examined participants’ assessments of credibility and measured attitudes toward th e advertisement, attitude toward the brand, and the intent to purchas e the mentioned product. According to Wheatley (1969), communicat ors sought to understand the sequence of related concepts between the communicated message and eventual purchase behaviors. This phenomenon developed into an attempt to understand advertising effectiveness, and thus the variable of attitude toward the advertisement. There are a considerable nu mber of such models of the supposed steps in the communication process, each with some va riation of its own… The most general assumption is that a communication or co mmunication campaign of some sort, in order to affect behavior must first produce some immediate and presumably observable change in people (Wheatley, 1969, pp. 49-50). Attitude towards the advertisement is a concept that helps mediate advertising effects on attitudes and purchase intentions (Lutz, 1985). “Aad [attitude towards the advertisement] is defined as a predisposition to respond in a favorable or unfavorable manner to a particular advertising stimulus dur ing a particular exposure occasion” (Lutz, 1985, p. 46). Attitude towards the advertisement is an important concept in the

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22 understanding of message persua sion, advertising effectivene ss, and “brand attitude” (p. 60). Theory of Reasoned Action The theory of reasoned action’s conceptual framework is founded on the relationships between the variables of belief, attitude, behavioral in tention, and behavior. Developed by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975, 2005), th e theory suggests that an individual’s beliefs about an object affect his/her attitudes about the obj ect, that the attitudes affect behavioral intention regarding the object, and behavioral intention influences the behavior of the individual. “The totality of a person’s beliefs serves as the informational base that ultimately determines his attit udes, intentions and be haviors” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 14). Beliefs about an object are formed from pre-existing attitudes and outside influences. The beliefs and evaluations of belie fs lead to the forma tion of attitudes about the object. “A person’s attitude toward an object is based on his salient beliefs about that object.” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 14). The attit ude about an object is the result of the total of many varying beliefs a bout the object. “A person’s atti tude toward some object is related to the set of his beliefs about the object but not necessarily to any specific belief” (p. 14). Attitudes lead to the formation of behavi oral intentions. “Attitude toward an object is viewed as related to the person’s in tentions to perform a variety of behaviors with respect to that object” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 14) The behavioral intention leads to a behavior consistent with the intention. “Each in tention is viewed as being related to the correspon ding behavior” (p. 15). The actions th at result due to the beliefs,

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23 attitude, and behavioral inte ntion are considered to be voluntary. “Since we view most social behavior as being volitional, barri ng unforeseen events, a person should perform those behaviors he intends to perform” (p. 15). The theory of reasoned action is founde d on the basis that the relationships between the variables of belief, attitude a nd behavioral intention exist due to rational thoughts. “Our approach…views man as an e ssentially rational organism, who uses the information at his disposal to make judgments, form evaluations, and arrive at decisions” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 14). Although attitude is considered the main determinant of behavioral intention, other factors may influence the intent to pe rform the behavior including habits, memory, skills, and confidence in the success of performing the acti on due to self-efficacy or necessary resources (Ronis, Yates, & Ki rscht, 1991, p. 235). Furthermore, personal motivation to comply with the behavioral inte ntion and perform the behavior may also be influenced by “beliefs that certain referent s think the person should or should not perform the behavior in question” (Fishbein & Aj zen, 1975, p.16.). These factors, the “subjective norm,” may also determine inte ntion to perform a behavior. The behavioral intention is considered to be a function of both the subjective norm and the attitude. Subjective norm accounts for any envir onmental or social influence on the intention to perform the behavior. The subjec tive norm is composed of the individual’s perceived beliefs about what is normal (normative beliefs), and the individual’s willingness to meet these normal standards (motivation to comply). According to Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), “subjective norm is determined by the perceived expectations of specific referent individuals or groups, and by the person’s motivation to comply with

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24 those expectations” (Fishbein & Ajzen, 1975, p. 302). Individuals and groups that may influence a person’s subjective norm include but are not limited to family, friends, supervisors, or general society. Very often, multiple perceived opinions are considered. As a result, a scale to measure the influen ce of multiple subjective norms was developed by Fishbein and Ajzen that asks research participants to respond to the statement, “Most people who are important to me think I should/should not perform behavior x ” (p. 314). The theory of reasoned action has been uti lized in the research of many fields of study other than marketing, strategic comm unications, and communi cations including, but not limited to, health promotion, empl oyee and internal co mmunication, industrial engineering, social psychol ogy, tourism, and nutrition. The theory of reasoned action has been widely used in the area of health communication and promotion. Recent research fo cuses on topics related to vaccinations, disease prevention, and overall health. Shephe rd (2007) explains th e importance of the application of the theory of reasoned ac tion in creating a fram ework for studying food choice. Bonney, Rose, Clarke, Hebert, Rosengr ad, and Stein (2007) used the theory of reasoned action along with a health belief model to explain the results of their research about the willingness to accept a vaccine agai nst sexually transmitted disease in their sample of high-risk incarcerated women. Wu (2008) used the theory of reasoned action to investigate communication with Chinese fa milies about organ donation. The findings of Wu’s study indicate that subjective norm is a significant factor in determining discussion about the issue. Swaim, Perrine, and Aloise -Young (2007) used the theory of reasoned action and the theory of pla nned behavior to help predic t life-long cigarette use of elementary students. The theory of reasone d action helped explai n the results of the

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25 female students; however, the theory of pla nned behavior helped explain the results of both male and female elementary students. The theory of reasoned action has be en used and referenced in other communications arenas. In the area of marke ting and tourism, Jae-Lee and Back (2007) used the theory to help formulate a meeting participation model, which they used to study and further understand the meeting participa tion behaviors of association members. Results indicate support for past behavior a nd subjective norm as indicators of intention to participate. Lin (2007) us ed the theory of reasoned act ion to study the motivational influences of sharing information using a sa mple of employees from large organizations in Taiwan. Findings indicate weak support for the influence of organizational reward on employee attitudes and behavioral inte ntions regarding knowledge sharing. Social psychology research by Langdridge Sheeran, and Paschal (2007) used the theory of reasoned to study participants’ intention to have ch ildren. They performed multiple forms of statistical analysis on da ta obtained from a sample population in the United Kingdom. Other areas where the theory of reasone d action has been studied recently include industrial engineering and info rmation technology. The industria l engineering research of Chung and Soo Nam (2007) focused on variab les predicting instant messenger use. Results indicated that intention did not pred ict instant messenger use. The information technology research of Hsu and Lu (2007) examined online gaming customer loyalty using a model derived from the theory of r easoned action and other research models. The findings indicate that “customer loyalty is influenced by perceived enjoyment, social norms and preference” (p. 1642).

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26 Researchers have utilized the variables of belief, attitude, and behavioral intention without referencing the theory or reasoned act ion; however, the theory is used in this study as it best explains th e linear relationship between the variables. Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action is an approp riate theoretical framework for this study because the variables of the th eory are the variables of interest in the research. This study examines corporate soci al responsibility init iatives’ influence on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intention. Purpose and Hypotheses This study seeks to contribute to th e current body of knowledge about the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on rece iver variables. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to further cu rrent theory-driven strategic communications research by using an experimental design to te st corporate social re sponsibility initiative influence on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intention. This study is uniquely focused on developing a better understanding of how CSR initiatives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility belief sets In addition, this study extends the research of Lafferty, Goldsmith, and Newell’s (2002) Dual Credibility Model and seek to understand the influence and role of corporat e credibility as a belief set and mediator between corporate social respons ibility initiatives a nd the receiver vari ables of attitude and behavioral intention. Furthermore, this study seeks to repli cate and extend the research of Werder (2008) that examined the effects of CSR in itiatives identified by Kotler and Lee (2005) on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intent ions using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005)

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27 theory of reasoned action. This study sp ecifically focuses on the link between CSR initiatives and corporate credibility as a be lief set and the subsequent influence on the receiver variables of attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the organization, and behavioral intention toward the organization. To accomplish this objective, a 1 x 8 fact orial experiment was conducted to test the following research question, hypotheses, and related propositions: RQ1: How do corporate social responsibility initiatives differ in their ability to influence receiver belief sets? Research Question 1 asks whether the numerous corporate social responsibility initiatives identified by Kotler and Lee (2005) have a diffe ring ability to impact receiver belief sets. Werder (2008) found that CSR initiatives influence beliefs about an organization. Research Question 1 extends this to all si x initiative types identified by Kotler and Lee (2005). H1: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives influence receiver belief sets. P1.1: Corporate social responsibilit y initiatives influence corporate credibility beliefs. P1.2: Corporate social responsibility in itiatives influence corporate social responsibility beliefs. Hypothesis 1 tests the influence of corporate social responsibili ty initiatives on receivers’ beliefs about corporate credibility and cor porate social responsi bility. According to Kotler and Lee (2005), corporate social re sponsibility increases the image of the organization. Werder (2008) found that CS R initiatives influence beliefs about an organization, especially those beliefs about the organization’s contributions to society.

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28 Hypothesis 1 seeks to explore these relationshi ps by empirically test ing the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on receivers’ belief s about corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility. The pr opositions related to Hypothesis 1 were developed from the results of previous resear ch and literature on the effects of corporate social responsibility initiatives (Werder, 2007; Kotler & Lee, 2005). H2: Receiver belief sets infl uence receiver attitude sets. P2.1: Corporate credibility belief se ts influence attitude toward the advertisement. P2.2: Corporate social responsibility belief sets influen ce attitude toward the advertisement. P2.3: Corporate credibility belief se ts influence attitude toward the organization. P2.4: Corporate social responsibility belief sets influen ce attitude toward the organization. Hypothesis 2 seeks to support th e theory of reasoned acti on through demonstration that belief sets about a corporation’s credibility and corporate social re sponsibility influence attitudes toward the advertisem ent, (i.e., message) and the organization. According to the theory of reasoned action, beliefs influence atti tudes; therefore, Hypot hesis 2 seeks to test this theory within the context of corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility as belief sets. Furthermore, previous resear ch regarding the Dual Credibility Model has demonstrated that corporate cred ibility is positively and directly related to attitude toward the ad (Lafferty, Goldsmith & Newell, 2002, p. 1). H3: Receiver attitude sets influence receiver behavioral intention sets.

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29 P3.1: Attitude toward the advertisemen t influences behavioral intention toward the organization. P3.2: Attitude toward the organization influence behavioral intention toward the organization. Hypothesis 3 seeks to furthe r support the theory of reas oned action by experimentally testing the influence of corporat e attitude sets on behavioral intention sets. The next and last proposition of the theory of reasoned acti on, that behavioral intention influences actual behavior, is very difficult to test; th erefore, it has been left out of this study. Previous research by Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell (2002) on the Dual Credibility Model demonstrated support for the influence of corporate credibility on purchase intentions. Hypothesis 3 seeks to explore this relationship fu rther by testing the influence of attitudes toward the advertisement and the organization on behavioral intentional toward the organization. Figure 1 illustrates the outlined hypotheses of this study. The six corporate social responsibility initiatives, as detailed by Kotler and Lee (2005), are shown in the model to influence the corporate social responsibility and corporate credibility belief sets. Within these two belief sets is an area of overlap. Although corporate soci al responsibility and corporate credibility are two separate belief se ts when considered as areas of research interest for this study, beliefs about corporate social responsib ility are often used as one of the many determinants of an organizati on’s perceived credibility (12Manage, 2007; Ellen, Web & Mohr, 2006). These two belief se ts are shown in the figure to influence attitude toward the advertis ement and attitude toward th e organization. These attitudes then influence behavioral intention towa rd the organization. A relationship between

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30 behavioral intention and behavior has been hypothesized in other re search; however, that relationship will not be tested in this st udy due to limitations in methodology and the difficulty of testing this variable. Figure 1. Model of hypothesized influence of CSR initiativ es on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions The next chapter presents the methodology used in this study to examine the research question, hypotheses, and propositions In addition, more information about the participants, stimulus materials and instrumentation will be discussed. Attitude toward the Organization Corporate Credibility Belief Sets Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Attitude toward the Advertisement Corporate Social Responsibility Belief Set Behavioral Intention toward the Organization

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31 CHAPTER 3: METHODOLOGY This study seeks to contribute to th e current body of knowledge about the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on rece iver variables. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to further cu rrent theory-driven strategic communications research by using an experimental design to te st corporate social re sponsibility initiative influence on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. This study is uniquely focused on developing a better unders tanding of how CSR initia tives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility belief sets. In addition, this study will extend the research of Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell’s (2002) Dual Credibility Model and s eek to understand the influence and role of corporate credibility as a belief set and medi ator between corporate social responsibility initiatives and receiver vari ables of attitude and beha vioral intention. The Dual Credibility Model combines the influences of corporate and endorser credibility; however, this study focuses on the influence of the corporate cred ibility belief set on receiver variables, and does not addre ss the influence of endorser credibility. Furthermore, this study seeks to also exte nd the research of Werder (2008) that examined the effects of CSR initiatives identified by Kotler and Lee (2005) on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral in tentions using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action. This study specifically focuse s on the link between CSR initiatives and corporate credibility as a belief set and the subsequent influence on receiver variables of attitude toward the advertisement, and at titude toward the organization, as well as behavioral intention toward the organization.

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32 To accomplish this objective, a 1 x 8 factor ial experiment was conducted to test the following research question, hypothe ses and related propositions: RQ1: Corporate social respons ibility initiatives differ in their ability to influence receiver belief sets. H1: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives influence receiver belief sets. P1.1: Corporate social responsibilit y initiatives influence corporate credibility beliefs. P1.2: Corporate social responsibility in itiatives influence corporate social responsibility beliefs. H2: Receiver belief sets infl uence receiver attitude sets. P2.1: Corporate credibility belief sets influence attitude toward the advertisement. P2.2: Corporate social re sponsibility belief sets influence attitude toward the advertisement. P2.3: Corporate credibility belief sets influence attitude toward the organization. P2.4: Corporate social re sponsibility belief sets influence attitude toward the organization. H3: Receiver attitude sets influence receiver behavioral intention sets. P3.1: Attitude toward the ad influen ces behavioral intention toward the organization. P3.2: Attitude toward the organiza tion influence behavioral intention toward the organization.

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33 To test the hypotheses, a controlled e xperiment was conducted using stimulus material based on a real or ganization engaging in corpor ate social responsibility initiatives. Specifically, Chipotle Mexican Grill was used as the target organization in this experiment because it has built a substantial corporate social responsibility campaign, and it serves as an excellent example of an or ganization engaging in socially responsible business practices. This initiative type, one of the six identified by Kotler and Lee (2005), focuses on practices that are not required by law and that ar e chosen for execution by the organization as actions that will benefit the community. “Socially responsible business practices are where the corporation adapts and conducts discretiona ry business practices and investments that support social causes to improve co mmunity well-being and protect the environment” (Kotler & Lee, 2005, p. 208). In addition, Chipotle utilizes a variety of other corporate social responsibility initiatives. The experimental treatments rep licated messages from Chipotle and sought to reflect reality as much as possible and drew from existing knowledge about the visual and contextual trends used in Chipotle’s co mmunications materials in order to build believability. Participants Research participants were recruited fr om a population of undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory mass communica tions course at a large southeastern university. These students were asked to vol untarily participate in the experiment. The research experiment was conducted in a large auditorium style classroom on the campus of the university. The responses of 250 participants were included in data

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34 analysis. Of these participants, 178 (70.4%) were female and 72 (28.5%) were male. The average age of participants was 20. Upon arrival, participati ng students were assigned to one of eight different experimental conditions derive d from the 1x8 factorial, whic h included treatments for the six CSR types and two controls a treatment control, and an ove rall control. Variation in conditions was achieved through the use of bookl ets containing instructions, preliminary questions, stimulus materials, and an instru ment designed to measure the variables of interest. Stimulus Materials To achieve the eight experimental co nditions, eight different booklets were created which contained inst ructions, preliminary questions, one of seven stimulus materials, and an instrument testing the variables of interest. The booklets for the treatment conditions contained the same questi onnaire. Participants were exposed to one of the eight different conditions however all of the conditions were exposed to the same self-administered instrument to measure the desired variables. Stimuli and items utilized in the experiment were derived and replicated from the past research of Werder (2008), Laffert y, Goldsmith, and Newell (2002), Newell and Goldsmith (2001), Zaichkowsky (1994), and Hall ahan (1999). Experimental treatments included: 1: Cause promotions, 2: Cause -related marketing, 3: Corporate social marketing, 4: Corporate philanthropy, 5: Community volunteering, 6: Socially responsible business practices, 7: Control fo r message type, and 8: Overall control. The seventh condition controlled for the CSR initiative type by containing a message about the organization unrelated to CSR initiatives, specifically, the message

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35 control advertised a new product offered by Chipotle, a breakfast burrito. The eighth condition was designed as the overall contro l and accounted for variation in opinion and bias regarding the corporation. This condition did not contain any type of stimulus. This group received only the instruc tions, preliminary questions, and instrument testing the variables of interest. The text of each manipul ation is contained in Table 1 and the exact articles are shown in Appendix A. The instrument is shown in Appendix B.

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36 Table 1. Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Cause Promotion Chipotle Promotes Earth Day Network Causes For the past four years, Chipotle has supported and worked together with the Earth Day Network (EDN), an organization that was founded by Earth Day organizers to encourage environmental citizenship year-round. Since 2005, Chipotle collaboration has included featuring environmental messages on Chipotle to-go cups during the month of April. The messages encourage environmental protection and suggest simple choices we can make that create a more sustainable world. The Chipotle Foundation also provided financial support to EDN. Chipotle promotes Earth Day activities with in-store messages and volunteer opportunities to educate partners (employees) and customers about the impacts their actions have on the environment. This steers environmental awareness around the world. Through EDN, activists connect, interact, and impact their communities, andcreate positive change in local, national, and global policies. Additionally, in recognition of Earth Day Chipotle provides financial support to 42 environmental organizations across North America. Approximately 12,000 partners and customers, including nearly 900 partners in Japan, are involved in Earth Day volunteer projects. Visit Earth Day Network, www.earthday.net to find out how you can volunteer on Earth Day. Then, for more information about how Chipotle contributes and promotes Earth Day Network, go to www.chipotle/csr.com Chipotle provides funds, inkind contributions and other corporate resources to increase awareness of Earth Day causes.

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37 Table 1. (cont.) Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Cause Related Marketing Chipotle Cause Related Marketing Donates Proceeds to Hurricane Recovery Efforts Chipotle’s cause-related marketing campaign, Hear Music, was founded in 1990. Hear Music is committed to making a contribution and donating a percentage of revenues to a specific cause. Chipotle is dedicated to creating a new and convenient way for consumers to discover, experience and acquire all genres of great music through its unique selection of hand-picked CD compilations, music and programming for Chipotle retail stores worldwide. Chipotle has a history of collaborating with artists and the music industry to give back to communities through cause related marketing efforts. For example, in response to the tremendous devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina, Chipotle and two record labels, Life’s Song and Aqua Soul, teamed up to release the I Feel Soulful for recovery efforts. The album was not initially conceived as a benefit. After Hurricane Katrina a decision was made to donate the proceeds from CD sales to the victims of the storms, including those in New Orleans, as part of Chipotle’s cause-related marketing. Chipotle committed to donate to the Red Cross $10 of the purchase price of every I Feel Soulful CD sold in Chipotle company-operated stores in the United States and Canada. In other retail channels, $3 of the purchase price of every CD sold will be donated to these efforts. This donation will continue for the lifetime of the CD. For more information about how Chipotle responded to Hurricane Katrina with causerelated marketing, go to www.chipotle/csr.com Chipotle’s cause related marketing campaign committed to making a contribution and donating a percentage of revenues to Hurricane recovery efforts.

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38 Table 1. (cont.) Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Corporate Social Marketing Chipotle’ s Corporate Social Marketing Campaign Motivates Consumer Behavior Change Chipotle is dedicated to reducing and eliminating trans-fat from the Americans’ diets and in 2001 joined the national “Freedom from Trans-fat” campaign alongside other restaurants and retail food providers. Our foods at Chipotle contain zero trans fats. It is universally accepted that this kind of artificially created trans fat is the worst kind of fat, far worse than saturated fat. Dietary Guidelines issued by the U.S. Government state that we should keep trans fat consumption "as low as possible." Back in 2000, we decided to take the trans fats out of all of our food. Chipotle goal is to encourage other individuals in the USA to not only join in the cause of ensuring the health of the country through the elimination of trans-fat from our diets, but also to commit to change personal eating behaviors to reflect the dedication to this cause. What we're asking is to have more Americans reduce and eliminate trans-fat consumption. The time to start eating healthier couldn't be better. January is “Freedom from Trans-fat” month. We are extremely proud of what we have done and you can be too. We are doing the right thing for our customers' health by leading the way on this. Join Chipotle’s in an effort to improve Americans’ healthy eating habits, starting with your own. For more information about Chipotle’s dedication to eliminating trans-fat go to www.chipotle/csr.com Chipotle’s social marketing campaign improves public health and community well-being.

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39 Table 1. (cont.) Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Corporate Philanthropy Chipotle’ s Corporate Philanthropy Lends a Helping Hand Over the years, Chipotle has created and maintained a deep connection with the people and families who care for and nurture the dairy cows that produce up to eight gallons of milk a day. This natural way has worked well for man and cow for eons. So, why mess with it? Unfortunately, someone has. Agricultural chemical companies have formulated a synthetic hormone that is injected into a cow to artificially increase milk production. Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) is used in the United States, but banned elsewhere. Those syntheticgrowth hormones end up in the milk we drink. That is why Chipotle has donated over $1 million dollars to the “Got Better Milk” campaign, a collection of small dairy farmers against the use of Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Last October, when we learned of the campaign, our decision to provide assistance through our Chipotle Support Center in San Francisco, CA came without hesitation. After visiting with the farmers and experiencing their plight first-hand, Chipotle began a philanthropic effort to financial and otherwise help support small dairy farms that uphold health and quality standards by refusing to use rBGH on their cows. We think some things should be sacred. Like sour cream. The sour cream at all of our restaurants is free of the synthetic growth hormone, rBGH. We're not scientists, but ingesting hormones with our crispy tacos just doesn't seem like a good idea. For more information about Chipotle’s corporate philanthropy and support of small dairy farmers go to ww.chipotle/csr.com Through philanthropy Chipotle provides a direct contribution to the cause in the form of cash grants, donations and services.

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40 Table 1. (cont.) Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Corporate Volunteering Chipotle Encourages Employee Volunteering Building community: Chipotle is proud that so many partners at all levels of the community actively support neighborhood organizations that are important to them through volunteering or charitable giving. No matter the cause, Chipotle partners are making a difference in their community. Make Your Mark: Chipotle believes that volunteerism is vital to a healthy community. With that in mind, we created Make Your Mark, a program that matches our partners’ and customers’ volunteer hours with case contributions to designated non-profit organizations$10 for every hour, up to $1,000. Caring Unites Partners Fund: The spirit of helping others can be seen everyday at Chipotle through the Caring Unities Partners Fund, a program developed to supporting fellow partners in need. Funded by partners through voluntary payroll deductions and fundraisers, the CUP fund provides financial re lief to partners facing extreme emergency situations. Executive Community Leadership Program: Chipotle believes our senior executives can set great examples for other partners while lending their management expertise to non-profit organizations by becoming board members. Our Executive Community Leadership Program facilitates and supports Chipotle executives’ service on non-profit boards such as Tampa Parks Association, Conservation International and The Small Farmers Growth Association. Choose to Give: We believe charitable giving is a personal decision. Respecting this, Chipotle designed Choose to Give, a flexible workplace giving program that matches each partner’s charitable contributions, up to $1,000 annually. For more information about Chipotle volunteer programs go to www.chipotle/csr.com Chipotle supports and encourages employees to volunteer their time to support local community organizations and causes.

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41 Table 1. (cont.) Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Socially Responsible Business Practices Chipotle Values Socially Responsible Business Practices Chipotle believes that we can always do better in terms of the food we buy; better in every sense of the wordbetter tasting, coming from better sources, better for the environment, better for the animals, and better for the farmers who raise the animals and grow the produce. Our philosophy is our way of doing business. The reasons is as simple as better-tasting burritos, and no less ambitious than revolutionizing the way America grows, gathers, serves and eats its food. We call it Food With Integrity. It is fundamental to everything we do in our restaurants and behind the scenes and it cannot be separated from our product. Chipotle “Food With Integrity" isn't a marketing slogan. And it's not a corporate initiative that will ever be finished or set aside to make room for other priorities. And, since embracing this philosophy, it's had tremendous impact on how we run our restaurants and our business. It's even influenced the way we view other aspects of our business, from the materials and systems we use to design and build our restaurants, to our staffing and training programs. We like the food we serve today. And, because of our Food With Integrity philosophy, we're confident that we'll like it even more down the road. This means new and higher expectations from all of us about what we consume every day as Food With Integrity is a constant process of searching and improving. And you're part of making it happen, every time you come in. For more information about Chipotle “Food With Integrity” philosophy go to www.chipotle/csr.com Chipotle Food With Integrity isn't a marketing slogan, it’s the fundamental way we do business/ It’s not a corporate initiative that will ever be finished or set aside to make room for other priorities.

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42 Table 1. (cont.) Corporate Social Responsibility Treatments CSR Initiative Type Headline Message Text Pull Quote Message Control Chipotle Introduces New Breakfast Burrito The alarm goes off, you hit snooze. The alarm goes off again, you hit snooze again. So, you’re not a morning person. If you are longing for a Saturday morning, sit-down-style breakfast, that you can eat on the go, it is time that you tried Chipotle’s new breakfast burrito. The new Chipotle breakfast burrito is everything good about a weekend breakfast, ready to go. Freshly prepared by and, the breakfast burrito is a complete breakfast, wrapped up in a warm and easy-to-eat tortilla. Your choice of breakfast sausage, bacon or a traditional Chipotle meat, scrambled eggs, cheese, fajita vegetables, beans and salsa makes this breakfast a complete meal to start your day right. We make it right in front of you. You choose exactly what you want. This may mean a little more salsa, a little less cheese, whatever you’d like. Breakfast at Chipotle is no different. You can build your version of the perfect burrito for breakfast as well as for lunch and dinner. Morning never tasted so good. A satisfying breakfast makes all the difference and it is a lot easier to handle inside a tortilla. Chipotle breakfast burrito’s are one more reason to get up in the morning. All you have to do is hold on and enjoy. For more information about Chipotle, go to www.chipotle.com The new Chipotle breakfast burrito is everything good about a weekend Breakfast— ready to go.

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43 After viewing one of the experimental conditions, participants were asked to complete an instrument containing items th at measured their beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intention toward Chipotle. Specifi cally, scales were created to measure the following variables: 1) salient beliefs (about corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility); 2) attitudes (toward the advertisement and the organization); and 3) behavioral intention (toward the advertisem ent and the organization). In addition, items also measured elements of corporate cr edibility identified by Newell and Goldsmith (2001), specifically expertise, trustw orthiness, and trut hfulness/honesty. Instrumentation The instrument used Werder (2008), La fferty, Goldsmith, and Newell (2002), and Newell and Goldsmith (2001), Zaichkowsky (1994) and Hallahan (1999) as guidelines to replicate and extend previous re search. Separate items were created to measure corporate belief sets about Chipotle’s soci al responsibility, corporate cr edibility attitude toward the advertisement, attitude toward the organi zation, attitude toward corporate social responsibility involvement, subjective norm, and behavioral intention. To measure beliefs about Chipotle’s soci al responsibility, a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree ) was used to measure the following five items taken from Werder (2008): 1) I believe Chipotle engages in ethical business practices; 2) I believe that Chipotle is a socially responsib le organization; 3) I believe that Chipotle positively contributes to the community; 4) I believe that Chipotle is a bad corporate citizen (reversed); and 5) I believe that communities are negatively impacted by Chipotle (reversed).

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44 To measure beliefs about Chipotle’s cor porate credibility, two beliefs sets were tested including expertise a nd trust. Newell and Goldsmith (2001) developed a scale to measure perceived corporate credibility using the variables of trustworthiness and expertise. Their research indicates that thes e elements are most applicable to corporate credibility (p. 236). Therefore, to measure be liefs about Chipotle’s corporate credibility expertise and trust, measures developed by Newell and Goldsmith (2001) were utilized. To measure corporate credibility/expertise the following four items were used taken from Newell and Goldsmith (2001): 1) Chi potle has a great amoun t of expertise; 2) Chipotle is an expert in the food industry; 3) Chipotle is skilled at what it does; 4) Chipotle does not have much knowledge of th e food industry (reversed). To measure corporate credibility/trust th e following five items were used taken from Newell and Goldsmith (2001): 1) I trus t Chipotle; 2) Chipotle makes truthful claims; 3) Chipotle is an honest organization; 4) I do not believe what Chipotle tells me (reversed); and 5) Chipotle misleads cons umers about its products (reversed). To measure attitude toward the adver tisement, one item developed by Werder (2008) was used: 1) This advertisement is eff ective in promoting Chipotle as a socially responsible organization. In a ddition, two sets of four sema ntic differential items taken from Werder (2008), were creat ed to measure attitude towa rds the advertisement. The first set of items used the statement, “My attitu de toward the Chipotle advertisement is:” and was rated on scales anchored by positive/negative (reversed), good/bad favorable/unfavorable (reversed), and disapproving/approving The second statement, “I consider messages from Chipotle to be:” was rated on scales anchored by

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45 biased/unbiased (reversed), not credible/credible trustworthy/not trustworthy (reversed), and not convincing/convincing To measure attitude towards the orga nization, one item developed by Werder (2008) was used: “I like Chipo tle.” Next, four items taken from Werder (2008) were created to measure attitude towards the or ganization. A scale was included using three 7point semantic differential-type items. The st atement, “My attitude toward the Chipotle as an organization is:” was rated on scales anchored by positive/negative (reversed), good/bad favorable/unfavorable (reversed), and disapproving/approving To measure attitude towards corporate so cial responsibility involvement, a scale was developed using measures from Zaichkowsky (1994) and Hallahan (1999). Zaichkowsky (1994) developed a 10-item persona l involvement inventory that focuses on the major elements of involvement and pers onal relevance. Hallahan (1999) used items drawn from and extending Zaichkowsky’s (1994) persona l involvement inventory. To measure attitude toward corporate so cial responsibility involvement, a scale was included using four 7-point semantic di fferential-type items. The statement “The advertisement made me feel that corporate social responsibility:” was rated on scales anchored by: involves me/doesn’t involve me (reversed) (Zaichkowsky, 1994), is irrelevant to me/ is relevant to me (Zaichkowsky, 1994), concerns me/doesn’t concern me (reversed) (Hallahan, 1999), and personally affects me/doesn ’t personally affect me (reversed) (Hallahan, 1999). To measure subjective norm, a scale de veloped by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), was included. According to Fishbein and Aj zen (1975), multiple perceived opinions are important in the development of an individua l’s perceived subjective norm. As a result, a

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46 scale to measure the influen ce of subjective norms was developed by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975) that asks research participants to respond to the statement: “Most people who are important to me think I should/ should not perform behavior x ” (p. 314). Therefore, to measure subjective norm, a scale developed by Fishbein and Ajzen (1975), was included using three 7-point semant ic differential-type statements including: 1) Most people who are important to me think I should/should not eat at Chipotle; 2) Most people who are important to me think I should/should not value corporate social responsibility; 3) Most people who are important to me think I should/should not purchase products from a socia lly responsible organization. To measure behavioral intention toward s the organization, four items developed by Werder (2008) using two 7-poi nt semantic differential-type items: 1) “I intend to purchase a meal or other product from Chipo tle during the next month” was rated on a scale anchored by likely/unlikely (reversed); and 2) “I plan to eat Chipotle food during the next month” was rated on a scale anchored by never/frequently. Next, participants rated the extent to which they intended to purch ase products from Chipotle during the next month on a 7-point magnitude measure ranging from never to 10 or more times In addition to the variables outlined above participants were asked to provide demographic information that included ge nder, age, and area of academic study. Manipulation Check Prior to hypothesis testing, a manipula tion check was conducted to assess the degree to which the CSR treatments agreed wi th the definitions of the initiatives as defined by Kotler and Lee (2005). An instrume nt was developed and administered to 24 students in an advanced undergraduate mass co mmunications class. Pa rticipants received

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47 a questionnaire designed to test the clarit y of the CSR messages and the degree of agreement between the CSR initiative type and its corresponding definition. The manipulation check employed a simplistic, yet statistically advanced design. Respondents were first asked to read the CS R message on top of the page. Then, they were to read all six of the provided CSR types and correspo nding definitions. Instructions were to rate each initiative type’s degree of agreement with the CSR message on the page, on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 ( strongly disagree ) to 7 ( strongly agree ). Results are shown in Table 2. Table 2. Manipulation Check Results Initiative Type N Percent Cause Promotion 21 88% Cause related marketing 21 88% Corporate social marketing 22 92% Corporate philanthropy 23 96% Corporate volunteerism 21 86% Socially responsible business practices 18 75%

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48 Eighty-eight percent of the participants agreed that the cause promotion message matched the cause promotion definition. Eightyeight percent of the participants agreed that the cause related marketing message matc hed the cause related marketing definition. 92% of the participants agreed that the corporate social marketing messages matched the corporate social marketing definition. Ninety-six percent of the participants agreed that the corporate philanthropy message matched the corporate philanthropy definition. Eighty-six percent of the participants agr eed that the corporate volunteerism messaged matched the corporate volunteerism definition. Seventy-five percent of the participants agreed that the socially responsible busi ness practices message matched the socially responsible business practices definition. Data Analysis Data were analyzed using SPSS 16.0 fo r Windows. An alpha level of .05 was required for significance in all statistical anal ysis. Statistical procedures to test the hypotheses included correlation analysis, line ar regression analysis, and analysis of variance (ANOVA). Cronbach’s Alpha was used to assess internal consistency of multiitem indexes.

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49 CHAPTER 4: RESULTS This study seeks to contribute to th e current body of knowledge about the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on rece iver variables. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to further cu rrent theory-driven strategic communications research by using an experimental design to te st corporate social re sponsibility initiative influence on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. This study is uniquely focused on developing a better unders tanding of how CSR initia tives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibi lity belief sets. The mean and standard deviations for each item are reported in Table 3. The internal consistency of the items used to measure the variables of interest were assessed using Cronbach’s alpha prior to hypothesis testing. The results of these tests are shown in Table 4. Table 3. Item Mean and Standard Deviations Item N M Standard Deviation BeliefsCSR I believe that Chipotle engages in ethical business practices. 247 5.26 1.261 I believe that Chipotle is a socially responsible organization. 247 5.45 1.264 I believe that Chipotle positively contributes to the community. 247 5.30 1.361 I believe that Chipotle is a bad corpor ate citizen (reversed). 247 5.65 1.213 I believe that communities are negatively impacted by Chipotle. 247 5.67 1.335 BeliefsCorporate Credibility-Trust I trust Chipotle. 247 4.50 1.239 Chipotle makes truthful claims. 247 4.45 1.069 Chipotle is an honest organization. 247 4.62 1.072 I do not believe what Chipotle tells me (reversed). 247 4.86 1.322 Chipotle misleads its consumers about its products (reversed). 247 4.85 1.231 BeliefsCorporate Credibility-Expertise Chipotle has a great amount of experience. 243 4.40 1.009 Chipotle is an expert in the food industry. 243 4.23 1.111 Chipotle is skilled at what it does. 243 4.77 1.180 Chipotle does not have much knowledge of the food industry (reversed). 243 5.10 1.220 Attitude Toward the Advertisement This advertisement is effective in promoting Chipotle as a socially 215 5.48 1.328

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50 responsible organization. My attitude the Chipotle advertisement is: positive/negative (reversed) 215 5.44 1.331 My attitude the Chipotle advertisement is: bad/good. 215 5.46 1.259 My attitude the Chipotle advertisement is: favorable/unfavorable (reversed) 215 5.29 1.333 My attitude the Chipotle advertisement is: disapproving/approving. 215 5.39 1.359 I consider messages from Chipotle to be: biased/unbiased (reversed) 215 4.10 1.613 I consider messages from Chipotle to be: not credible/credible. 215 4.74 1.232 I consider messages from Chipotle to be: trustworthy/not trustworthy (reversed) 215 4.60 1.332 I consider messages from Chipotle to be: not convincing/convincing. 215 4.88 1.358 Subjective Norm Most people who are important to me think I should/ I should not eat at Chipotle. 241 4.55 1.332 Most people who are important to me think I should/ I should not value corporate social responsibility. 241 5.11 1.284 Most people who are important to me think I should/ I should not purchase products from a socially responsible organization. 241 5.10 1.208 Behavioral Intention I intend to purchase a meal or other product from Chipotle during the next month: likely/ unlikely (reversed). 244 3.70 2.203 I plan to eat Chipotle food during the next month: never/frequently. 244 3.32 1.836 During the next month, I will purchase products from Chipotle: never, 1-2 times, 3-4 times, 5-6 tim es, 7-8 times, 9-10 times, more than 10 times. 244 1.72 1.128 Table 4. Cronbach’s alpha for multiple-item indexes Variable Cronbach's Alpha N of Items Corporate Social Responsibility beliefs .89 5 Corporate Credibility/trust beliefs .87 5 Corporate Credibility/expertise beliefs .79 5 Attitude toward the advertisement .92 8 Attitude toward the organization .93 4 Subjective norm .82 2 Behavioral intention .86 2

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51 The five items measuring the variable of corporate social responsibility beliefs about Chipotle yielded an al pha coefficient of .89. The five items measuring the variable of corporate credibility/t rust beliefs about Chipotle yielded an alpha co efficient of .87. Furthermore, the four items measuring the variable of corporate credib ility/expertise belief s about Chipotle yielded a coefficient alpha of .79. The nine items measuring the variable of attitude toward the advertisement yielded an alpha coefficient of .83; however, this value was improved by deleting one of the items. The item that asked respondents to rate messages from Chipotle on a semantic differential scale of 17 from biased to unbiased was dropped to produce a coefficient alpha of .92. The five items measuring the variable of attitude toward the organization yielded a coefficient alpha of .91; however, this value was improved by deleting the item that asked respondents to rate the statement of “I like Chipotle” on a scale of 1 to 7 from strongly disagree to strongly agree an alpha coefficient of .93 was obtained. The three items measuring the variable of subjective norm yielded an alpha coefficient of .67; however, this value was improved by deleting the items that asked respondents to rate the statement “Most people who are important to me think ________ eat at Chipotle,” on scale of 1-7 from I should to I should not an alpha coefficient of .82 was obtained. The three items measuring the variable of behavioral in tention yielded a coefficient alpha of .81; however, this va lue was improved by deleting the item “During

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52 the next month, I will purchase products from Chipotle.” After this item was dropped, an alpha coefficient of .86 was obtained. The results of the reliability analysis indi cate that the scales used to test the variables of interest had str ong internal consistency. Carmines and Zeller (1979) state that reliability alphas should not fall below .80. Furthermore, according to Berman (2002), alpha values between .80 a nd 1.00 indicate high reliability. As all of the reliability coefficient alphas for this study approach or fall in this range, this is an indication of the variables’ strong internal consistency. Tests of hypotheses To answer RQ1, H1 and its related propos itions were tested to determine the influence of CSR initiatives on the receiver belief sets. To test P1, analysis of variance (ANOVA) was conducted to eval uate differences in mean scores for the corporate credibility belief sets. The corporate credibil ity/trust belief set mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment are shown in Table 5. Results of the ANOVA i ndicate no significant differences among the treatments, F(7,239)= .290, p =.958, = .008. Table 5. Corporate Credibility/trust belief set mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment Treatment Mean Standard Deviation N Control Message 4.5667 1.10767 31 Cause Related Marketing 4.5300 .78546 35 Corporate Cause Promotion 4.7308 1.04910 26 Corporate Volunteering 4.6242 .75624 33 Socially Responsible Business Practices 4.7071 .90837 28 Corporate Philanthropy 4.8057 .98517 35 Corporate Social Marketing 4.6485 1.15654 33 Control Control 4.6615 1.00998 26 Total 4.6559 .96506 247

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53 The corporate credibility/expertise mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment are shown in Table 5. Results of the om nibus ANOVA indicate no significant difference among the treatments, F(7,235)= .565, p =.784, = .017. Table 6. Corporate Credibility/expertise belief set mean scores for each CSR initiative treatment Treatment Mean Standard Deviation N Control Message 4.5565 1.09869 31 Cause Related Marketing 4.5643 .86250 35 Corporate Cause Promotion 4.5385 .86224 26 Corporate Volunteering 4.7656 .70693 32 Socially Responsible Business Practices 4.6071 .71824 28 Corporate Philanthropy 4.8214 1.13690 35 Corporate Social Marketing 4.6210 .68274 31 Control Control 4.4600 .89466 25 Total 4.6255 .88560 243 To assess P1.2, a univariate analysis of varian ce as conducted to determine differences in CSR belief mean scores across CSR treatments The mean scores for the treatments are shown in Table 6. Table 7. Corporate Social Responsibility belief set m ean scores for each CSR initiative treatment Treatment Mean Standard Deviation N Control Message 4.7032 1.01570 31 Cause Related Marketing 6.0057 .90422 35 Corporate Cause Promotion 5.5000 1.05262 26 Corporate Volunteering 5.8848 .69827 33 Socially Responsible Business Practices 5.4071 .92453 28 Corporate Philanthropy 5.7314 1.23949 35 Corporate Social Marketing 5.3237 1.07450 33 Control Control 4.9538 1.03585 26 Total 5.4648 1.07674 247

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54 Results of the omnibus ANOVA indicat e significant differences among the treatments. F(7,239), =6.240, p=.000, = .155. In fact, the partial eta squared score indicates that 15.5% of the variance in CS R beliefs is due to the CSR initiatives; however, the significant differe nces are not between the different initiatives, they are between the controls with no in itiative, and any initiative. Although not significantly different than the other initiatives, th e results indicate that the cause related marketing treatment ( M =6.0057, SD =.90422) produced the highest mean among the six treatment types and two controls. This was followed by the corporate volunteering ( M= 5.8848, SD =.69827), corporate philanthropy ( M =5.7314, SD =1.23949), cause promotion ( M= 5.5000, SD= 1.05262), and socially respons ible business practices ( M= 5.4071, SD= .92453). The corporate social marketing treatment produced the lowest mean among the CSR treatments ( M =5.3273, SD =1.07450). The CSR overall control ( M =4.9538, SD =1.03585) and the treatment control ( M =4.7032, SD =1.01570) produced the lowest means among the eight treatment types. A Levene’s test for homogeneity of vari ance was not significant, and indicated this assumption was not viol ated, F(7,239),=2.041, p=.051. Therefore, a post hoc analysis was conducted using the Bonferroni procedur e to control for multiple comparisons. The post hoc analysis produced signifi cant differences in treatment pairs. The results of these tests are shown in Table 8.

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55 Table 8. CSR belief ANOVA Bonferr oni Post Hoc Results (I) Treatment (J) Treatment Mean Difference (I-J) Sig. Control Message Cause Related Marketing -1.3025 .000 Cause Promotion -.7968 .088 Corporate Volunteering -1.1816 .000 Socially Responsible Business Practices -.7039 .215 Corporate Philanthropy -1.0282 .001 Corporate Social Marketing -.6240 .383 Overall Control -.2506 1.000 Cause Related Marketing Control Message 1.3025 .000 Cause Promotion .5057 1.000 Corporate Volunteering .1209 1.000 Socially Responsible Business Practices .5986 .548 Corporate Philanthropy .2743 1.000 Corporate Social Marketing .6784 .163 Overall Control 1.0519 .002 Cause Promotion Control Message .7968 .088 Cause Related Marketing -.5057 1.000 Corporate Volunteering -.3848 1.000 Socially Responsible Business Practices .0929 1.000 Corporate Philanthropy -.2314 1.000 Corporate Social Marketing .1727 1.000 Overall Control .5462 1.000 Corporate Volunteering Control Message 1.1816 .000 Cause Related Marketing -.1209 1.000 Cause Promotion .3848 1.000 Socially Responsible Business Practices .4777 1.000 Corporate Philanthropy .1534 1.000 Corporate Social Marketing .5576 .701 Overall Control .9310 .014

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56 Table 8. (cont.) CSR belief ANOVA Bonferr oni Post Hoc Results (I) Treatment (J) Treatment Mean Difference (I-J) Sig. Socially Responsible Business Practices Control Message .7039 .215 Cause Related Marketing -.5986 .548 Cause Promotion -.0929 1.000 Corporate Volunteering -.4777 1.000 Corporate Philanthropy -.3243 1.000 Corporate Social Marketing .0799 1.000 Overall Control .4533 1.000 Corporate Philanthropy Control Message 1.0282 .001 Cause Related Marketing -.2743 1.000 Cause Promotion .2314 1.000 Corporate Volunteering -.1534 1.000 Socially Responsible Business Practices .3243 1.000 Corporate Social Marketing .4042 1.000 Overall Control .7776 .086 Corporate Social Marketing Control Message .6240 .383 Cause Related Marketing -.6784 .163 Cause Promotion -.1727 1.000 Corporate Volunteering -.5576 .701 Socially Responsible Business Practices -.0799 1.000 Corporate Philanthropy -.4042 1.000 Overall Control .3734 1.000 Overall Control Control Message .2506 1.000 Cause Related Marketing -1.0519 .002 Cause Promotion -.5462 1.000 Corporate Volunteering -.9310 .014 Socially Responsible Business Practices -.4533 1.000 Corporate Philanthropy -.7776 .086 Corporate Social Marketing -.3734 1.000 In addition, the treatment control mean wa s significantly different from the cause related marketing ( p= .000), corporate volunteering ( p= .000), and corporate philanthropy treatments ( p= .001). Cause related marketing was st atistically different from the

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57 treatment control ( p= .000), and the overall control ( p= .002). Corporate volunteering was statistically different from the treatment control ( p= .000), and the overall control ( p= .014). Furthermore, corporate philanthropy was statistically different than the treatment control ( p= .001), and the overall control was st atistically different than cause related marketing ( p= .002), and corporat e volunteering ( p= .014). The results support P1.2, but not P1.1. This indicates that CSR initiatives influence corporate social responsibility beli efs, but not corporate credibility beliefs. Therefore, the results of this study show mixed support for H1. To test H2, first a correlation analysis was conducted to assess the relationship among variables. The results are shown in Table 9. Linear regr ession analysis was conducted to evaluate how well receiver belie f sets influence receiver attitude sets. Proposition 2.1, the influence of corporate credib ility belief sets on attitude toward the advertisement, and P2.2, the influence of cor porate social responsib ility beliefs sets on attitude toward the advertisement, were test ed. The attitude toward the ad measure, the dependent variable, was regresse d on the three measures of corporate credibility/ trust, corporate credibility/expertise, and corporate social responsibility.

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58 Table 9. Belief Set/ Attitude Set Correlations Corporate Social Responsibility belief Corporate Credibility/ expertise belief Corporate Credibility/ trust belief Attitude towards the Advertisement Attitude towards the Organization Corporate Social Responsibility belief Pearson Correlation 1.000 .510 ** .649 ** .641 ** .623 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 N 247.000 243 247 215 243 Corporate Credibility/ expertise belief Pearson Correlation .510 ** 1.000 .615 ** .502 ** .511 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 N 243 243.000 243 212 239 Corporate Credibility/ trust belief Pearson Correlation .649 ** .615 ** 1.000 .671 ** .671 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 N 247 243 247.000 215 243 Attitude towards the Advertisement Pearson Correlation .641 ** .502 ** .671 ** 1.000 .778 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 N 215 212 215 215.000 215 Attitude towards the Organization Pearson Correlation .623 ** .511 ** .671 ** .778 ** 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 N 243 239 243 215 244.000 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). The results are shown in Table 10. Findings indicate that the three belief set variables account for about 58% of the varian ce in attitude toward the advertisement R2=.587, Adj. R2=.581, F (3,208)=98.487, p =.000. The belief set measures were positive predictors of attitude toward the advertisement. The belief set of corporate credibility/trust showed the strongest positive influence on attitude toward the advertisement, =.420, t (210)=6.606, p =.000. The other two belief sets show significance in influencing attitude towa rd the advertisement, but do not demonstrate as strong a relationship. The belief set of corporate soci al responsibility show s the second strongest positive influence on attitude toward the advertisement, =.344, t (.210)=5.943, p =.000. The belief set of corporate credibility/exper tise shows the weakest positive influence on

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59 attitude toward the advertisement, =.118, t (210)=2.110, p =.036. These results support H2, specifically P2.1, and P2.2. Table 10. Belief sets influence on Attitude toward the Advertisement Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) .388 .296 1.312 .191 Corporate Credibility /trust belief .469 .071 .420 6.606 .000 Corporate Credibility/expertise belief .142 .067 .118 2.110 .036 Corporate Socially Responsibility belief .347 .058 .344 5.943 .000 a. Dependent Variable: Attitude towards the Advertisement Proposition 2.3, the influence of corporate credibility belief sets on attitude toward the organization, and P2.4, the influence of corpor ate social responsibility beliefs sets on attitude toward the organization, were tested. The attitude toward the organizati on measure, the dependent variable, was regressed on the three measur es corporate credibility/ trust, corporate credibility/expertise, and corporate social responsibility. The results are shown in Table 11. Findings indicate that the three belief set variables account for about 51% of the variance in attitude toward the organization R2=.517, Adj. R2=.511, F (3,235)=83.951, p =.000. The belief set measures were positiv e predictors of attitude toward the organization. The belief set of corporate credibility/trus t showed the strongest positive influence on attitude toward the organization, =.404, t (237)=6.168, p =.000. The other two belief sets approached significance in influencing attitude towa rd the organization, but do not demonstrate a strong relationship. The belief set of corporate social responsibility showed the second strongest positive influence on attitude toward the organization, =.307, t (237)=5.124, p =.000. The belief

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60 set of corporate credibility/expertise showed no significant influence on attitude toward the organization, =.111, t (237)=1.905, p =.058. These results support H2; specifically P2.3, and P2.4. Table 11. Belief sets influence on Attitude toward the Organization Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) -.132 .359 -.367 .714 Corporate Credibility /trust belief .548 .089 .404 6.168 .000 Corporate Credibility/expertise belief .162 .085 .111 1.905 .058 Corporate Socially Responsibility belief .373 .073 .307 5.124 .000 a. Dependent Variable: Attitude towards the Organization To test H3, first a correla tion analysis was conducted to assess the relationship among variables. Results are shown on Ta ble 12. Correlation anal ysis found that the subjective norm variable is strongly and pos itively correlated w ith the variables of attitude towards the advertisement( r= .493, p= .000), and attitude toward the organization( r= .484, p= .000). Correlation analysis found th at the attitude towards the advertisement variable is strongly and positively correlated with the variables of subjective norm ( r= .493, p= .000), and attitude towa rds the organization( r= .778, p= .000). Correlation analysis found that the attitu de toward the organization variable is

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61 strongly and positively correlated with the variables of subjective norm ( r= .484, p= .000), and attitude towards the advertisement( r= .778, p= .000). Table 12. Attitude Sets/ Subjective Norm Correlations Subjective Norm Attitude towards the Advertisement Attitude towards the Organization Subjective Norm Pearson Correlation 1.000 .493** .484** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 N 242.000 211 239 Attitude towards the Advertisement Pearson Correlation .493** 1.000 .778** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 N 211 215.000 215 Attitude towards the Organization Pearson Correlation .484** .778** 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 N 239 215 244.000 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed). Linear regression analysis was conducte d to evaluate how well receiver attitude sets influence behavioral intention towa rd the organization. Proposition 3.1, the influence of attitude toward the advertis ement on behavioral intention toward the organization, and P3.2, the influence of attitu de toward the organization on behavioral intention toward the organization, were te sted. The results are shown in Table 13. Findings indicate that the two attitude se t variables, along with the subjective norm

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62 variable, account for about 17% of the vari ance in behavioral intention toward the organization R2=.177, Adj. R2=.165, F (3,210)=14.886, p =.000. The attitude set variables and subjective norm measures were a positive predictor of behavior al intention toward the organization. Table 13. Attitude Sets and Subjective Norm influence on Behavioral Intention Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) -.229 .673 -.370 .734 Subjective Norm .029 .111 .018 .266 .790 Attitude towards the Organization .462 .160 .314 2.885 .004 Attitude towards the Advertisement .206 .195 .116 1.056 .292 a. Dependent Variable: Behavioral Intentention Attitude toward the organization was the only variable that, on its own, demonstrated a significant influence on behavioral intention toward the organization, =.314, t (210)=2.885, p =.004. Although attitude toward the organization demonstrated a significant influence on behavioral intention toward the organization, attitude toward the adve rtisement and subjective norm did not demonstrate a significant relations hip with behavioral intention toward the organization. The results show mixed support for H3. Specifically P3.2, was supported, but not P3.1. This indicates that attitudes toward the orga nization influence behavioral intention toward the organization, but not attitude toward the a dvertisement or subjective norm. Therefore, the results of this study show mixed support for H3 Exploratory research and data analysis found significant correlations between variables other th an those hypothesized. Results are shown in Table 14.

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63 Table 14. Exploratory Resear ch Correlations Exploratory correlation analysis found that the CSR belief set measure is strongly and positively correlated with the measures of corporate credib ility belief/expertise ( r= .510, p= .000), corporate credib ility belief/trust ( r= .649, p= .000), attitude toward the advertisement ( r= .666, p= .000), and attitude towa rds the organization ( r= .623, p= .000). Exploratory correlation anal ysis also found that th e corporate credibility belief/expertise measure is strongly and pos itively correlated with the measures of corporate credibility belief/trust ( r= .615, p= .000), attitude toward the advertisement ( r= .529, p= .000), and attitude towa rds the organization ( r= .511, p= .000). Corporate Credibility/ trust belief Corporate Credibility/ expertise belief Corporate Socially Responsibility belief Attitude towards the Advertisement Attitude towards the Organization Behavioral Intention Corporate Credibility/ trust belief Pearson Correlation 1.000 .615 ** .649 ** .671 ** .671 ** .497 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 N 247.000 243 247 215 243 243 Corporate Credibility/ expertise belief Pearson Correlation .615 ** 1.000 .510 ** .502 ** .511 ** .467 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 N 243 243.000 243 212 239 240 Corporate Socially Responsibility belief Pearson Correlation .649 ** .510 ** 1.000 .641 ** .623 ** .324 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 N 247 243 247.000 215 243 243 Attitude towards the Advertisement Pearson Correlation .671 ** .502 ** .641 ** 1.000 .778 ** .349 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 N 215 212 215 215.000 215 213 Attitude towards the Organization Pearson Correlation .671 ** .511 ** .623 ** .778 ** 1.000 .410 ** Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 N 243 239 243 215 244.000 242 Behavioral Intention Pearson Correlation .497 ** .467 ** .324 ** .349 ** .410 ** 1.000 Sig. (2-tailed) .000 .000 .000 .000 .000 N 243 240 243 213 242 246.000 **. Correlation is significant at the 0.01 level (2-tailed).

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64 Exploratory correlation anal ysis also found that th e corporate credibility belief/trust measure is strongly and positively correlated with the measures of attitude towards the advertisement ( r= .711, p= .000), attitude toward the organization ( r= .671, p= .000), and behavioral intention ( r= .497, p= .000). Exploratory correlation anal ysis also found that th e attitude towards the advertisement variable is strongly and positivel y correlated with the variable of attitude toward the organization ( r= .818, p= .000). Exploratory research and da ta analysis found that va riables other than those hypothesized influence behavioral intention. Th e belief set variable also influences behavioral intention, R2=.290, Adj. R2=.281, F (3,239)=32.169, p =.000. Specifically, the belief set of corporate credibility/trust showed the strongest positive influence on behavioral intention =.353, t (238)=4.501, p =.000. The belief set of corporate credibility/expertise also demonstrated a sign ificant influence on be havioral intention, =.270, t (238)=3.843, p =.000. Results are found in Table 15. Table 15 Belief sets influence on Behavioral Intention Model Unstandardized Coefficients Standardized Coefficients t Sig. B Std. Error Beta 1 (Constant) -2.163 .644 -3.359 .001 Corporate Socially Responsible belief -.059 .129 -.033 -.461 .645 Corporate Credibility/ trust belief .711 .158 .353 4.501 .000 Corporate Credibility/ expertise belief .583 .152 .270 3.843 .000 a. Dependent Variable: Behavioral Intention

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65 The next section, the discussion chapter, provides a overview of the findings of this study, as well its significance and lim itations. The significance of this study on strategic communications theory and practice will be emphasized. Finally, the conclusion section suggests directions for future research.

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66 CHAPTER 5: DISCUSSION This study sought to contribute to th e current body of knowledge about the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on receiver variables as well as further current theory-driven strategic communi cations research by using an experimental design to test corporate social responsibility initiative influe nce on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral intentions. This study uniquely focused on developing a better understanding of how CSR initiatives influence corporate cr edibility and corporate social responsibility belief sets. In addition, this study also sought to extend the research of Werder (2008) that examined the effects of CSR initia tives identified by Kotler and Lee (2005) on beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral inten tions using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action. Furthermore, th is study extended the research of Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell’s (2002) Dual Credib ility Model and sought to understand the influence and role of corporate credibility as a belief set and mediator between corporate social responsibility initiativ es and receiver variables of at titude and behavioral intention. This research seeks to contribute to theory development as well as influence strategic communications management practice and peda gogy. Findings of the study are valuable not only to strategic communication practit ioners but also educators, marketing professionals, and organizations. One rese arch question was addressed, and three hypotheses and eight propositions were tested. Werder (2008) found that CSR initiatives influence beliefs about an organization. Research Question 1 of this study extends th is to all six initiat ive types identified by Kotler and Lee (2005). Research Question 1 assessed the influence of the six CSR initiative types identified by Kotler and Lee (2005) on receiver belief sets. The belief sets

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67 include corporate social re sponsibility, corporate credib ility/trust, and corporate credibility/expertise. The research questi on sought to discover whether the numerous CSR initiatives have a differing ability to impact belief sets. The results of this study extend previous research fi ndings. Werder (2008) found that CSR initiatives influence beliefs about an organization, especially those beliefs about the organization’s contributions to society. The re sults of RQ1 indicate no significant differences among the treatments. In fact, sta tistical analysis show s that 15.5% of the variance in CSR beliefs is due to the diffe rence in CSR initiative of the treatment. Specifically, the post hoc comparisons for the different treatment variables indicate that the cause-related marketing treatment produced the highest mean among the six treatment types and two controls. The results of Werd er (2008) also suggest that cause-related marketing may be the most beneficial to an organization due to its ability to influence beliefs. In this study, as well as Werder ( 2008), the cause related marketing initiative treatment demonstrated the strongest infl uence on beliefs, and thus would be the recommended CSR initiative type fo r organizations to implement. These results help extend theory driv en strategic communications research by broadening the understanding of the influence of corporate social re sponsibility initiative types on receiver belief sets. The results indica te differences in the initiatives ability to influence beliefs; therefore, applications of this research to strategic communications practice are evident. Results enable eviden cebased recommendations to be made to clients, organizations, and cor porations looking to enact or revise social responsibility campaigns. Pedagogy is impacted as these finding s will be beneficial to future strategic communication practitioners. Thus, the disse mination of these results throughout the

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68 curriculum of strategic communications, marketing, management, and advertising students is important. Hypothesis 1 further explored the rela tionships of the corporate social responsibility initiatives on receivers’ corporate credib ility and corporate social responsibility belief sets. The propositions re lated to Hypothesis 1 were developed from the results of previous research and lite rature on the effects of corporate social responsibility initiatives (Werder, 2007; Ko tler & Lee, 2005). Findings of H1 indicate that overall, CSR initiatives do influence indivi duals’ belief sets. Two propositions tested the influence of CSR initiative types on belief sets. Proposition 1.1 tested the influence of the CSR initiatives on the corporate credib ility belief set. Pr oposition 1.1 was not supported as tests did not show significance. Proposition 1.2 tested the influence of CSR initiatives on the corporate social respons ibility belief set. Proposition 1.2 was supported as tests did show significance. These result s indicate that CSR initiatives influence corporate social responsibility be liefs, but not corporate credib ility beliefs. Therefore, the results of this study show mixed support for H1. Overall, these re sults are supportive of the findings in Werder (2008), that CSR initiatives influence beliefs about an organization. These findings are applicable to recent and future developments in strategic communications research and theory developm ent. The concepts of corporate social responsibility and corporate credibility are increasingl y prevalent in strategic communications research. Lafferty, Goldsmit h, and Newell’s Dual Credibility Model (2002) utilizes the concept of corporate credib ility, in addition to e ndorser credibility, in demonstrating relationships betw een credibility types, attitude toward the advertisement,

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69 and purchase intention. The results of H1 help exte nd theory by broadening the understanding of the influence of corporate social responsibility initiative types on the receiver belief sets of corporate social re sponsibility and corporate credibility. Results indicate that CSR initiatives influence corpor ate social responsibility beliefs, but not corporate credibility beliefs. Results do not demonstrate a direct influence of the CSR initiatives on corporate credibility belief sets; however, corporate cred ibility is often noted as a key influence in eventually determining purchase inten tion. Lafferty, Goldsmith and Newell (2002) suggest that corporate social responsibility and the compa ny’s citizenship influences purchase intention. Strategic communications researchers can use this knowledge to conduct further research into th ese variables’ relationships. Pr actitioners can use this to inform their practice of st rategic communication by mainta ining an awareness of the influence of corporate social responsibility. Two hypotheses tested study-related predic tions using a framework derived from Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action. Hypothesis 2 tested the influence of belief sets on attitude sets. Hypot hesis 3 tested the influence of attitude sets on behavioral intention. The theory of reasoned action is seen as a valuable theoretical framework for this research through the demonstration of results supporting the theoretical relationships. The results of this study support both H2 and H3, indicating that the theory of reasoned action does provide a framework for this research, which helps add validity to the overa ll results of the study. Hypothesis 2 tested the influence of cor porate credibility and corporate social responsibility receiver belief sets on attitude toward the advertisement and attitude

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70 toward the organization. Findings indicate that the belief set of corporate credibility/trust showed the strongest positive influence on attitu de toward the advertisement and attitude toward the organization. The corporate social responsibility belief set showed the second strongest positive influence on attitude toward the advertisement and attitude toward the organization. The belief set of corporate cred ibility/expertise showed the weakest positive influence on attitude toward the advertisement and attit ude toward the organization. Hypothesis 2 sought to test the theory of reasoned action within the context of corporate credibility and corporate social res ponsibility. The results support Fishbein and Ajzen’s theory of reasoned action (1975, 2005) because beliefs are shown to influence attitudes. Furthermore, Fishbe in and Ajzen (1975) suggest that an attitude about an object is the result of the total of many varying belie fs about the object. The findings of H2 are supportive of this concept as multiple belief sets are shown to influence the attitude sets. Hypothesis 2 also supports Lafferty, Go ldsmith, and Newell’s Dual Credibility Model (2002) and demonstrated that corporate credibility is positively and directly related to attitude toward the advertisement (2002, p. 1). Goldsmith, Lafferty, and Newell (2000) also demonstrated a st rong relationship between corpor ate credibility and attitude toward the brand. Goldsmith, Lafferty, a nd Newell’s (2000, 2002) previous research suggests that corporate credibili ty influences attitudes about advertisements and brands. Findings of H2 demonstrate a significant influe nce of the corporate credibility/trust belief set on both attitude toward th e advertisement and attitude toward the organization. This supports previous research by Goldsm ith, Lafferty, and Newell (2000, 2002). The results of H2 further extend strate gic communication theory by developing an understanding of the concepts of corporate credibilit y, attitude towards the advertisement,

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71 and attitude towards the organization. Resu lts also support the well-tested theory of reasoned action within the developing stra tegic communications theoretical framework by demonstrating its conceptual applicati on to strategic communications research. Practitioners can apply the knowledge that be liefs about an organization’s corporate social responsibility and corporate credibilit y, influence attitudes held about the specific message, and the organization. This is bene ficial information as it impacts the way practitioners communicate with publics. Educators can embrace this knowledge as well in order to inform the practice of future strategic communicators. Hypothesis 3 sought to further support the theory of reasoned action by experimentally testing the influence of attitude sets on behavioral intention sets. Hypothesis 3 tested the influe nce of attitude towards the advertisement and attitude towards the organization on behavioral inte ntion towards the organization. The findings indicate that attitude towards the organi zation significantly in fluences behavioral intention towards the organiza tion; however, attitude toward the advertisement did not demonstrate a significant infl uence with behavioral inten tion towards the organization. Hypothesis 3 also tested the in fluence of subjective norm on be havioral intention, but this variable also did not demonstrate a signifi cant relationship with behavioral intention. Overall, these results demonstrated mixe d support for H3; P3.2 was supported, but P3.1 was not. Findings indicate that attitudes toward the organization influence behavioral intention towards the organi zation, This supports the theo ry of reasoned action, which states that attitudes lead to the formation of behavioral intention. Furthermore, the results

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72 demonstrate additional rationale for applicati on of the theory of reasoned action to the study of strategic communications. Past research by Lafferty, Goldsmith a nd Newell (2002) on the Dual Credibility Model demonstrated the influence of cor porate credibility on purchase intentions, a behavioral intention specific to consumer buying habits. The results of H3 support and extend these findings. Corporate credibility is established over time and is a long-term condition. Therefore, it is understandable th at attitude toward th e organization, also a condition that is established ove r time, influences behavioral intention more so than the short term condition of attitude toward the advertisement, or subjective norm. Although the theory of reas oned action provides a framew ork for this research, exploratory analysis demonstrates additional relationships between the variables of beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intention. C ontrary to the framework of the theory, the belief sets of corporate credibility/trust and corporate credibility/expertise were shown to directly influence behavioral in tention towards the organization. Some of the exploratory research sugges ts findings that are divergent from the provided framework for this rese arch regarding the influences of beliefs on attitudes, and attitudes on behavioral intention. None the less, it is possible that the corporate credibility/ trust belief variable, along with the corporate credibility/expertise belief variable, demonstrate an influence on behavi oral intention toward the organization. This is possible because the corporat e credibility belief variables strongly influence the attitude toward s the organization variable. As a result of the strong influence, direct influence occurs between th e corporate credibility belief variable and behavioral intention. The cor porate credibility/trust belief variable demonstrated the

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73 strongest influence on the variable of att itude toward the organization, and attitude towards the organization demonstrated the st rongest influence on be havioral intention toward the organization. Both of these relations hips are in accordance with the theory of reasoned action. Therefore, the ex istence of an influence of th e corporate credibility/ trust and corporate credibility/expert ise belief variables on behavi oral intention toward the organization is not inconceivable even though it deviates from the theoretical framework. This finding suggests an extension on the th eory of reasoned action, when referring to corporate credibility. This finding is beneficial to strategic communications theory development as it defies the conventions of a well-accepted and well-tested theory used in communications and other research arenas. Theories are inhe rently meant to be tested, verified, and disconfirmed. According to Severin and Tanka rd (2001), “no theory is final or beyond question” (p. 31). The findings of this resear ch extend a well established theory; therefore informing future research and practice. Figure 2 illustrates th e relationships suggested thr ough the research results. The bold arrows indicate the stronge st relationships between the variables and the influences they exude. The other arrows demonstrate si gnificant, yet weaker relationships between the variables. A unique contribution of this research study is the corporate social responsibility belief set as a mediator for infl uence of the corporate social responsibility initiatives on the corporate credibility belief sets. Past research does not demonstrate this link; however, the result s of this study clearly demonstr ate this relationship between the variables.

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74 Figure 2. CSR Belief Set Mediator Model Despite the implications of this research for the field of strategic communications, theory, and practice, this study has several limitations. As with any experimental research, the findings of this study cannot be generalized beyond the respondents who participated. In addition, the experiment wa s conducted immediately following another research activity using the same participan t sample. Participants may have experienced “survey fatigue,” which may have imp acted or skewed this study’s results. In conclusion, the next chapter will delve further into the implications of this research on the field of strategic communi cation, theory development, and practice. Directions for future research will also be discussed. Expertise ( r =.510. p =.000) Trust ( r =.649. p =.000) Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives Corporate Social Responsibilit y Belief Set Corporate Credibility Belief Sets Attitude towards the Advertisement Attitude towards the Organization Behavioral Intention towards the Organization R=.281 Trust, t =4.501 Expertise, t =3.843 R=. 581, t= 5.943 R=. 581 Trust, t =6.606 R=. 511 t =5.124 R =. 511 Trust, t =6.168 R= .165 t= 2.885 R=. 130 =.155

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75 CHAPTER 6: CONCLUSION This study contributes to the current body of knowledge about the influence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on receiver variable s as well as further current theory-driven strategic communications research by using an experime ntal design to test corporate social responsibility initiative influence on beliefs attitudes and behavioral intentions. This study uniquely focused on developing a better understanding of how CSR initiatives influence corporate credibility and corporate social responsibility belief sets. In addition, this study extends the rese arch of Werder (2008) that examined the effects of CSR initiatives identified by Kotle r and Lee (2005) on beliefs, attitudes and behavioral intentions using Fishbein and Ajzen’s (1975, 2005) theory of reasoned action. This study also extends the research of La fferty, Goldsmith and Newell’s (2002) Dual Credibility Model and creates further understand ing of the influence and role of corporate credibility as a belief set and mediator betw een corporate social re sponsibility initiatives and receiver variables of attit ude and behavioral intention. This research contributes to theory deve lopment and offers insight into strategic communications management practice and pedagogy. Findings of the study will be valuable not only to strategic communication practitioners but also educators, marketing professionals, and organizations. Overall, th is study makes a significant contribution to strategic communications through the use of interdisciplinary scholarly research. This study contributes to the furt her understanding of the infl uence of corporate social responsibility initiatives on consumer rece iver variables of be liefs, attitudes and behavioral intention.

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76 This study influences strategic communica tions practice through the identification of the most successful corporate social re sponsibility initiatives. This knowledge will benefit practice. With this knowledge, organi zations will be able to carefully plan corporate social responsibility strategies that will help them reach their goals including, but not limited to, improved relationships with key publics, increased financial earnings and brand awareness. Based on the findings, organizations shoul d utilize the cause related marketing corporate social responsibili ty initiatives. By enacting cause related marketing, the organization will be engaging in practices that will improve profits as well as relationships with key pub lics such as investors, c onsumers, employees, and the community. Cause related marketing should im prove a company’s financial bottom line. Based on the findings of this study, the orga nizations should be ab le to show a link between the cause related marketing initia tive and the financial bottom line. Other benefits that organizations will see from enacting cause related marketing include decreased operating costs, increased brand awareness, partnership building, enhanced employee well being and satisfaction, as well as establishing solid brand positioning (Kotler & Lee, 2005). This research will impact strategic communications pedagogy through the dissemination of the relationships discovered in this study. Over time, case studies will demonstrate the use of successful corporate social responsibility initiatives. The results of this study will influence how educators teach strategic communications students about corporate social responsibility strategies. With minimal research on th is topic w ithin the strategic communications context, this study will also serve as a building block for

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77 further strategic communications theory-drive n research in the area of corporate social responsibility. This study will impact the current pract ice of communications and marketing professionals. This study imparts a furthe r understanding and knowledge of strategic corporate social responsibility initiative use. This will benefit pr actitioners through the support of and deviation from previous info rmation about strategic corporate social responsibility initiative use effectiveness. Educators may embrace the extension of knowledge as there is currently very little research in this area within an evidence-based and theory-driven strategic communications context and thus actively s eek to impart this information to their students. Organizations and corporations w ill also benefit from the practical knowledge gained through this research. The knowledge of the most successful strategic corporate social responsibility initiatives will help organizations reach goals impacted through the benefits of corporate social responsibility. Future research should focus on creating a better understanding of the specific differences in the corporate social responsibilit y initiatives’ ability to influence beliefs, attitudes, and behavioral in tentions. Specifically, reasons for corporate cause related marketing consistently demonstrating the str ongest positive influen ce on receiver belief sets should be investigated. In addition, the results of this study suggest links between variables that diverge from strategic communications’ curren t theoretical understanding. Thus, these relationships should be examin ed. Specifically, the relationships between corporate credibility belief sets and be havioral intention require further study.

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78 This study contributes to strategic communications’ understanding of corporate social responsibility, corporate credibility, and their influence on potential consumers. There are a myriad of opport unities to extend th e research and understanding created through this study. The results of this research begin to de velop an understanding of these concepts, yet further research efforts br inging corporate social responsibility and corporate credibility under the umbrella of strategic communications management are necessary.

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86 Appendix A Treatments

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87 CAUSE PROMOTION

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88 CORPORATE SOCIAL MARKETING

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89 CORPORATE PHILANTHROPY

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90 CORPORATE VOLUNTEERING

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91 SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS PRACTICES

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92 MESSAGE CONTROL

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93 Appendix B Questionnaire

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94 This questionnaire investigates corporate communication and how it affects you. Please answ er the following questions about your attitudes toward corpora te social responsibly and Chipotle restaurant. There are no right or wrong answers, so please respond as honestly as possible. Your responses will remain anonymous. Thank you in advance for your time and effort.

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95 Please use the scale below to rate your level of agreement with the following statements about Chipotle. Place an “X” in the appropriate blank on the scale. 1. I am familiar with Chipotle. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 2. The quality of food at Chipotle is good compared to simila r restaurants. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 3. I eat at Chipotle frequently. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 4. I like Chipotle. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 5. Chipotle is: Good _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Bad Irresponsible _____:_____:_____:__ ___:_____:_____:_____ Responsible Ethical _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Unethical Untruthful _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Truthful Please use the scale below to rate your level of agreement with the following statements about corporate social responsibility. Place an “X” in the appropriate blank on the scale. 6. A corporation’s social responsibility is important. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 7. I like corporations that are socially responsible. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 8. I prefer to purchase products from corporations that are socially responsible. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 9. I often purchase products from corporations that are socially responsible. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 10. Corporate social responsibility is: Important _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Unimportant Unfavorable _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Favorable Good _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Bad Unnecessary _____:_____:_____:__ ___:_____:_____:_____ Necessary

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96 Please spend a few minutes reviewi ng the attached article. After reviewing the article, answer the following questions to the best of your ability.

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97 Please use the scale below to rate your level of agreement with the following statements about Chipotle. Place an “X” in the appropriate section on the scale. 11. I believe that Chipotle engages in ethical business practices. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 12. I believe that Chipotle is a soci ally responsible organization. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 13. I believe that Chipotle positively contributes to the community. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 14. I believe that Chipotle is a bad corporate citizen. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 15. I believe that communities are negatively impacted by Chipotle. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 16. Chipotle has a great amount of experience. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 17. Chipotle is an expert in the food industry. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 18. Chipotle is skilled at what it does. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 19. Chipotle does not have much knowledge of the food industry. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 20. I trust Chipotle. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 21. Chipotle makes truthful claims. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 22. Chipotle is an honest organization. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 23. I do not believe what Chipotle tells me. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 24. Chipotle misleads consumers about its products. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 25. This advertisement is effective in promoting Chi potle as a socially responsible organization. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree 26. I like Chipotle. Strongly Disagree _____:_____:_____:___ __:_____:_____:_____ Strongly Agree

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98 27. This advertisement made me feel th at corporate social responsibility: Involves me _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____ Doesn’t involve me Is irrelevant to me _____:_____:_____:_____:_ ____:_____:_____ Is relevant to me Concerns me _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Doesn’t concern me Personally affects me _____:_____ :_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Do esn’t personally affect me 28. My attitude toward the Chipotle advertisement is: Positive _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Negative Bad _____:_____:_____:_____:_ ____:_____:_____ Good Favorable _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Unfavorable Disapproving _____:_____:_____:_____:_ ____:_____:_____ Approving 29. I consider messages from Chipotle to be: Biased _____:_____:_____:_____:____ _:_____:_____ Unbiased Not Credible _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Credible Trustworthy _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____ Not Trustworthy Not Convincing _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ Convincing 30. My attitude toward Chipotle as an organization is: Positive _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Negative Bad _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Good Favorable _____:____ _:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Unfavorable Disapproving _____:_____:_____:_____:_ ____:_____:_____ Approving 31. Most people who are important to me think _____ eat at Chipotle. I should _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ I should not. 32. Most people who are important to me think _____ value corporate social responsibility. I should _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ I should not 33. Most people who are important to me thi nk _____ purchase products from a socially responsible organization. I should _____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____:_____ I should not 34. I intend to purchase a meal or other product from Chipotle during the next month. Likely _____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____:_____ Unlikely 35. I plan to eat Chipotle food during the next month. Never _____:_____:_____:_____:_____: _____:_____ Frequently 36. During the next month, I will purchase pr oducts from Chipotle: (check only one) ______ Never ______ 7-8 times ______ 1-2 times ______ 9-10 times ______ 3-4 times ______ More than 10 times ______ 5-6 times

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99 Demographics Please check or fill in th e appropriate answers. 37. Sex _____ Male _____ Female 38. Age ____________ 39. Major ____________________________________________ 40. Year _____ Freshman _____ Sophomore _____ Junior _____ Senior