Date of Award

December 2019

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mass Communications


Dennis F. Kinsey


attachment theory, authenticity, consumer behavior, corporate social advocacy, legitimacy, organization-public relationships

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


Corporations are increasingly weighing in to advocate for one side or the other in cultural and political debates. As these types of corporate social advocacy become increasingly common, much is still unknown as to how they affect consumer perceptions of the organization, attitudes regarding their relationship with the organization, and their future purchase or behavioral intentions.

This study aims to address this gap.

Utilizing a survey conducted in late spring-2019, this study assesses public perceptions of corporate political engagement/corporate social advocacy and their subsequent attitudes towards the organization and future behavioral intentions.

Analysis revealed that corporate social advocacy does have significant beneficial impacts on the organization-public relationship and stakeholder intentions to strengthen the relationship, however these benefits are only felt when stakeholders perceive the activity as an authentic expression of the organization’s character and as genuinely capable of helping address injustices in society.

Implications for theory and research are discussed.


Open Access