Speed and symmetry: Developing effective organisational responses to social media criticism of CSR

DUNN, Katie and GRIMES, Anthony (2022). Speed and symmetry: Developing effective organisational responses to social media criticism of CSR. Computers in Human Behavior, 134: 107336.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107336


This study examines how organisations can respond effectively to negative user-generated content (NUGC) about their corporate social responsibility (CSR) on social media. Specifically, it investigates the role of speed and symmetry of response in mitigating the impact of NUGC on perceptions of the company’s CSR and legitimacy. It was motivated by the fact that, despite the increasing importance of social media as a CSR communication channel, most companies appear unwilling or unable to respond effectively to NUGC, compromising the efficacy of their CSR communication on social media. Using a between-groups experimental design (n=660), the study finds that: i) NUGC about a company’s CSR post negatively impacts stakeholder perceptions of organisations’ CSR and legitimacy; ii) NUGC’s impact can be partially mitigated by company responses that are either fast or highly symmetrical; iii) NUGC’s impact is only fully mitigated when company responses are fast and highly symmetrical. The findings establish speed and symmetry, in combination, as necessary conditions for effectively responding to NUGC about company CSR posts on social media. The authors recommend, to maximise the effectiveness of social media communication of CSR, managers should establish processes to identify, read, and respond to NUGC rapidly and with a high degree of symmetry.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2022.107336
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited: 08 Jun 2022 10:33
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2023 11:45
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/30294

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