Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Communication, Technology, and Society

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Erin Ash

Committee Member

Dr. Virginia S. Harrison

Committee Member

Dr. Brandon Boatwright


This study investigates the impact of internal and external CSR messages on corporate image within a cross-cultural context. A 3 x 2 between-subjects experiment was conducted to examine the effects of CSR message types on general corporate image, trust, and credibility among U.S. and Chinese participants. The results revealed that U.S. and Chinese participants displayed varying levels of perceived corporate image and credibility. Chinese participants exhibited higher levels of trust, corporate image, and credibility after receiving CSR messages, regardless of type. Significant interaction effects were noted between CSR message type and culture on corporate image and credibility. Chinese participants had a higher corporate image with both internal and external CSR messages, while U.S. participants had the highest corporate image with external CSR, followed by internal CSR, and lowest in control conditions. Despite no corporate credibility variation for Chinese participants, U.S. participants perceived higher credibility with external CSR message compared to control conditions. These findings suggest differences in cultural values and social norms impact perceptions of CSR messages in individualistic and collectivist countries. The current study provides insights for public relations practitioners who want to utilize CSR strategies to advance corporate image in cross-cultural businesses, as well as increases the overall understanding of CSR practices amongst two dominant cultures of the world. Furthermore, this study and its findings can inspire and inform global companies to develop cultural-specific messages of CSR to enhance their corporate image in international markets.



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