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An Experiment on the Effects of Fit and Motive on Perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024496/00001

Material Information

Title: An Experiment on the Effects of Fit and Motive on Perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility ExxonMobil, Chevron and Texaco
Physical Description: 1 online resource (65 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Lacanfora, Christina
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: csr
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify the effects that different types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives have on the public?s perception of petroleum companies. Previous research indicates that low fit initiatives, when compared to high fit initiatives, are likely to be met with high levels of skepticism, and that companies are perceived more negatively when expressing solely public-serving motives. The study employed a 3 (Company) x 2 (Fit) x 2 (Motivation) pretest-posttest factorial experimental design that produced 12 different versions of the experimental stimulus. The population included 240 undergraduates from classes in the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The experiment, with five dependent change score variables and an open-ended thought question, gauged changes in subjects' attitudes and behaviors toward ExxonMobil, Chevron and Texaco before and after reading about a CSR initiative, one with a low fit versus one with a high fit, and one that was socially motivated versus one that was profit motivated. Findings revealed an interaction of fit with motive. Contrary to much of the previous research, results indicated that high fit, socially motivated initiatives actually elicited the most negative attitude change toward companies while for low fit, motive did not have an impact. Political affiliation affected how subjects reacted to the different CSR initiatives presented, with Democrats changing more positively to profit-motivated initiatives, and Republicans changing more positively to socially motivated initiatives.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christina Lacanfora.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Ferguson, Mary Ann.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-11-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024496:00001

Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UFE0024496/00001

Material Information

Title: An Experiment on the Effects of Fit and Motive on Perceptions of Corporate Social Responsibility ExxonMobil, Chevron and Texaco
Physical Description: 1 online resource (65 p.)
Language: english
Creator: Lacanfora, Christina
Publisher: University of Florida
Place of Publication: Gainesville, Fla.
Publication Date: 2009

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: csr
Journalism and Communications -- Dissertations, Academic -- UF
Genre: Mass Communication thesis, M.A.M.C.
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: The purpose of this study is to identify the effects that different types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives have on the public?s perception of petroleum companies. Previous research indicates that low fit initiatives, when compared to high fit initiatives, are likely to be met with high levels of skepticism, and that companies are perceived more negatively when expressing solely public-serving motives. The study employed a 3 (Company) x 2 (Fit) x 2 (Motivation) pretest-posttest factorial experimental design that produced 12 different versions of the experimental stimulus. The population included 240 undergraduates from classes in the University of Florida's College of Journalism and Mass Communications. The experiment, with five dependent change score variables and an open-ended thought question, gauged changes in subjects' attitudes and behaviors toward ExxonMobil, Chevron and Texaco before and after reading about a CSR initiative, one with a low fit versus one with a high fit, and one that was socially motivated versus one that was profit motivated. Findings revealed an interaction of fit with motive. Contrary to much of the previous research, results indicated that high fit, socially motivated initiatives actually elicited the most negative attitude change toward companies while for low fit, motive did not have an impact. Political affiliation affected how subjects reacted to the different CSR initiatives presented, with Democrats changing more positively to profit-motivated initiatives, and Republicans changing more positively to socially motivated initiatives.
General Note: In the series University of Florida Digital Collections.
General Note: Includes vita.
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: Description based on online resource; title from PDF title page.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The University of Florida Libraries, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Statement of Responsibility: by Christina Lacanfora.
Thesis: Thesis (M.A.M.C.)--University of Florida, 2009.
Local: Adviser: Ferguson, Mary Ann.
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO UF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE UNTIL 2009-11-30

Record Information

Source Institution: UFRGP
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: lcc - LD1780 2009
System ID: UFE0024496:00001


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AN EXPERIMENT ON THE EFFECTS OF FIT AND MOTIVE ON PERCEPTIONS OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: EXXONMOBIL, CHEVRON AND TEXACO By CHRISTINA E. LACANFORA A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORI DA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS IN MASS COMMUNICATION UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2009 1

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2009 Christina E. LaCanfora 2

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To my family, for their unwavering support 3

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ACKNOWLEDGMENTS First, I would like to thank my family for their unconditional love and support throughout this process. Without their faith and reassurance I could have never completed this thesis. Second, I would like to thank my committee, esp ecially my chair, Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson. Her patience and understanding thro ughout this process he lped me make sens e of what was once an overwhelming project. Together, we were able to produce results that were more interesting and significant than either of us could have anticipated. The enthusiasm from Dr. Janis Page and Professor Deanna Pelfrey must also be acknowledged, as it motivated me to produce a quality product. Third, I would like to thank all of my friends who either assi sted me during this process, helped calm me down during the highly stressful periods, or allowed me to bounce ideas off of them when the going got tough. Thank you to Whitn ey Sewell for being the other half of my inter-coder reliability, Amanda Ehrlich for helpin g me collate and staple the 240 experimental protocols for distribution, Jessica Song for her daily chats to make sure that we were both on track, and Andrew Chapman, Todd Lawhorne, Patr ick Heck and Allison Abbott Heck for being my support system as we all navi gated graduate school together. Finally, I would like to thank a ll of my co-workers at the Gator Ticket Office for being patient, understanding, and flexible with my schedule and often times, mood, as I put the finishing touches on this thesis. 4

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TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS...............................................................................................................4 LIST OF TABLES................................................................................................................. ..........7 LIST OF FIGURES.........................................................................................................................8 ABSTRACT.....................................................................................................................................9 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION................................................................................................................. .11 2 LITERATURE REVIEW.......................................................................................................13 Defining Corporate Social Responsibility..............................................................................13 Corporate Social Resp onsibility and Fit.................................................................................14 Corporate Social Responsibility and Motivation....................................................................18 Corporate Social Responsibility and Reputation....................................................................19 ExxonMobils Current Reputation.........................................................................................20 Fortune Magazines Most Admired Companies..............................................................20 Harris Interactive 9th Annual RQ: Reputation of the 60 Most Visible Companies.........21 Most Visible Corporate Reputations...............................................................................22 Hypotheses and Research Questions......................................................................................23 3 METHODOLOGY.................................................................................................................2 5 Method....................................................................................................................................25 Companies Studied and Why..........................................................................................25 Experimental Design Protocol.........................................................................................26 Pretest..............................................................................................................................26 Initial Experimental Population.......................................................................................27 Experimental Administration..........................................................................................27 Measures.................................................................................................................................28 Affect toward Companies................................................................................................28 Recommend and Purchase...............................................................................................28 Stimulus Development....................................................................................................29 High Fit............................................................................................................................29 Low Fit............................................................................................................................31 Stimulus....................................................................................................................... ....31 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................... .........34 Attitudinal Differences by Company......................................................................................34 Behavioral Differe nces by Company......................................................................................35 5

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Creating the Dependent Variable Measures...........................................................................35 Negative Attitudes Findings...................................................................................................3 8 Behavioral Vari able Findings.................................................................................................39 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS..................................................................................46 Practical Implications......................................................................................................... ....46 Open-Ended Responses..........................................................................................................48 Transparency...........................................................................................................................48 Limitations.................................................................................................................... ..........49 Suggestions for Future Research............................................................................................49 APPENDIX A IRB PROTOCOL................................................................................................................. ...51 B PRETEST...................................................................................................................... .........53 C INFORMED CONSENT........................................................................................................55 D EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL............................................................................................57 E HIGH FIT INITIATIVES.......................................................................................................60 F LOW FIT INITIATIVES........................................................................................................61 G STIMULUS..................................................................................................................... .......62 LIST OF REFERENCES...............................................................................................................63 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.........................................................................................................65 6

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LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Experimental Design..........................................................................................................33 4-1. Factor Loadings.................................................................................................................41 4-2. Factor Analysis for a Two Factor Solution........................................................................41 4-3. Means for Groups in Homogenous Subsets.......................................................................42 7

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LIST OF FIGURES Figure page 4-1. Interaction Effect of Fit by Motive for Negative Thoughts about ExxonMobil................42 4-2. Interaction Effect of Fit by Motive for Negative Thoughts about Chevron......................43 4-3. Interaction Effect of Fit by Motive for Negative Thoughts about Texaco........................43 4-4. Interaction Effect of Fit by Mo tive for Attitudinal Variables............................................44 4-5. Interaction Effect of Fit by Mo tive for Behavioral Variables............................................44 4-6. Interaction Effect of F it by Motive on Attitudes Based on Political Affiliation...............45 4-7. Interaction Effect of F it by Motive on Behavior Based on Political Affiliation...............45 8

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Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Mast er of Arts in Mass Communication AN EXPERIMENT ON THE EFFECTS OF FIT AND MOTIVE ON PERCEPTIONS OF CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY: EXXONMOBIL, CHEVRON AND TEXACO By Christina E. LaCanfora May 2009 Chair: Name: Mary Ann Ferguson Major: Mass Communication The purpose of this study is to identify the e ffects that different type s of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative s have on the publics percepti on of petroleum companies. Previous research indicates that low fit initiativ es, when compared to high fit initiatives, are likely to be met with high levels of skeptic ism, and that companies are perceived more negatively when expressing sole ly public-serving motives. The study employed a 3 (Company) x 2 (Fit) x 2 (Motivation) pretes t-posttest factorial experimental design that produced 12 different versions of the experimental stimulus. The population included 240 undergraduates from classes in the University of Floridas College of Journalism and Communications. The experiment, with five de pendent change score variables and an open-ended thought question, gauged change s in subjects attitudes and behaviors toward ExxonMobil, Chevron and Texaco before and after reading about a CSR initiative, one with a low fit versus one with a high fit, and one that was socially motivated versus one that was profit motivated. Findings revealed an interacti on of fit with motive. Contra ry to much of the previous research, results indicated that high fit, socially motivated initiatives actu ally elicited the most 9

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negative attitude change toward companies while for low fit, motive did not have an impact. Political affiliation affected how subjects reacted to the different CSR initiatives presented, with Democrats changing more positively to profit-m otivated initiatives, and Republicans changing more positively to socially motivated initiatives. 10

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Increasing competition in the marketplace has created a situation in which companies need to worry about more than just producing a qu ality product. Rises in consumer expectations have forced business to evolve fr om Milton Freidmans view that: there is only one social res ponsibility of business-to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays w ithin the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and fr ee competitions without deception or fraud (Friedman, 1962). Consumers are paying closer attention to what they hear about companies in the news and forming opinions based more on re putation, and less on financial re turns and stock information. Current research conducted by Harris Interactiv e (2008) found that those organizations taking an active role affecting and ma naging their reputation are seeing positive results, while those who are not continue to see thei r reputation decline (p. 2). One way that companies try to improve their reputation is through the implementation of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives. Half of the American public says that in addition to generating profits, a company also has a responsibility to its employees and customers. Forty-six percent e xpect more and say that companies need to also help in global efforts to address major social problems, includi ng poverty, hunger, and disease. Only 3% of the public feel a companys only respons ibility is to generate profits (Harris Interactive, 2008, p. 20). From these statistics, it appears that the Amer ican public is becoming more concerned with CSR practices, and expects more out of co mpanies than just high financial return to their stakeholders. This study examines the effect that different t ypes of CSR initiatives (low fit vs. high fit; profit motivated vs. socially motivated) have on the publics perception of petroleum companies, 11

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specifically ExxonMobil1. This research is important because of its potential to develop recommendations to petroleum companies looking to design and implement new CSR initiatives to achieve a desired effect on re putation. Other research detailed in the literature review portion of this paper suggests that the findings from this research may also have high application value to other industries. As suggested by Sen and Bhattacharya (2001), if a companys choice of CSR domains is dictated at all by market considerations rather than just by ideology, managers may want to research a variety of CSR initiatives and select those that enjoy the highe st and most widespread support among the companys key consumer segmen ts (p. 238). The experimental initiatives used in this study will serve as examples of what types of in itiatives elicit what types of responses. The results of this study can help guide managers in making educated choices regarding what initiatives would best match with their business a nd achieve the desired effect on reputation. 1 The researcher completed a public affairs internship with ExxonMobil at its Baton Rouge Refinery from MayAugust 2008. The knowledge and experience gained during this time inspired this thesis topic and the focus on ExxonMobil, specifically. 12

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CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW Defining Corporate Social Responsibility According to Carroll (1999), the modern c oncept of CSR has been around since the 1950s. Davis (1973) defined CSR as: the firms consideration of, and response t o, issues beyond the narro w economic, technical and legal requirements of the firmIt means th at social responsibil ity begins where the law ends. A firm is not being socially respons ible if it merely complies with the minimum requirements of the law, because that is what any good citizen would do (p. 312-313). Participating in activities that could be pe rformed by the average person does not, by this definition, constitute involvement wo rthy of the CSR label. Companies have at their disposal a great deal more capital (both fina ncial and personnel) than the av erage person, which leads to the assumption that they should be held to a highe r standard. Any company can and should comply with legal regulations, but to achieve the positive reputati on often associated with the implementation of CSR initiatives, companies must exceed pre-established benchmarks. Carroll (1991) designed a CSR pyramid with the component parts of economic, legal, ethical and philanthropic responsibilities. It is intended to portray that the total CSR of business comp rises distinct components that, taken together, constitute a w hole. Though the components have been treated as separate concepts for discussion purposes, they are not mutually exclusive and are not intended to juxtapose a firms economic responsibility with its other responsibili ties. At the same time, a consideration of the separate compone nts helps the manager see that the different types of obligations are in a constant but dynamic tensi on with one another (p. 42). The pyramid emphasizes the complexity of CSR and the difficulties companies may face when deciding what types of in itiatives to implement, if any. A lthough there is a tension between the four constructs in the pyramid, a CSR initiative that can fulfill one or more of the constructs without greatly infringing on the others has the po tential to have positiv e effects on the company, both monetarily and reputation-wise. 13

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Schwartz and Carroll (2003) citing problems with the CS R pyramid, developed a threedomain model of CSR economic, legal and ethical. In general, these domain categories are defined in a manner consistent with Carrolls fourpart model, with the exception that the philanthropic category is subsumed under the ethical and/or economic domains, reflec ting the possible differing motivations for philanthropic activities (p. 508). This new model featured the three components in a Venn diagram with overlapping categories, suggesting that no CSR domain is more important than any other. The previous pyramid model suggested a hierarchy in the four components, whereas this new model emphasizes the equality of and interaction between each of the domains. In a publication by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, Holme and Watts (2000) defined CSR as: the continuing commitment by business to be have ethically and contribute to economic development while improving the quality of life of the workforce and their families as well as the local community and society at large (p. 8). This definition addresses the concerns expressed by Carroll (1991) in suggesting that it is possible to behave ethically, fi nancially support the communities in which the company operates and facilitate better living standards for empl oyees. Implementing CSR initiatives that have noticeable appeal and benefit to stakeholder groups improves relationshi ps with the hope of increased financial returns. Corporate Social Responsibility and Fit Becker-Olsen, Cudmore and Hill (2006) defined fit as the perceived link between a cause and the firms product line, brand image, posi tion and/or target mark et (p. 47, referencing Varadarjan & Menon, 1988). Research shows that fit is important because it affects how much elaboration is elicited about the organizati on implementing the CSR initiative, the social initiative itself, and/or the re lationship between the organizati on and initiative when there are 14

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preexisting ideas about either and/ or both that are in contrast w ith each other (Becker-Olsen et al., 2006). In other words, a good fit between prior expectations, knowledge, associations, actions and competencies of a firm and a given soci al initiative can be more easily integrated into the consumers existing cognitive structure, st rengthening the connection between the firm and the social initiative (p. 4 7, referencing Fiske & Taylor 1991; Wojiciske et al., 1993). Becker-Olsen et al. (2006) ul timately found that low fit ini tiatives are likely to decrease positive opinions of a companys reputation, including perceptions of corporate credibility, corporate position, and purchase intention. Consumers viewed lo w fit initiatives with more skepticism, which reflected negativel y on the implementing organization. Additionally, these findings have important implications for public relations and marketing practitioners. The authors warned that professionals need to be well aware of the possible consequences of choosing to implement a low fit initiative, as research shows with empirical support that when social initiatives are not aligned with corporat e objectives, CSR can actually become a liability and diminish previously held beliefs about firms (Becker-Olsen et al., 2006, p. 52). Varadarjan and Menon (1988) discussed fit w ithin the context of cause-related marketing, which they defined as the process of formula ting and implementing marketing activities that are characterized by an offer from the firm to c ontribute a specified amount to a designated cause when customers engage in revenue-providing exchanges that satisfy organizational and individual objectives (p. 60). The authors stressed that ther e should be a match between the firms customer profile and constituencies to wh ich the cause appeals. Another option would be for a firm to choose to tie-in with a cause that has a positiv e reputation with identified stakeholders. Factors that might influence a firm s choice of causes are (1) the characteristics 15

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of its product offerings, (2) brand image and positioning, and (3) the characte ristics of its served market (p. 65). All of these factors taken in to consideration, the authors recommended the implementation of high-fit initia tives that are known (through re search) to appeal to specific stakeholder groups. Ellen, Mohr and Webb (2000), building on th e work of Varadarjan and Menon (1988) found that high levels of congruency make it cl earer how the company profits from the offer and may, as a result, lead to consumer back lash (p. 397). Although high fit may produce less, negative elaborations about a pa rticular CSR initiative (Becker-O lsen et al., 2006), high fit may lead to consumers being skeptical about the or ganizations involvement under some conditions. It is possible that an organization may be interested in helping a partic ular cause, but business decisions, almost always having a financial component (focusing on some quantifiable return on investment), can lead to doubts of the motiva tion behind the initiatives implementation. For example, with Yoplaits Lids to Save Lives, co nsumers have to buy a specific product in order to take part in the initiative. The purchasing of the product inherently increases profits for the organization. Despite its altruistic intention, so me consumers may perceive this type of initiative as merely a new, more reputation-friendly way to make money and will thus react negatively. Ellen, Mohr and Webbs (2000) study, performe d in a retail setti ng, found only partial, weak support for the hypothesis that incongruent offers would be perceived more positively than congruent offers. These findings are in contrast with what was originally suggested by BeckerOlsen, Cudmore and Hill (2006) as being a CSR st rategy that would elicit positive feedback. The two studies did not greatly differ in their sa mple choices (both sampled non-traditional, adult students; Ellen et al.s sample was 51.7% female s compared with Becker-Olsen et al.s 58%), 16

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which does not support any suggestions that there may be individual sp ecific variables that affect the relationship between congruency a nd a companys perceived reputation. Logsdon and Burke (1996) outlined the five dimensions of strategic CSR as centrality, specificity, proactivity, voluntarism and visibility. Their concept of centrality was very similar to what previous authors discussed as fit, defining it as a measure of the cl oseness of fit between a CSR policy or program and the firms mission a nd objectives (p. 496). Centrality clues an organization to the congruency between the business core mission, goals, and objectives and the implemented CSR initiative. Similar to initiatives with high fit, initiatives with high centrality are expected to receive priority within the orga nization and to yield future benefits, ultimately translated into profits for the or ganization (p. 496). The authors also discussed how the benefits of implementing CSR initiatives with high centrality extend beyond reputation improvement among stakeholders to include increased empl oyee morale, productivity and retention. Husted (2000) discussed fit in a different co ntext, applying it to an organizations reaction to different social issues affec ting its business. If the business desires a high level of corporate social performance, the firms response needs to consistently match the nature of the diverse social issues it faces (p. 34). Based on their research, the authors warned that mismatches between issue type and how the organization reacts can occur. One very obvious mismatch can occur with the use of computation strategies [programmed responses to non-issues] and st ructuressuch bureaucratic re sponses will be ineffective where the issues involve disagreement among the relevant parties regarding either the corporations social responsibilities or the methods of responsiveness (Husted, 2000, p. 41). Computation strategies and their corresponding bureaucratic responses should only be used when the organization and its stakeholders share expectations about its so cial responsibility and share the same perceptions rega rding the nature of the facts and cause-effect relationships (Husted, 2000, p. 35). In the case of non-issues (w here there is a match between issue type and 17

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how the organization reacts), processing inform ation and decision-making can be performed internally. However, if there is a mismatch, a company should disseminate information to its external stakeholders if it desires to mainta in a perceived high leve l of corporate social performance. For example, if a petroleum compa ny that publicizes its effo rts to be an industry leader in environmentally-friendly operations is involved in a large-scale oil spill, responding to stakeholders with programmed responses, or refu sing to comment at all, will create a mismatch between what the stakeholders expected from the company and what they act ually received This is a time when it would not be advantageous fo r a company that desires to be perceived as functioning at a high level of co rporate social performance to im plement computation strategies. Corporate Social Responsibility and Motivation Forehand and Grier (2003) as ked the question, should firms acknowledge the presence of self-serving motives to lessen consumer skepticis m or will this acknowledgement merely direct consumer attention away from the prosocial as pects of their involveme nt? (p. 349). Breaking down company intent into two cat egories, the research found that the presence of salient benefits to the firm negatively influenced eval uations when the firm expressed solely publicserving motives but not when the firm acknow ledges the existence of firm-serving motives (Forehand and Grier, 2003, p. 354). These finding s suggest that the answer to the authors original question would be supporti ve of acknowledging the benefits to the firm associated with prosocial activities. Additionally, participants attributed more firm-serving motives to the firm when the fit between the firm and cause was high and when the firm acknowledged the existence of firmserving benefits (Forehand & Grier, 2003, p. 354). While these findings indicate that consumers have an appreciation for corporate honesty when launching ne w social initiatives, 18

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they also bring attention to the possibility of high fit initiatives eliciting skepticism rather than positive feedback. This researcher theorizes that any initiative that, re gardless of fit, falls under the umbrella of cause-related marketing will be met with sk epticism due to the obvious connection between consumer involvement and the companys bottom lin e. Additionally, all lo w fit initiatives will lead to skepticism because of the consume rs cognitive dissonance between the companys purpose/function and the incongruent cause. As will be discussed by Sen and Bhattacharya (2001) below, initiatives need to be rooted in an area that th e consumers of the organizations product can identify with or at l east be interested in. If this does not ha ppen, the initiative will either be ignored or questioned. Corporate Social Responsibility and Reputation Many companies implement CSR initiatives with the intent that they will result in an increase in positive reputation among consumers. Sen and Bhattacharya (2001) found that the positive effect of CSR initiatives on consumers company evaluations is mediated by their perceptions of self-company congr uence and moderated by their s upport of the CSR domain (p. 238). This is further supported by the 1999 C one/Roper Cause Related Trends Report, which found that eighty-three percent of consumers surveyed said they have a more positive image of a company that supports a cause they care abou t (Ellen et al., 2000, p. 395). If consumers do not attribute importance to specific CSR initiatives, or CSR initiatives in general, the likelihood that the initiatives will elicit pos itive responses is low. Howeve r, despite pre-existing feelings toward the importance of CSR initiatives, all consumers react negatively to negative CSR information, whereas only those most supportive of the CSR issues react positively to positive CSR information (Sen & Bhattacharya, 2001, p. 238). This supports the idea that CSR 19

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initiatives should be strategica lly planned, and focus on issues that are already known to be prominent among specific stake holder groups (i.e. high fit). ExxonMobils Current Reputation This study is focused on ExxonMobil because th ey are arguably the most recognizable of all petroleum companies. Gardberg and Fo rmbrun (2000) found that ExxonMobil has the 8th overall most recognizable corporate reputation, and was the only petroleum company to be ranked in the top 30 (p. 386). Thrust into the national spotlight for the Exxon Valdez oil spill in March 1989, ExxonMobil has been unable to shed the negative reputation the organizati on garnered as a result of this incident. Their record profits over the last few quarters of operation have not helped to improve this reputation among consumers, especi ally taking into account the current recession state of the American economy. This baseline of assumed negative consumer feelings about ExxonMobil makes the organization a prime candidate for which to test the effects of different CSR initiatives. Fortune Magazines Most Admired Companies Each year, Fortune Magazine compiles its Americas Most Admired Companies list. In 2008, the sample of 622 companies in 65 industrie s featured Fortune 1,000 companies and top foreign companies operating in the U.S. Execu tives, directors and an alysts from these organizations were asked to rate companies in their own industry based on eight criteria: innovation, people management, use of corporat e assets, social responsibility, quality of management, financial soundness, long-term i nvestment and quality of product/services (Fortune, 2008). For 2008, ExxonMobil ranked number one in the pe troleum refining industry with a score of 7.95 out of a possible 10. This was the third year in a row that ExxonMobil took first place in 20

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its industry despite its st eadily declining overall score (8.09 in 2007 vs. 8.27 in 2006). ExxonMobil also showed consistent decline in th e category of social re sponsibility, ranking sixth in 2008, down from fifth in 2007 and fourth in 2006 (Chevron ranked number one in social responsibility for all of these years). Ot her notable 2008 rankings for ExxonMobil included number one in overall financial s oundness (three years in a row) a nd the fourth overall best longterm investment (Fortune, 2008). Although many of these rankings reflect a positive view of ExxonMobil, taking a look at the methodology reveals that th e results are potentia lly misleading. ExxonMobils financial success in the past few years and their status as an industry leader w ould logically elicit the responses presented by Fortune Magazine, since industry-related respondents answered based on businessand product-related variables and not opinions of reputation and public perception. However, in the opinion of this thesis writer, th ese results do not necessarily indicate that there would be a similar response from the general public; a group that may not base positive opinions of companies as heavily on financial achievements. Harris Interactive 9th Annual RQ: Reputation of the 60 Most Visible Companies Unlike the methodology used for Fortune Magazines Most Admired Companies, the [2007] Harris Interactive 9th Annual RQ: Reputations of the 60 Most Visible Companies was comprised of 20,477 general public interviews. Respondents were asked to rate a companys reputation on 20 attributes (each measured on a seven-point scale) th at fall into six key dimensions: emotional appeal, products and services social responsibility, vision and leadership, workplace environment, and financial performance (Harris Interactive, p. 23). The study also included a number of reputation-related questions about the overall reputation of co rporations in various industries (Har ris Interactive, p. 24). 21

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Of the 60 Most Visible Companies, ExxonM obil was fifty-seventh in reputation with a score of 59.41. This was up from fifty-ninth in 2006 (score of 60.65), when they were ranked only one spot about Halliburton. They were f ourth in their industry, behind BP (forty-second, score of 66.28), Royal Dutch/Sh ell (forty-eighth, score of 63.78) and ChevronTexaco Corporation (fifty-third, 62.63) (H arris Interactive, p. 3). Overall, the Energy/Utility industry had the second worst reputation (tobacco was first) at 28 percent positive and 48 percent negative (Harris Interactive, p. 7) The research also found that oil/gas companies are among the groups that are the least likely to have thei r products and services recommended (Harris Interactive, p. 12). ExxonMobil did not appear on the list of 10 co mpanies that respondents were least likely to recommend (<10 percent), however ChevronTexaco Corporation (nine percent), Royal Dutch/Shell (seven percent), Halliburton (four percent) and Citgo Oil (three percent) did (Harris Interactive, p. 13). Although none of the oil/gas companies were considered to be ve ry sincere, ExxonMobil was fifty-eighth on the reports lis t of The Publics Perceptions of Corporate Sincerity with a 22% positive sincerity rating. It was fourth in the industry be hind BP (fiftieth, 38%), Royal Dutch/Shell (fifty-sixth, twenty-nine percent) and ChevronTexaco Corporation (fifty-seventh, twenty-nine percent) (Harri s Interactive, p. 18). This methodology yields results that would arguably appear to be more applicable to how consumers feel about oil and gas companies, and may a provide a benchmark from which to judge the current status of the industrys reputation. Most Visible Corporate Reputations Gardberg and Formbrun (2002) conducted a stud y similar to the Harris Interactive RQ in the fall of 2000 that asked a random sample of Americans and European s in 11 countries to nominate the companies that they felt had the be st and worst overall repu tations (p. 385). The 22

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study found that direct comparis on with the total nominations list reveals that many of the companies that received the greatest number of total nominations were actually nominated for having the worst reputations (Gardberg and Formbrun, 2002, p. 388). Of the seven companies that had a high percentage of negative reputation responses all had experienced major organizational crises, including ExxonMobil. As mentioned earlier, when nominations for best and worst company were combined, ExxonMobi l was the eighth most highly nominated company in the U.S. (Gardberg and Formbr un, 2002, p. 386). However, over 90% of the nominations were for having the worst reputation placing them second in that category behind Firestone (Gardberg and Forbrun, 2002, p. 388). Hypotheses and Research Questions Based upon the literature discu ssed in this thesis, the follo wing hypotheses and research questions were developed. It is this researchers pred iction that ExxonMobil is viewed most negatively by consumer publics because of its industry, size, and recent record-breaking profits. It is the most recognizable of all the American petroleum companie s, and it is therefore li kely that all of the negative feelings toward the petroleum industry in general are concentrated on ExxonMobil. H1a ExxonMobil will be perceived more negatively in each of the pre-stimulus measures than both Chevron and Texaco. H1b Perceptions of ExxonMobil will become more negative in the post-stimulus measures (compared to pre-stimulus measures ) than perceptions of Chevron or Texaco. H2 Initiatives featur ing ExxonMobil will produce a larg er number of negative thoughts compared to initiatives featuring Chevron and Texaco. Low fit initiatives will elicit more ne gative attitudes toward ExxonMobil because consumers will be more skeptical of the motivation behind the initiatives implementation. If 23

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ExxonMobils involvement in the initiative does not ma ke sense to the consumer, then the researcher would predict that th e consumers skepticism would tran slate into negative responses. H3a-c A low fit between ExxonMobil and its CS R initiative, relative to high fit, will result in a greater number of negative thoughts (H3a ), a change to more negative attitudes about ExxonMobil (H3b) and a change to a lower like lihood of consumer purchase intention (H3c) from the pre-stimulus measures to the post-stimulus measures. If consumers receive information in the form of a news story stating the companys intention as profit-motivated, they will view the implementation of the initiative, regardless of fit, as more negatively. Consumers already vi ew the petroleum industry negatively, and will most likely assume that the implementation of such initiatives is profit-driven. However, if the consumer believes that the compa nys true intention for implementation is to help those affected, they will react more positively. H4 : Profit-motivated versus socially motiv ated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with thoughts that are less favorable (H4a), more negative attitudes about ExxonMobil (H4b) and lower likelihood of cons umer purchase intention (H4c). H5 A low fit between Chevron and its social ini tiative, relative to high fit, will result in a greater number of negative t houghts (H5a), more negative atti tudes about Chevron (H5b) and a lower likelihood of consumer purchase intention (H5c). H6 : Profit-motivated versus socially motiv ated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with thoughts that are less favorable (H6a), more negativ e attitudes about Chevron (H6b) and lower likelihood of consumer purchase intention (H6c). H7 A low fit between Texaco and its social initiative, relative to high fit, will result a greater number of negative thought s (H7a), more negative attit udes about Texaco (H7b) and a lower likelihood of consumer purchase intention (H7c). H8 : Profit-motivated versus socially motiv ated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with thoughts that are less favorable (H8a), more negativ e attitudes about Texaco (H8b) and lower likelihood of consumer purchase intention (H8c). RQ1: Does controlling for political affiliation affect any of the relationships observed in the hypotheses? 24

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CHAPTER 3 METHODOLOGY Method The experimental protocol implemented by Becker-Olsen, Cudmore & Hill (2006) served as the basis for this experimental research. The researcher was interested in the effects of CSR initiative implementation on perceived corpor ate reputation, and this study provided some insight. The researchers recent experience in the petroleum industry inspired the modification of the established methodology to focus specifically on oil companies, rather than companies that were not a part of the same industry. Subjects for this study were volunteers in introductory courses in the University of Floridas College of Journalism and Communications The departments included in this college are advertising, journalism, public relations and telecommunicati ons. The courses from which students volunteered were Introduction to Tel ecommunications and Principles of Public Relations. This study received Institutional Review Board approval (Study: U-1141-2008) on January 6, 2009 (Appendix A). Companies Studied and Why ExxonMobil is the primary focus for this study but to see if the effect being studied was ExxonMobil-dependent or possibly reflective of other companies in the petroleum industry, two additional companies were included in the study. Chevron and Texaco were chosen for inclusion because they are both recognizable, American-bas ed petroleum companies that are comparable to ExxonMobil based on ownership and size. In 2007, ExxonMobil (headquartered in Texas) had a total workforce of 81,000. Chevron (headquart ered in California), which absorbed Texaco in 2001 under the Chevron Corporation umbr ella, had a workforce of 65,000 (plus 53,000 claimed by Texaco). Despite the merger, Texaco, like the other two, conti nues to operate service 25

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stations under its brand name. All three brands operate in over 100 countries. Non-U.S. based companies like Royal Dutch Shell and Citgo were not selected for inclusion for these reasons. Experimental Design Protocol This experiment used a 3 (Company) X 2 (F it) X 2 (Motivation) experimental design, thus there are 12 different versions of the experi mental stimulus, as illustrated in Table 3-1. Four versions of the stimulus featur ed ExxonMobil as the company for discussion (experimental conditions 111, 121, 112, 122), four ve rsions featured Ch evron (experimental conditions 211, 221, 212, 222) and four versions featured Texaco (experimental conditions 311, 321, 312, 322). For each of the three companies, one-quarter of the stimuli presented a CSR initiative that was low fit and profit motivated, one-quarter presented a CSR initiative that was low fit and socially motivated, one-quarter presented a CSR initiative that was high fit and profit motivated, and one-quarter presented a CSR initiativ e that was high fit and socially motivated. Fit is defined as the perceive d link between a cause and the fi rms product line, brand image, position and/or target market (Becker-Olsen et al., 2006, p. 47). Pretest In a pretest (Appendix B), a manipulation check of two of the inde pendent variables (fit and motivation) was conducted and the experiment al manipulations were found to be moderately supportive (Ms high fit= 4.79, Ms low fit= 3.32, Ms profit motive= 2.95, Ms social motive= 3.78). The pretest group (n=12) had three subjects assigned to each of four different conditions discussed above (low fit and profit motivated, low fit and social ly motivated, high fit and profit motivated, and high fit and soci ally motivated) with ExxonMob il as the featured company. Pretest subjects were asked dire ctly, Do you think this initiative is a high or low fit for this company providing the definition of fit used in the experimental design protocol, and Is this companys program profit motivated or socially motivated? The motivation classification was 26

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prescribed based on the text in the news stories2. The average age of the pretest subjects was 22 and 67% were female. Initial Experimental Population Participation in the experiment was solic ited through emails to professors at the University of Floridas College of Journalism and Communications that we re scheduled to teach introductory level courses in the spring 2009 semester. The pr otocol was administered on January 14 and 15 to 240 undergraduate students. The average age was 20, with 97% of subjects being under the age of 23. Sixty-two percent were female, and 68% were white, followed by 13% Hispanic and 12% African American. Thirty-nine percent identified themselves as Democrats (versus 33% Republican). Experimental Administration A systematic random assignment process was us ed to assign subjects to the 12 different conditions. The surveys were labeled in the le ft margin with a number corresponding to the information presented in the stimulus story and the number of the survey (one through 20) within the subgroup (e.g. 11101 would be the first of th e 20 surveys that featured the story about ExxonMobil that was low fit and profit motivated). After labeling all of the experimental pr otocols in the way described above, a random number generator was used to assign an additional number from 1-240 to each protocol. These numbers were written in the right margin of th e protocol before putting the protocols in this designated order to be handed out to subjects. This was done to decr ease the likelihood that students who were sitting next to each other woul d receive a similar versio n of the protocol, and 2 ExxonMobil hopes that involvement with this initiati ve will result in increased profits [or] ExxonMobil hopes that participation in this initiative will result in an improved social situation for those involved. 27

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therefore prevent the subjects from influencing each others respons es. Subjects were required to sign an informed consent form before being i ssued the experimental protocol (Appendix C). Measures Subjects were asked a total of seven questions to evaluate the effect of different CSR initiatives on feelings about a company in the petroleum industry (Appendix D). Affect toward Companies For the first variable to create a baseline measure that would be comparable with the dependent variables, subjects were asked to iden tify their affective feelings about the company featured in the protocol (either ExxonMobil, Chevron or Texaco) using three semantic differential seven-point scales (1=negative/7=positive, 1= unfavorable/7=favorable, and 1=bad/7=good).3 Recommend and Purchase For the second and third variable, subj ects were asked questions about their recommendation and purchase intentions for the company using two semantic differential sevenpoint scales (1=not reco mmend/7=strongly recommend and 1=never purchase/7=always purchase).4 After completing these pretest questions, subj ects were instructed on the bottom of the survey to wait for further instru ction before proceeding. When it appears that the subjects were ready to continue, the researcher instructed the subjects to turn th e page to the stimulus, featuring three news stories and read them in their entire ty before answering the questions that followed. Once subjects turned to the next pa ge, they were instructed at the t op of the page to not turn back 3 Identify your feelings about [ExxonMobil/Chevron/Texaco]? 4 How likely are you to recommend and purchase from [ExxonMobil/Chevron/Texaco]? 28

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to the previous pages in the packet. This was to prevent them from simply copying the pretest answers given on the first page. Stimulus Development Given the definition of fit previously provided, a companys mission statement (or equivalent statement of priorities and goals) is a standard against which to predict a CSR initiatives perceived fit (high vs. low). In th e case of ExxonMobil, this statement comes in the form of its guiding principles. The guiding pr inciples break down ExxonMobils commitments to four major stakeholder groups (in this or der): shareholder, customers, employees and communities. Listing shareholders first gives th e impression that they are the group considered as the most important by the organization. This assumption is further evidenced in their 2007 Financial & Operating Review by the statement ExxonMobils core objectiv e is to deliver longterm growth in shareholder value (Exxon M obil Corporation, 2007). Additionally, press releases issued by the company regarding quart er dividends conclude with the following statement: Through its dividends, the corporation has shared its success with its shareholders for more than 100 years and has increased its a nnual dividend payment to shareholders for 26 consecutive years (Exxon Mobil Corporation, 2009). This emphasizes the organizations dedication to and high prioriti zation of shareholder needs. ExxonMobils secondary listing customers, employees and communities continue to support the perceived priority of amassing profit over relationship maintena nce with non-investor groups. High Fit In the paragraph detailing ExxonM obils relationship with th e communities in which it operates, it states, Above all other objectiv es, we are dedicated to running safe and environmentally responsible operations (Exxon M obil Corporation, n.d.). Although an explicit paragraph in the guiding principl es is not dedicated to discus sing ExxonMobils concerns with 29

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and/or effects on the environment, the nature of the petroleum industry makes the environment an intrinsically important issue. Therefore, CSR initiatives involving th e environment should be considered high fit by all primary stakeholder groups, including shareholders, employees and consumers. Reviewing the corporate web sites (specifi cally corporate respons ibility pages) of different petroleum companies reve aled a unanimous investment to ensuring biodiversity in areas where they operate. For Shell, Biodiversity is the very "stuff of life". It desc ribes the extraordinary variety of life on Earth and the natural patterns it forms, from microscopic blue-green algae to the tigers that roam the jungles of Asia. We depend on it for almost every aspect of our lives; from the air we breathe, to our housing and food, to the raw materials for our medicines. Shell is committed to finding ways to reduce our impacts and make positive contributions to biodiversity conservation (Shell, n.d.). ExxonMobil discusses the mutual benefit the company and the globe receive from the corporate investment in biodiversity in the following: Because our business spans the globe, we opera te in a variety of eco systems, some with sensitive characteristic s. To address this challenge, we work under the industrys highest standards of environmental management. ExxonMobil sites incorporate biodiversity protection through their respect ive Environmental Business Pl anning efforts to limit our footprint in sensitive locations. These ar e tailored to accomplish environmental and biodiversity protection targets that are specific to each location (ExxonMobil, n.d.). Chevrons web site also includes a detailed account of its commitment to biodiversity, dividing up the discussion under the headings values, performance and communication and engagement (Chevron, 2007). The appearance of this common cause supports the assumption that th e environment is a valid arena for CSR initiative development. Biodi versitys salience both inspired and justified its inclusion in the development of the high fit initia tive (Appendix E). 30

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Low Fit Involvement in efforts to prevent AIDS and ma laria in Africa were also prevalent on the corporate responsibility web site s of petroleum companies, in cluding ExxonMobil. Currently, ExxonMobil is involved with World Malaria Day and has launched its Africa Hea lth Initiative that it has, to date, invested approximately $40 million. Chevron has also dedicated itself to causes dealing with diseases affecting Africa by becoming the first Corporate Champion of the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Mala ria. Over the next three years, Chevron pledges $30 million to continued support of this fund (Chevron, 2008). While noble, respectable causes, any menti on of concern for health education and/or disease prevention are absent from ExxonMobi ls guiding principles. Compared to the congruency that exists between the petroleum i ndustry and environmentally driven initiatives, involvement in health-related causes appears mi smatched. This incong ruence supports the idea that a health-related CSR initiative implemented by a petroleum company would be perceived as low fit (Appendix F). Stimulus In addition to the story detailing the new initiative, the stimulus document included two other stories one announcing that the electr onics retailer Best Buy had begun selling refurbished iPhones (Reuters, 2009), and the ot her recapping the results of the 2009 Golden Globes (Associated Press, 2009) (A ppendix G). Neither story has any relation to the information discussed in the initiative story, so there was no anticipated eff ect for their inclusion in the stimulus. Both stories were taken directly from MSNBC.com on January 12, 2009. The questions that immediately followed the news stories were the exact same as the pretest items on the first page of the protocol, addressing the fi rst affective variable and the second and third behavioral depe ndent variables by asking them to identify their feelings about 31

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the company featured in the questions (either Ex xonMobil, Chevron or Te xaco) and to determine how likely they were to recomme nd and purchase from the company. The first set of manipulation check questions asked subjects to rate the fit between the company in question and the soci al initiative discusse d in the news story about that company.5 Concerned that the definition of fit from the pretest may still confuse some subjects, the question Does it make sense for [ExxonMobil/Chevron/Texaco] to be involved with th is initiative? was included for further clarification of what was be ing asked. Subjects were prompted to answer this question using the four semantic differentia l seven-point scales from the pretest (1=low fit/7=strong fit, 1=dissimilar/7=similar, 1=inconsistent/7=consistent and 1=not complementary/7=complementary). The other set of manipulation check questions asked subjects to rate the motivation for the companys participation in the CSR initiative discussed in the news story.6 Subjects were presented with three semantic differential seve n-point scales (1=self-i nterested/7=communityinterested, 1=company-focused/7=customer-f ocused, and 1=profit-motivated/7=sociallymotivated). The final question provided subjects with the opportunity to express any additional thoughts about the company in an open-ended format.7 The information gathered here was coded for valence (positive, neutral and negativ e) to assess subjects feelings toward the companies and the initiat ives being discussed. 5 Rate the fit between [ExxonMobil/Chevron/Texaco] and the social initiative: 6 Rate the motivation for [ExxonMobil/Chevron/Texaco]s participation in the program: 7 What are your thoughts about [ExxonMobil/Chevron/Texaco]? 32

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Table 3-1. Experimental Design Low-fit (1) High-fit (2) Company Profit (1) Social (2) Profit (1) Social (2) ExxonMobil (1) 20 (1 1 1) 20 (1 1 2) 20 (1 2 1) 20 (1 2 2) Chevron (2) 20 (2 1 1) 20 (2 1 2) 20 (2 2 1) 20 (2 2 2 ) Texaco(3) 20 (3 1 1) 20 (3 1 2) 20 (3 2 1) 20 (3 2 2) 33

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CHAPTER 4 RESULTS The results for each of the hypotheses are pr esented below. Based on unanticipated interaction effects, it would be inappropriate to di scuss the main effects when the interactions are significant, thus these are discussed in light of the interactions rather than the hypothesized main effects. H1a. ExxonMobil will be perceived more negatively in each of the pre-stimulus measures than both Chevron and Texaco. For these hypotheses; each pre-stimulus measure was evaluated i ndividually. Pairwise comparisons of the five pre-stimulus attitudinal and behavioral variables found significant differences in means for ExxonMobil with both Ch evron and Texaco, with the exception of the pretest variable recommend, in which there were no differences. Attitudinal Differences by Company For the pretest measure positive, the mean value for ExxonMobil (M= 3.9, SD= 1.1) was significantly (t[155.6] = 2.22, p < .03) lower than for Chevron (M= 4.3, SD= 1.1), but not for Texaco (M= 4.0, SD= .09,) (t[146.5] = 0.9, p < .39). T hus, the subjects, prior to participation in the experiment, rated Ex xonMobil less positively than they did Chevron. Likewise, for the pretest value of f avorable, ExxonMobil (M= 3.7, SD= .1.1) was significantly (t[156.1] = 3.0, p < .01) lower than Chevron (M= 4.3, SD= 1.2), but not from Texaco (M= 4.0, SD= .0.9,) (t[154.3] = 1.58 p < .12). The results were similar for the pretes t value good, the mean for ExxonMobil (M= 3.8, SD= 1.0) was statistically significantly (t[ 150.7] = 3.16,p < .01) lower than Chevron (M= 4.4, SD= 1.2), but not from Texaco (M = 4.1, SD= 0.9,) (t[156.3] = 1.54, p < .13). 34

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Behavioral Differences by Company For the pretest value purchase, the ExxonMobil mean (M= 4.0, SD= 1.3) was significantly higher (t[237] = 2.19, p < .03) th an Texaco (M= 3.6, SD= .1.1), but not than Chevron (M= 4.0, SD= 1.4,) (t[237] = 0.13, p < .91). This was the only pre-stimulus instance where ExxonMobil had a higher mean th at either Chevron or Texaco. Although there were many instances that ExxonMobil was perceived as significantly more negative than the other two companies in the experiment, there was never an instance where ExxonMobil was perceived as significantly more negative than both Chevron and Texaco for the same variable. Due to these mixed results, this hypothesis is not supported. Creating the Dependent Variable Measures This section describes how the dependent variab les measures were created. First, change scores were created by subtracting the results of the pre-stimulus m easures from the results of the post-stimulus measures. For example, if a subjects respon se to the pre-stimulus question was and his/her response to th e post-stimulus question was this would result in a change score of +2. Next to create two separate ch ange score indices to represent the dependent variables of attitudes and of be haviors, the researcher submitt ed the three attitude and two recommendation variables to a factor analysis, principal axis factoring, oblimin rotation with Kaiser normalization forcing a two-factor solution. The eigenvalue dropped to one after the first factor and a two-factor solution represents 68.6% of the variance (T able 4-1). The first factor represents the three attitudinal change variables (positive, favorable and good) and the factor two represents the behavioral change variables (pur chase and recommend). All the factor loadings were greater than .75 and each item loaded on only one factor suggesting that this a reasonable interpretation on these data (Table 4-2). 35

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In the next step, based on the factor analys is, a summed factor score index was developed for each of the two variable categories. These ar e standardized variables with a mean of zero and a standard deviation of 1. These two indices serve as the dependent variables for the representative hypotheses. H1b. Perceptions of ExxonMobil will become more negative in the post-stimulus measures (compared to pre-stimulus measures) than perceptions of both Chevron and Texaco. The single factor analysis was used to addr ess this hypothesis because it is discussing all five dependent variables as a conglomerate. Th e pairwise comparisons of the five-item factor score change index indicated that percep tions of ExxonMobil (M= -.21, SD= .11) became significantly more negative (p < .04) post-stimulus compared to Chevron (M= .07, SD= .11) and Texaco (M= 14, SD= .11, p< .01). Chevron was not significantly different from Texaco (p< .34). Based on these results, this hypothesis is supported. H2. Initiatives featur ing ExxonMobil will produce a larg er number of negative thoughts compared to initiatives featuring Chevron and Texaco. A test of between-subjects effects showed a main effect for company on the total number of negative thoughts expressed in the protocol s final, open-ended question. The average number of negative thoughts about ExxonMobil (M= .94, SD= 1.02) was almost twice as many as Chevron (F[2, 240]= 4.77, M= .50, SD= .84, p< .01) and near significantly different (p<. 06) from Texaco (M= .66, SD= .84). Based on these re sults, this hypothesis is supported, but at the .06 level. H3a A low fit between ExxonMobil and its CSR initiati ve, relative to high fit, will results in a greater number of negative thoughts; H4a Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will results in a greater number of negative thoughts [about ExxonMobil]; H5a A low fit between Chevron and its CSR initiativ e, relative to high fit, will results in a greater number of negative thoughts; H6a Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will results in a greater number of negative thoughts [about Chevron]; 36

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H7a A low fit between Texaco and its CSR initiative, relative to high fit, will results in a greater number of negative thoughts; H8a. Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will results in a greater number of negative thoughts [about Texaco]; Tests of between-subject effects revealed an a near significant three-way interaction (F[2, 240]= 2.82, p< .06) between company, fit and mo tive for the negative thoughts variable The presence of an interaction w ould make tests of simple main effects inappropriate, so the aforementioned hypotheses for simple main effects are discussed in terms of the interactions. A Scheffe post hoc test indicated that for the company condition, Texaco and Chevron were similar, and Texaco and ExxonMobil were similar. ExxonMobil and Chevron were not similar. As Figure 4-1 indicates, for those subject in the low fit condition, motive did not make a difference in terms of number of negative thoughts while for those in the high fit conditions, the number of negative thoughts was greatest for thos e in the profit condition, but less than those in the low fit condition, for those in the high fit-social condition. In summary, the number of negative thoughts is greatest fo r those who read about Exxon-Mob ils CSR program with a profit motive and high fit, and the fewest negative thoughts when reading about the high fit and socially motivated CSR program. An independent samples t-test for ExxonM obil with equal variances not assumed (T= 2.55, df= 32.39) indicated that the differences within the high fit condition were significant at the p< .02 level. For ExxonMobil, a high fit, pr ofit motivated (M= 1.35, SD = 1.18) initiative leads to more negative thoughts than a high fit, soci ally motivated (M= .55, SD= .76) initiative. For the low fit condition, the motive is irrelevant, and both elicit le ss negative thoughts than the high fit, profit motive condition (Figure 4-1). 37

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An independent samples t-test for Texaco with equal variances not assumed (T= 1.85, df= 33.67) indicated that the differences within the low fit condition were not significant (p< .07) (Figure 4-2). This lack of significance justifies not investigating the Chevron company condition (Figure 4-3). Differences in means test were only importa nt for ExxonMobil. More specifically, the only significant relationships found were in th e high fit condition for ExxonMobil, with profit motivated initiatives el iciting the most negative thoughts (and significantly more than high fit, socially motivated initiatives). Negative Attitudes Findings The following hypotheses were presen ted about negativ e attitudes. H3b. [Low fit between ExxonMobil and its CSR initiati ve, relative to high fit, will result in] a change to more negative attitudes about ExxonMobil; H4b. [Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with] more negative at titudes about ExxonMobil; H5b. [Low fit between Chevron and its CSR initiative, relative to high fit, will result in] a change to more negative attitudes about Chevron; H6b. [Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with] more negative atti tudes about Chevron; H7b. [Low fit between Texaco and its CSR initiative, relative to high fit, will result in] a change to more negative attitudes about Texaco; H8b. [Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with] more negative at titudes about Texaco; Tests of between subject effects revealed an interaction between motive and fit for the attitudinal variables (F [1, 240] = 4.99, p<.03). Company did not inte ract with either variable, indicating that it is appropriate to analyze the results collapsing across the companies. A Scheffe post hoc test confirms this, revealing one homoge nous subset. This also justifies the discussion of the above hypotheses as a whole, rather than individually. None of the hypotheses are supported as written since the inte raction effect was not predicted. 38

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An independent samples t-test for attitude change with equal variances assumed (T= 2.426, df= 118) indicated that the differences within the high fit condition (profit vs. socially motivated) were significant at the p< .02 level (Fi gure 4-4). High fit, prof it motivated initiatives (M= .18, SD= .12) elicited more positive attitude change, compared to high fit, socially motivated initiatives (M= -.27, SD= .12). For the low fit condition, the motiv e is irrelevant, but both low fit conditions elicited att itude change that was more positive than the high fit, socially motivated condition. Regardless of company, there was more positiv e change in attitude variables in the high fit, profit motive condition than the high fit, socially motivated condition. Behavioral Variable Findings The next set of hypotheses were for purchas e intention and for likelihood of product recommendation. H3c. [Low fit between ExxonMobil and its CSR initiati ve, relative to high fit, will result in] a change to a lower likelihood of consumer purchase intention; H4c. [Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with] lower likelihood of purchase intention [toward ExxonMobil]; H5c. [Low fit between Chevron and its CSR initiative, relative to high fit, will result in] a change to a lower likelihood of consumer purchase intention; H6c. [Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with] lower likelihood of purchase intention [toward Chevron]; H7c. [Low fit between Texaco and its CSR initiative, relative to high fit, will result in] a change to a lower likelihood of cons umer purchase intention; H8c. [Profit-motivated versus socially motivated CSR initiatives will result in consumer publics with] lower likelihood of purchase intention [toward Texaco]; For the behavioral variable representing pur chase intention and r ecommendation, tests of between subjects effects revealed a main eff ect for company (F [2, 240]= 3.19, p< .04) and an interaction between fit and mo tive (F [2, 240]= 2.43, p< .08). Th ese interactions prohibit the discussion of the above simple main effects hypot heses as written, and therefore none of them can tested. 39

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Pairwise comparisons indicated that E xxonMobil (M= -.19, SD= .10) was significantly less positive than Texaco (M= .16, SD= .10) at p< .01, but not Chevron (M= .02, SD= .10, p< .13). Texaco was not different from Chevron (p< .32). This illustrates that there was a more positive change toward purchasing from Texaco than purchasing/recommending ExxonMobil. These differences were also seen in the Sc heffe post hoc test, with ExxonMobil and Chevron comprising one homogeneous subset, and Chevron and Texaco comprising a second. An independent samples t-test with equal variances assumed (T= 2.00, df= 118) indicated that the positive change toward purchase/reco mmend behavior in the high fit, profit motive condition (regardless of company) was significan t at the p< .05. High fit, profit motivated initiatives (M= .09, SD= .11) elicited more posit ive change, compared to high fit, socially motivated initiatives (M= -.21, SD= .11). For th e low fit condition, the motivational differences were not significant (Figure 4-5). The next section presents research questions that may help understa nd these relationships. RQ1: Does controlling for political affiliation affect any of the relationships observed in the hypotheses? For this research question, the political affilia tion demographics were reclassified into three groups: Democrats (N= 94), Republicans (N= 79) and Other (N= 59). The Other group includes those respondents that iden tified themselves as independent libertarian or other, and were combined to form a third group that in cluded a total number of respondents comparable to the Democrat and Republican groups. A test of between subjects effects revealed significant interacti ons between motive and political affiliation in both the attitudinal (F [2, 232]= 4.12, p< .02) and behavioral variables (F [2, 232]= 5.241, p<. 01). In both cases, the Rep ublicans demonstrated oppos ite reactions to the 40

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Democrats (and to the other group, which is comprised of subjects who answered independent, libertarian, or oth er, but to a lesser degree). For the attitudinal variables, Democrats exhibited the most positive change in the profit motive condition (M= .29, SD= .14) (Figure 4-6). Meanwhile, Republicans exhibited the most negative change in this conditi on (M= -.09, SD= .15), with the most positive change occurring in the socially motivated condition (M= .17, SD= .15). Similar results were found for the behavior al variables, with De mocrats exhibiting the most positive change in the profit motiv e condition (M= .17, SD= .13), and Republicans exhibiting the most negative change in this c ondition (M= -.11, SD= .14) (Figure 4-7). Again, Republicans most positive change occurred in the socially motivated condition (M= .25, SD= .14). Table 4-1. Factor Loadings Initial Eigenvalue Extraction Sum of Squared Loadings Factor Total % of Variance Cumulative % Total % of Variance Cumulative % 1 3.20 64.07 64.07 2.91 58.18 58.18 2 .89 17.72 81.78 .52 10.39 68.57 3 .40 8.04 89.82 4 .30 6.00 95.81 5 .21 4.19 100.00 Table 4-2. Factor Analysis for a Two Factor Solution Change Score Factor Loadings, Pattern Matrix Variable Name 1 2 Change in Good .93 Change in Positive .84 Change in Favorable .82 Change in Purchase .77 Change in Recommend .76 41

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Table 4-3. Means for Groups in Homogenous Subsets Condition Subset for Company N 1 2 Chevron 80 .50 Texaco 80 .66 .66 ExxonMobil 80 .94 Sig. .52 .15 Figure 4-1. Interaction Eff ect of Fit by Motive for Negative Thoughts about ExxonMobil 42

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Figure 4-2. Interaction Eff ect of Fit by Motive for Negative Thoughts about Chevron Figure 4-3. Interaction Eff ect of Fit by Motive for Nega tive Thoughts about Texaco 43

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Figure 4-4. Interaction E ffect of Fit by Motive for Attitudinal Variables Figure 4-5. Interaction E ffect of Fit by Motive for Behavioral Variables 44

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Figure 4-6. Interaction Effect of Fit by Mo tive on Attitudes Based on Political Affiliation Figure 4-7. Interaction Effect of Fit by Mo tive on Behavior Based on Political Affiliation 45

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CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Practical Implications While Becker-Olsen et al. (2006) found that low fit initiatives are likely to decrease positive opinions of a companys reputation and are met with more skepticism that high fit initiatives, other scholars found that high fit initiatives elicit skepticism from consumers due to a clearer connection of how the company could pr ofit from implementation (Ellen et al., 2000; Varadarjan & Menon, 1988). In regards to mo tive, Forehand and Grier (2003) found that companies were perceived more negatively when they expressed solely public-serving motives compared to when they acknowledged the existence of firm serving motives. This indicates that consumers have an appreciation for corpor ate honesty when launc hing new initiatives. This study does not corroborate the findings of the first three sets of authors mentioned above, finding that if a company wants to elicit positive change in attitude toward a company, it should implement high fit, profit motivated initia tives. This result was unexpected; previous findings (Becker-Olsen et al., 2006 ) suggested and researcher exp ectations were that socially motivated initiatives would have received more positive reaction than profit-motivated initiatives. High fit, socially motivated initiatives actually elicited the most negative change of the four conditions. These results give the impr ession that publics are indifferent to low fit initiatives, and that there could be backlash asso ciated with a companys d eclaration of altruistic intentions in high fit initiatives. Publics ma y appreciate the honesty implicit in a companys profit motivated statement, and, if skeptical of all CSR activities, be offended by a companys attempt to pass off its intentions as socially motivated. These findings are, however, in agreement with Forehand and Grier (2003), with profit-motivated initia tives eliciting a more positive response than socially motivated initiatives. 46

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As seen in the attitudinal variables, high fit, profit motivated initiatives elicited more positive change in behavior/purchase intention than high fit, socially motivated initiatives. However, one difference to note is that the condition eliciting the most positive change in behavior was low fit, socially motivated. Both low fit conditions experienced more positive change than the high fit, socially motivated condition. These findings further support the hypothesis that publics appreciate ho nesty (statement of profit motiv ation) regarding intention in the high fit condition, and react negatively and skeptically to ward initiatives that are positioned as socially motivated. These findings regarding attitude and behavi or change were echoed by the data that was controlled for political affiliation in the case of Democrats, but not Republicans. Democrats are clearly averse to the social motive condition. One possible explanation fo r these findings is Democrats unlikelihood of being proponents of bi g business (at least no t when compared to typical Republicans), and this l ack of affection could be manife sted in skepticism toward any proposed social initiatives like those in the experimental protocols. It is possible that Democrats simply dont believe that these companies are acting honorably when implementing these initiatives, despite their blatant statement of altr uistic intent. They coul d, instead, appreciate the honesty of the companies admitting to a profit motiv ation and reward them with positive attitude change. Republicans, on the other hand, were fonder of the socially motivated initiatives and seemed to buy into the proposed altruistic effort s. While Republicans tend to subscribe more strongly to Friedmans mantra of what constitu tes business business, they may be impressed by companies efforts to help those in need and better the communities in which they operate. All of the companies included in this experiment genera te billions in profit each year, so shareholders 47

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are not fearful of receiving insufficient returns. This comfort with their return on investment may facilitate individuals s upport of improved reputation management efforts (like the implementation of CSR initiatives) in hopes that dividends could increase even more. It is also possible that Republicans could be experiencing a feeling of justification concerning their support for big business when there is a stated social motive; citing th e implementation of CSR initiatives helps Republicans defend their affin ity for big business against critics. It is the belief of this re searcher that these results are unique to the petroleum industry and are not generalizable. The in consistency of these findings with previous studies supports the idea that there is something inherently different about the petroleum industry. Further research in this area could either prove or deny this claim. Open-Ended Responses Although there was not a hypothesi s developed to address the open-ended question at the end of the experimental protocol, it is important to note patterns seen in the responses. It was clear in their answers that subjects were e xperiencing cognitive diss onance in the low fit situations, as was predicted in the literature, wh en making statements like, This is a great cause [low fit initiative AIDS in Africa], but I don t understand what it has to do with ExxonMobil. There was also evidence of suspicion surrounding th e statements of social motivation, illustrated in responses like, Its good that they are helping others, but they are really just doing it to make money. The statements made in relation to this question support the findi ngs from the statistical analysis. Transparency Corporate transparency is an area in public relations that has begun to receive a lot of attention. Just as consumers expect companies to engage in CSR activities, they also want access to the information regarding the decisions to implement these initiatives. This studys 48

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findings advocate the importance and possible benef its of a company being transparent regarding its development and implementation of CSR initiativ es. The positive response to high fit, profit motivated programs indicates to companies that being honest about th eir motives and making that information easily available to their c onsumer publics could result in positive attitude change. Limitations The usage of college students in this st udy is a limitation, as the results cannot be considered representative of the general population. Suggestions for Future Research Future research could incl ude the replication of this study with foreign petroleum companies (Royal Dutch Shell, Citgo) or a mix of domestic and foreign companies to see if their national affiliation affects reactions to their CSR initiatives. This study could also be conducted in a different industry, to answer the question of whether or not thes e findings are industryspecific, or could be more genera lizable. This proposed study c ould be advanced to compare the effects of CSR initiatives of petroleum comp anies directly to other industries like pharmaceuticals, automobiles or banking. Another suggestion is the inclusion of cause-re lated marketing initiatives, in addition to CSR initiatives similar to those used in this study. Whereas the CSR initiatives in this study stated either a social or profit motivation for implementation, it is clear that companies profit from cause-related marketing programs. This obvious connection of programs and profit may have significant effects on attitudes towards companies. A third suggestion would be to look at what causes consumers to be skeptical of the petroleum industry and their CSR initiatives. Do people who start off the most skeptical of petroleum companies (pre-stimulus) remain the mo st skeptical after the introduction of the CSR 49

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initiative (post-stimulus)? It would be worthwhile to pinpoint possible explanations as to why people are so suspect of this part icular industry. Identifying the origins of skepticism could aid in the development of CSR initiatives that are more successful in achieving the desired effect on reputation. A final suggestion could be to replicate this study in different regions of the country (West, Midwest, South, Mid-Atlantic, Nort heast) to see if region has an effect on peoples perceptions of petroleum companies. It could be possible that people living in part s of the country where their economy is heavily dependent on oil and ga s could have significant ly different attitudes towards these companies than those living in areas not as economically dependent on this industry. 50

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APPENDIX A IRB PROTOCOL UFIRB 02 Social & Behavioral Research Protocol Submission Title of Protocol: Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives and the Petroleum Industry Principal Investigator: Christina LaCanfora UFID #: 1769-5506 Degree / Title: Master of Arts in Mass Communication (M.A.M.C.) candidate Department: Public Relations Mailing Address: 3550 NW 24th Blvd, Apt. 303, Gainesville, FL 32605 Email Address & Telephone Number: celacanf@gmail.com ; (860) 608-9739 Co-Investigator(s): N/A UFID#: N/A Supervisor: Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson UFID#: 9832-0570 Degree / Title: Professor Department: Public Relations Mailing Address: 2044 Weimer Hall, P.O. Box 118400, Gainesville, FL 32611 Email Address & Telephone Number: maferguson@jou.ufl.edu ; (352) 392-6660 Date of Proposed Research: January 2009 Source of Funding (A copy of the grant proposal must be submitt ed with this protocol if funding is involved): N/A Scientific Purpose of the Study: The purpose of this study is to identify which types of corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives warrant the most positive (and conversely, most negative) responses when implemented by petroleum companies. Specifically, the researcher is manipulating the motives of the CSR activities reported as well as the degree of fit between the industry and the CSR activiti es. The researcher plans to use the findings to make recommendations to the petroleum industry of which types of CSR initiatives could be best utilized to impr ove corporate reputation among consumers. Describe the Research Methodology in Non-Technical Language: ( Explain what will be done with or to the research participant. ) After being handed the survey, the participant will be as ked to answer two, scaled questions about a real petroleum company (either ExxonMobil, Chevron or Texaco ) regarding their feelings a bout the company and their 51

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habits of purchasing from that company. They will then be instructed to read a one-page news story containing two innocuous, unrelated stories, and one about a fabric ated CSR initiative being implemented by one of the three petroleum companies. There are four different versio ns of the study (High fit and social motives, high fit and profit motives, low fit and social motives, low fit and profit motives. The researcher is also varying the company about which the students are reading so that t hey are randomly assigned to one of three companies. After reading the story, they will then be asked the same two questions again, in addition to two more scaled question about what they read in the story. Finally, they will be asked an open-ended question where they wil have the opportunity to express and ad ditional thoughts about the company. Due to the fact that CSR initiatives featured in the news story were fabricated and the petroleum companies are not currently implementing them, the participants will have been deceived. After the participants have completed the surveys and they are turned in, the researcher will then provide another sheet of paper to the participants, explaining the deception (that the initiatives were fabr icated) and why it was necessary. Subjects will be anonymous. Describe Potential Benefits and Anticipated Risks: ( If risk of physical, psychological or economic harm may be involved, describe the steps taken to protect participant.) There are no potential benefits or antic ipated risks associated with this study. Describe How Participant(s) Will Be Recruited, the Number and AGE of the Participants, and Proposed Compensation: Participants will be recruited through professors in UFs Department of Journalism and Communications. Professors will allow the researcher to administer the surv ey to the students in their undergraduate classes in the college. The desired sample size is 280 participants. Because the participants will be undergraduate students, the anticipated age of participants will range from 18-24. Participants will not be compensated for their involvement in this study unless their pr ofessor gives extra credit for research pa rticipation or includes it as part of the class requirements. Describe the Informed Consent Process. Include a Copy of the Informed Consent Document: Participants will be anonymous and will be given the info rmed consent document along with the survey. The participants will turn in the informed consent document with the survey after completion. Additional copies of the informed consent document (unsigned) will be available for interested participants to keep. Principal Investigator(s) Signature: Supervisor Signature: Department Chair/Center Director Signature: Date: 52

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APPENDIX B PRETEST Corporate Social Responsibility In itiatives and the Petroleum Industry Directions: After reading the news story, please answer the following questions concerning the story and ExxonMobil. Circle the number corresponding to th e place on the line that you feel best represents your feelings on the issue presented in the question. For question number three, please write out your answer in the space provided. 1. Rate the fit between ExxonMobil and the social initiative: (Fit the link between the social initiative and the companys product line, brand image, position and/or target market; Does it ma ke sense for ExxonMobil to be involved with this initiative? ) _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Low fit Strong fit _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dissimilar Similar _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Inconsistent Consistent _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not complementary Complementary 2. Rate the motivation for ExxonMobils participation in the program: _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Self-interested Community-interested _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Company-focused Customer-focused _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Profit-motivated Socially-motivated 53

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3. What are your thoughts about ExxonMobil? __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ Directions: Please answer the following demographic ques tions by either circling the choice that applies to you, or write in your answer if a line is pr ovided. You will not be penalized for omitting this section, but this information is very important to the study. Gender: Male Female Age: ______ Major: _____________________________________ Year in School: Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Other Race: Caucasian African American Asian Pacific Islander Hispanic/Latino American Indian Native Alaskan Other/Multiple Family Income: $__________________________ Party Affiliation: Democrat Republican Indepe ndent Libertarian Other Do any members of your family work for a petroleum company? Yes No 54

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APPENDIX C INFORMED CONSENT Informed Consent Protocol Title: Corporate Social Responsibility In itiatives and the Petroleum Industry Please read this consent document carefully befo re you decide to participate in this study. You must be at least 18 years old to participate in this research. Purpose of the research study: The purpose of the study is to investigate percepti ons of firm responsibilit y and ethical behavior. What you will be asked to do in the study: You will first be asked to fill out a few questions re lated to a firm of interest. You will then be instructed to read a news clipping and answer a series of questions related to one of the news items. Lastly, you will be asked to provide any ad ditional details or information related to the news item of interest. Time required: 15-20 minutes Risk and Benefits: There are no risks or benefits associated with participation in this study. Compensation: There is no compensation for part icipating in this research. Anonymity: Your identity will be completely anonymous. Your information will be assigned a code number and you will never be asked to provide your name. Voluntary participation: Your participation in this study is completely voluntary. There is no penalty for not participating. Right to withdraw from the study: You have the right to withdraw from the study at anytime without consequence. 55

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Whom to contact if you have questions about the study: Christina LaCanfora, Graduate Student, Depa rtment of Public Relations, 2044 Weimer Hall; phone (860) 608-9739; email celacanf@gmail.com Dr. Mary Ann Ferguson, Ph.D., College of Journalism and Communications, 2044 Weimer Hall; phone (352) 392-6660; email maferguson@jou.ufl.edu Whom to contact about your rights as a research participant in the study: IRB02 Office, Box 112250, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL 32611-2250; phone (352) 392-0433 Agreement: I have read the procedure described above. I volunt arily agree to pa rticipate in the procedure and I have received a copy of the description. Participant: ________________________________________ Date: _____________ Principal Investigat or: ________________________________ Date: _____________ 56

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APPENDIX D EXPERIMENTAL PROTOCOL Corporate Social Responsibility In itiatives and the Petroleum Industry Directions: Please answer the following questions about [COMPANY] by circling the number corresponding to the place on the line that you feel best represents your feelings on the issue presented in the question. 1. Identify your feelings about [COMPANY]: _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Negative Positive _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unfavorable Favorable _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bad Good 2. How likely are you to recommend and purchase from the (COMPANY]? _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not recommend Strongly recommend _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Never purchase Always purchase PLEASE WAIT FOR INSTRUCTIONS BEFORE TURNING THE PAGE 57

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DO NOT TURN BACK TO PREVIOUS PAGES IN THIS PACKET Directions: After reading the news stories, please answer the following questions concerning the story you read about [COMPANY]. Circle the number corresponding to the place on the line that you feel best represents your feelings on the issue presented in the question. For question number five, please write out your answer in the space provided. 1. Identify your feelings about [COMPANY]: _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Negative Positive _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Unfavorable Favorable _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Bad Good 2. How likely are you to recommend and purchase from [COMPANY]? _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not recommend Strongly recommend _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Never purchase Always purchase 3. Rate the fit between [COMPANY] and the social initiative: (Fit the link between the social initiative and the companys product line, brand image, position and/or target market; Does it ma ke sense for [COMPANY] to be involved with this initiative? ) _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Low fit Strong fit _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Dissimilar Similar _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Inconsistent Consistent 58

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_______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Not complementary Complementary 4. Rate the motivation for [COMPANY]s participation in the program: _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Self-interested Community-interested _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Company-focused Customer-focused _______________________________________________________ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Profit-motivated Socially-motivated 5. What are your thoughts about [COMPANY]? __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ __________________ _____________________ ___________________ Directions: Please answer the following demographic ques tions by either circling the choice that applies to you, or write in your answer if a line is pr ovided. You will not be penalized for omitting this section, but this information is very important to the study. Gender: Male Female Age: ______ Major: _____________________________________ Year in School: Freshman Sophomore Junior Senior Other Race: Caucasian African American Asian Pacific Islander Hispanic/Latino American Indian Native Alaskan Other/Multiple Family Income: $__________________________ Party Affiliation: Democrat Republican Indepe ndent Libertarian Other Do any members of your family work for a petroleum company? Yes No 59

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APPENDIX E HIGH FIT INITIATIVES High fit, profit motivated initiative [COMPANY] announced on Tuesday the launch of a new initiative focused on its commitment to protecting biodiversity and improving the e nvironmental quality of the locations that [COMPANY] operates. After operating off the coast of Equatorial Guinea for years, [COMPANY] is ending the production phase of its operation. Now, in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), [COMPANY], through this new initiative, is dedicated to pr otecting wildlife indigenous to that area, including endangered primates and sea turtles. We are committed to wo rking with others to maintain ecosystems and leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. This new initiative helps us achieve that goal says [COMPANY] spokesperson, William Kline. [COMPANY] hopes that involvement with this initiative will result in increased profits. High fit, socially motivated initiative [COMPANY] announced on Tuesday the launch of a new initiative focused on its commitment to protecting biodiversity and improving the e nvironmental quality of the locations that [COMPANY] operates. After operating off the coast of Equatorial Guinea for years, [COMPANY] is ending the production phase of its operation. Now, in partnership with the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), [COMPANY], through this new initiative, is dedicated to pr otecting wildlife indigenous to that area, including endangered primates and sea turtles. We are committed to wo rking with others to maintain ecosystems and leaving the smallest carbon footprint possible. This new initiative helps us achieve that goal says [COMPANY] spokesperson, William Kline. [COMPANY] hopes that participation in this initiative will result in an improved social situ ation for those involved. 60

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APPENDIX F LOW FIT INITIATIVES Low fit, profit motivated initiative [COMPANY] announced on Tuesday the launch of a new initiative focused on its commitment to improving health in Africa. In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, [COMPANY], through this new initiative, is dedicat ed to promoting awareness of how these diseases are transmitted and educat ing communities about prevention. Additionally, [COMPANY] will provide clinical supplies to areas most heavily affected. We are committed to helping prevent the further sp read of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. This new initiative helps us achieve that goal sa ys [COMPANY] spokesperson, William Kline. [COMPANY] hopes that involvement with this in itiative will result in increased profits. Low fit, socially motivated initiative [COMPANY] announced on Tuesday the launch of a new initiative focused on its commitment to improving health in Africa. In partnership with the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, [COMPANY], through this new initiative, is dedicat ed to promoting awareness of how these diseases are transmitted and educat ing communities about prevention. Additionally, [COMPANY] will provide clinical supplies to areas most heavily affected. We are committed to helping prevent the further sp read of AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria in Africa. This new initiative helps us achieve that goal sa ys [COMPANY] spokesperson, William Kline. [COMPANY] hopes that partic ipation in this initia tive will result in an im proved social situation for those involved. 61

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APPENDIX G STIMULUS Best Buy offering refurbished iPhones Retailer Best Buy, seeking new ways to appeal to cost-conscious shoppers, said on Tuesday it is selling refurbished versions of Apple Inc's iPhone 3G at its stores that are priced about $50 less than new iPhones. The iPhones, which were return ed within 30 days of purchase, are priced at $149 for the model with 8 gigabytes of storage, while the 16-gigabyte version is $249. A twoyear service contract with AT &T Inc is required. New iPhone 3Gs currently sell for $199 and $299 at Best Buy Mobile stores. "This is focusing on customers' needs, trying to provide as wide a range of products and networks for our cons umers," said Scott Moore, vice president of marketing for Best Buy Mobile. Buyers of firs t-generation iPhones can also upgrade to the faster refurbished 3G models at Best Buy, he said Initiative Text (Varied) Slumdog Millionaire wins big at Globes Heath Ledger was honored with a Golden Globe, and Kate Winslet came away with two. Yet the Globes otherwise went slumming, with Slumdog Millionaire taking top honors and other key prizes going to a newcomer, an underdog and a poster boy for the classic Hollywood comeback. With four awards Sunday including best drama, Slumdog Millionaire emerged as the potential film to beat at the Academy Awards, an une xpected position for a movie with a cast of unknowns and a story set among orphans and crimin als on the streets of Mumbai. The film knocked off best-drama nominees that included Brad Pitts The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprios Revolutionary Road and Ron Howards Frost/Nixon. Best screenplay and musical score prizes also went to Millionaire. 62

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LIST OF REFERENCES Associated Press. (2009, January 12). Globe s go slumming as Millionaire wins big. MSNBC Retrieved January 12, 2009, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28577106/ Becker-Olsen, K.L., Cudmore, B.A., & Hill, R.P. (2006). The impact of perceived corporate social responsibili ty on consumer behavior. Journal of Business Research, 59 46-53. Burke, L., & Logsdon, J.M. (1996). How cor porate social respons ibility pays off. Long Range Planning, 29(4), 495-502. Carroll, A.B. (1991, July/August). The pyramid of corporate social responsibility: Toward the moral management of organizational stakeholders. Business Horizons, 34 39-48. Carroll, A.B. (1999). Corporate social responsibility: Evolution of a definitional construct. Business & Society, 38 (3), 268-295. Chevron. (2008, May). Health & Safety. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.chevron.com/globalissues/healthsafety/ Chevron. (2007, September). Biodiversity. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.chevron.com/globali ssues/environmen t/biodiversity/ Creyer, E.H., & Ross, W.T. (1997). The influenc e of firm behavior on purchase intention: Do consumers really car e about business ethics? Journal of Consumer Marketing, 14(6), 421-432. Davis, K. (1973). The case for and against business assumption of soci al responsibilities. Academy of Manage ment Journal, 16 312-322. Ellen, P.S., Mohr, L.A., & Webb, D.J. (2000). Charitable programs and the retailer: Do they mix? Journal of Retailing, 76 (3), 393-406. Exxon Mobil Corporation (n.d.). Biodiversity conservation. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.exxonmobil.com/Corporate/energy_Biodiversity.aspx Exxon Mobil Corporation. (n.d.). Guiding Principles Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.exxonmobil.com/corporate/a bout_operations_sbc_principles.aspx Exxon Mobil Corporation. (2009, January 28). Exxon Mobil Corporation declares first quarter dividend [Press release]. Retrieved February 19, 2009 from http://www.businesswire.com/news/exxonmobil/20090128005983/en Exxon Mobil Corporation. (2007). Financial & operating review. Retrieved February 19, 2009 from http://www.exxonmobil.com/cor porate/files/news_pub_fo_2007.pdf 63

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Forehand, M.R., & Grier, S. (2003). When is hone sty the best policy? The effect of stated company intent on consumer skepticism. Journal of Consumer Psychology, 13 (3), 349356. Fortune. (2008, March 17). America's Most Admired Companies. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/mostadmired/2008/full_list/index.html Friedman, M. (1962). Capitalism and freedom. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Gardberg, N.A., & Fombrun, C.J. (2002). For better or worse the most visible American corporate reputations. Corporate Reputation Review, 4 (4), 385-391. Harris Interactive. (2008). 9th Annual RQ: Reputations of the 60 Most Visible Companies. Retrieved October 13, 2008, from http://www.harrisinteractive.com/news /mediaaccess/2008/HI_BSC_REPORT_AnnualR Q_USASummary07-08.pdf Holme, R., & Watts, P. (2000, January). Corporate Social Responsibility: Making Good Business Sense. Retrieved October 15, 2008, from http://www.wbcsd.org/DocRoot/IunSPdIKvmYH5HjbN4XC/csr2000.pdf Husted, B.W. (2000). A contingency theory of corporate social performance. Business & Society, 39 (1), 24-48. McGuire, J.B., Sundgren, A., & Schneeweis, T. (1988). Corporate so cial responsibility and firm financial performance. Academy of Management Journal, 31 (4), 854-872. Reuters. (2009, January 12). Best Buy offers used iPhones at lower price. MSNBC Retrieved January 12, 2009, from http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/28517961/ Schwartz, M.S., & Carroll, A.B. (2003). Cor porate social responsib ility: A three-domain approach. Business Ethics Quarterly, 13 (4), 503-530. Shell. (n.d.). The importance of biodiversity for us responsible energy. Retrieved February 19, 2009, from http://www.shell.com/home/content/responsib le_energy/environmen t/biodiversity/import ance_biodiversity/importance_biodiversity_21042008.html Sen, S., & Bhattacharya, C.B. (2001). Does doing good always lead to doing better? Consumer reactions to corpor ate social responsibility. Journal of Marketing Research, 38, 225-243. Varadarajan, P.R., & Menon, A. (1988). Cause-related marketing: A coalignment of marketing strategy and corporate philanthropy. The Journal of Marketing, 52(3), 58-74. 64

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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Christina Elizabeth LaCanfora was born in Jacksonville, Florida. As the child of a military family, she attended school all over the country before graduating from Montville High School in Oakdale, Connecticut in 2003. She earned her B.A. in both Communication Public Relations and Sociology from North Carolina State University in 2007. Upon completion of her M.A. in Mass Comm unication, Christina will begin work as a Communications Advisor with Exxon M obil Corporation in Houston, Texas. 65