The transparency paradox: When transparency cues helps or backfires for brands?

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Abstract

Prior research indicates that transparency of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) claims increases consumers' positive reactions to the firm. However, this article suggests that this effect depends on the interplay between transparency cues (presence vs. absence) and brand strength (small vs. large). Our set of experimental studies examine the effect of information transparency and brand strength on consumers' purchasing intentions toward fashion products. Findings indicate a surprising effect of transparency cues: while its presence improves consumers' responses to CSR of small brands, it reduces consumers’ outcomes towards large brands. Results also suggest that trust mediates the effects since transparency cues boost consumers' trust toward small (vs. large) brands. This research further suggests that greenwashing practices as a boundary condition of transparency effects, since CSR communication with an honest (vs. greenwashing) focus fosters the transparency effects. The findings have important implications for effective CSR strategies in the fashion industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number133381
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Cleaner Production
Volume372
Early online date11 Aug 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2022

Keywords

  • Brand image
  • Brand strength
  • CSR
  • Transparency cues
  • Purchasing intentions

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