The rise of consumers’ awareness of social and environmental issues forced organizations to act in a more sustainable way, including CSR in their core business strategies. Fashion industries have been charged several times for irresponsible and unethical practices in relation to the environment and society, and thus consumers tend to be more cautious with their CSR practices. Effective CSR communication is vital for fashion industries in order to achieve positive consumers’ behaviors. The level of transparency in CSR activities of corporations can lead to either positive or negative consumers’ outcomes. The aim of this research is to identify to what extent transparency in CSR communication of fashion industries influence consumers’ intentions to participate in positive or negative eWOM, as well as their purchasing intentions. Furthermore, this study focuses on the mediating effects of trust and consumer-company-identification (CCI) in the relationship mentioned above. To answer the research question, an online experiment was conducted, using a unifactorial experimental design with three conditions (high CSR transparency condition, low CSR transparency condition, control condition). The sample of this research consisted of 184 respondents. The results showed that high CSR transparency of fashion industries lead to higher consumers’ positive eWOM intentions, compared to low CSR transparency. However, no significant relationships were found for CSR transparency conditions with consumers’ negative eWOM and purchasing intentions. Furthermore, a full mediation of trust was found in the relationship between CSR transparency and positive eWOM intentions. For negative eWOM and purchasing intentions, no mediating effects of trust were found in relation to CSR transparency. CCI has not been found as a mediator in the relationship between CSR transparency with eWOM and purchasing intentions. The findings of this research add significant knowledge to the existing literature of CSR communication in the fashion context. They also provide remarkable insights for managers and marketers in the fashion industry on how to design their CSR communication strategies on social media, in order to achieve positive consumers’ outcomes regarding the brand, through transparency. More research is needed to discover more extensively the relationship between CSR transparency, eWOM, purchasing intentions, trust and CCI.

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Dr. Anne-Marie van Prooijen
Media & Business
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Lamprini Kranioti. (2022, June 27). CSR transparency and consumers’ outcomes. Media & Business. Retrieved from