Proactive environmental risk communication: multiple publics' evaluation of for-profit corporations' sustainability communication
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[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] This research expands understanding of corporate environmental communication beyond green advertising and environment responsibility reports of CSR into the more developed and accurate sustainability technology solutions called Corporate Sustainability Communication (CSC). By conducting a 2 (Group: students vs. science reporters) x 2 (Corporate discourse: corporate sustainability communication vs. denial) mixed-design experiment, this study showed that corporate sustainability communication (CSC) is more effective in receiving multiple publics' (both students and science reporters) positive evaluations than a denial discourse on potential environmental risk issues that have not yet escalated into a crisis. Regarding the interactions between corporate discourse and group factors, this study also specifically examined the perceived estimation of an organization's environmental legitimacy, stance, and reputation by students and science reporters would differ at each corporate discourse, CSC and denial. The results of this study suggests public relation practitioners adopt CSC as an important risk management tool that can be used at the pre-crisis stage if a potential environmental risk issue arises in relation to its industry sector or products.
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