Interactive CSR campaign and symbolic brand benefits: a moderated mediation model of brand trust and self-congruity in the restaurant industry

Kyong Sik Sung, Seoki Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose: Drawing on symbolic interaction theory (SIT), this study aims to identify what makes corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication more favorable to customers in the chain restaurants context. Specifically, this study examines the direct relationships between the interactivity of CSR communication, brand trust and brand sincerity. In addition, the mediating role of brand trust (i.e. separate dimensions of brand reliability and intentions) and the moderated mediating role of self-congruity are explored. Design/methodology/approach: A total of 418 US consumers with past experiences of participating in CSR campaigns organized by chain restaurants on social media were recruited using the online survey method of nonprobability sampling through Amazon Mechanical Turk in December 2021. Findings: The results of this study revealed that the interactivity of CSR communication on social media affects brand sincerity; brand reliability and brand intentions mediate the positive effect of interactivity of CSR communication on brand sincerity; and customer’s self-congruity moderated the positive mediation effect via brand reliability. Practical implications: Chain restaurant marketers need to understand the important role of interactivity as a key element of CSR communication on social media to help develop brand trust and brand sincerity in chain restaurants. Originality/value: This study expands on SIT to support the symbolic benefits of interactive CSR communication on social media.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4535-4554
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management
Issue number12
StatePublished - Nov 8 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management

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