How do perceived CPA and political CSR interact in their relationships with citizens’ trust in companies?

In this research article two forms of corporate political involvement are related to social trust, so-calles citizens’s trust in coporations of a petrochemical complex.

Political role of corporations and trust

Socio-economic links and local community engagement determine social trust. This article is the first one that analyses the political role of corporations and its consequences in citizens trust in corporations and public authorities.

It was written by the Associate Professors in Jaume I University: Vicent Tortosa-Edo and Miguel Ángel López-Navarro.

Abstract of the article

Purpose – In the context of an industrial complex where corporate political activity (CPA) and political corporate social responsibility (political CSR) are not related, this study aims to investigate the possible relationship between citizens’ perceptions of these two non-market strategies and residents’ trust in companies located in the industrial complex.
Design/methodology/approach – Data were collected from 740 citizens living near a petrochemical complex in Tarragona (Spain). The results were analysed using structural equation modelling.
Findings – Based on institutional theory, the key findings of the study are that CPA and political CSR are differently related to citizens’ trust in companies. The results also verify that the negative relationship (between CPA and trust) outweighs the positive one (between political CSR and trust).
Practical implications – The lack of fit between political CSR and CPA in the complex analysed
suggests that firms are neglecting approaches shared by these non-market strategies, and thus wasting a huge opportunity to improve citizens’ trust in and acceptance of the complex firms. Moreover, the ethical dimension should always be present when these firms take on political responsibilities.
Originality/value – To date, CPA and political CSR have largely been dealt with separately in the
literature. This study attempted to bridge this gap by examining a situation where there is no strategic relationship between CPA and political CSR to analyse, from the perspective of citizens’ perceptions, the relationship each strategy has with the important academic concept of citizens’ trust in companies.

CPA and political CSR topic: Published in

The article was published on the Social Responsibility Journal (2021), Vol. 17 No. 8, pp. 1232-1250.

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