Date of Award

8-2015

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Retail, Hospitality, and Tourism Management

Major Professor

Rachel J.C. Chen, Youn-Kyung Kim

Committee Members

Ann E. Fairhurst, Robert T. Ladd

Abstract

Hotel chains are increasingly engaging in corporate social responsibility (CSR) marketing to fulfill their social responsibilities. This study primarily aimed to contribute to the hospitality marketing literature and derive findings from the applied theoretical frameworks that would provide practical information for hotel CSR marketers. The study introduced three theoretical concepts: the information-processing model to provide a comprehensive framework of the attitude formation process, the attribution theory to explain the different effects of CSR motives, and the hierarchy-of-effects model to explain the relational effects of affect, cognition, and conation on consumer responses. In this sense, the study was conducted to test (1) the different effects of a green marketing motive and ad appeal on consumers’ ad perceptions (sub-model A) and (2) the influential relationships of consumer perceptions, ad attitudes, persuasion, and behavioral intentions (sub-model B).

Prior to administering the main survey, two pretests and a pilot test were conducted to develop and manipulate ad stimuli and to test the construct reliabilities. An online self-administered survey yielded 711 completed responses that were used for the data analysis. The results indicated that ads using a public-serving motive (claim) elicited more positive perceived warmth than ads using a firm-serving motive. Further, soft-sell appeal generated more positive perceived warmth and empathy, whereas hard-sell appeal yielded more positive informational utility and truthfulness. The study also found that although both affective and cognitive ad attitudes positively led to consumers’ ad persuasion, the cognitive ad attitude generated by cognitive perceptions showed a stronger effect on persuasion than an affective ad attitude derived from affective perceptions. The findings of this study will allow hospitality marketers to develop and implement CSR advertising that build effective communications with consumers.

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