When CSR Meets Mobile SNA Users in Mainland China: An Examination of Gratifications Sought, CSR Motives, and Relational Outcomes in Natural Disasters

International Journal of Communication.

Abstract: With the heavy use of mobile social networking applications (SNA), corporations have widely applied corporate social responsibility activities enhanced by mobile technologies (i.e., mCSR) to target stakeholders. This study examined the relationships among gratifications sought and use on mobile SNA, CSR motives, and the organization-public relationships (OPRs) in the context of the 2017 Jiuzhaigou earthquake in China. Results from an online survey (n = 589) demonstrated that gratifications such as recognition needs and accessibility significantly predicted the level of mobile SNA use in times of a natural disaster. In addition, a corporation’s mCSR for disaster relief drove positive OPR outcomes among individuals, who used mobile SNA for information seeking and sharing as well as attributed the mCSR to the corporation’s value and stakeholder expectations it faced. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings were discussed.

Yan Jin