Applying the expectancy violation theory, the study examines how a company’s commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) interacts with the timing of receiving inconsistency message cues (i.e., presentation order), and how they affect the consumer evaluation of the CSR campaign. The results reveal that presentation order affects consumers’ inference about CSR motives and their attitudes toward a company when the company shows low commitment. However, the order effects disappeared when a company perceived to be dedicated to the CSR campaign. The findings also suggest that lowered expectancy minimizes the negative impacts resulting from expectancy violation. The company’s promotional CSR message can generate positive impacts when the message aligns with the company’s genuine motives and the message is further confirmed by other informational cues. Moderated mediation reveals that the mediating role of altruistic mGotives is observed only when a promotional CSR message preceded the commitment information.
- Corporate social responsibility
- expectancy violation
- message cue
- moderated mediation
- perceived altruism