Stakeholders frequently regard CSR initiatives as inauthentic gestures even when the corporation is trying to behave responsibly. In this study we develop theory about which initiatives are likely to be viewed as authentic or not by which observers, when and why. We draw on concepts of authenticity from marketing and prior work on CSR, and on theories of institutional pluralism and institutional complexity as the basis for our propositions. We propose that different institutional logics value different criteria for assessing authenticity, and develop a model to explain how level of agreement on these criteria comes about and leads to varying outcomes in terms of perceived authenticity.
Academy of Management Proceedings
Skilton, Paul F. and Purdy, Jill M., "Institutional Complexity and the Authenticity of Corporate Social Responsibility Initiatives" (2014). Business Publications. 83.