Doing good while playing : the effects of corporate social responsibility gamification on consumer response
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This dissertation research explored how CSR functions in a new media platform. Specifically, this research investigated the impact of game narratives and company placement on consumer response. In addition, a moderating role of CSR support was examined. A 2 (game narratives: CSR vs. self-serving) × 2 (company placement: prominent vs. subtle) × 2 (CSR support: high vs. low) factorial experimental design was employed. A mobile web-based game was developed for stimuli. As expected, findings showed that those who played the game with a CSR narrative responded more favorably toward both the game and the company than those who played the game with a self-serving narrative. The research found also an interplay between game narratives and company placement on consumer response. Specifically, in terms of a CSR-narrative game condition, participants exposed to a prominently placed company logo evaluated the company more favorably than participants exposed to a logo placed subtly. On the other hand, for a self-serving game condition, the company evaluation was more positive in a subtly-placed condition than in a prominently-placed condition. Instead of CSR support, a moderating role of fit between the company and the cause was found. Implications and future research are discussed.