Examining the Impact of Issue Salience, Issue Proximity, Situational Motivation, and Communicative Behaviors on Environmental CSR Outcomes




Bhalla, Nandini

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Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute


Climate change has become a life-threatening problem. Guided by the Situational Theory of Problem Solving (STOPS), the main goal of this experimental study is to understand the relationship between issue salience, issue proximity, communicative behavior for environmental issues, situation motivation for climate change, and environmental CSR (ECSR) supportive outcomes. This study used a U.S. sample (N = 440) recruited from a Qualtrics online panel and conducted a 2 (issue salience: salient vs. non-salient) × 2 (issue proximity: local vs. global) experimental design to examine the role of issue salience and issue proximity on individuals’ environmentally friendly CSR outcomes. The structural equation model indicated that issue proximity has no significant impact, but issue salience impacted communicative behavior for environmental issues, which then predicted ECSR-supportive behavioral intentions. Importantly, most STOPS research has employed situational motivation as a mediator, but this study took a novel approach by assessing the impact of situational motivation as an independent variable on CAPS as well as environmental CSR outcomes. The results suggest that individuals with a higher motivation to solve the problem of climate change are not only likely to communicate about environmental issues (e.g., air pollution) with others but are also likely to support ECSR programs through positive word-of-mouth and higher purchase intentions. This study provides some noteworthy theoretical and practical contributions in the realm of ECSR communication by elucidating the impact of issue types and individuals’ communicative behaviors in supporting a company’s ECSR programs.



corporate social responsibility, issue proximity, issue salience, climate change, situational motivation, situational theory of problem solving, Journalism and Mass Communication


Bhalla, N. (2022). Examining the impact of issue salience, issue proximity, situational motivation, and communicative behaviors on environmental CSR outcomes. Sustainability, 14(5), 2763.


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