Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating 'Double-Talk' and Irony in CSR Marketing Communications

Sarah Glozer, Mette Morsing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Conventional definitions of corporate hypocrisy focus on decoupling talk and action; incidences where an organisation’s ‘talk’ does not to match its ‘walk’. In the context of corporate social responsibility (CSR), marketing communications are often aspirational and hence prone to accusations of hypocrisy. Is hypocrisy, however, always undesirable? This case-informed conceptual paper draws upon the Diesel ‘Global Warming Ready’ campaign to investigate how humour – specifically irony – elevates conventional understandings of hypocrisy towards what we term ‘helpful hypocrisy’; a concept that mobilises audiences to critically reflect on complex ambiguities of CSR in non-moralizing ways. In doing so, we distinguish between idealised ‘single-talk’ and extended ‘double-talk’. We develop an analytical model to help analyse the layers of double-talk in the context of ironic CSR marketing communications, and we construct a conceptual model that explains the role of double-talk and irony. Based on our research, we propose an agenda for future research.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Aug 2019

Cite this

Helpful Hypocrisy? Investigating 'Double-Talk' and Irony in CSR Marketing Communications. / Glozer, Sarah; Morsing, Mette.

In: Journal of Business Research, 01.08.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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