When CSR Meets Mobile SNA Users in Mainland China: An Examination of Gratifications Sought, CSR Motives, and Relational Outcomes in Natural Disasters

Yang Cheng, Yi-Ru Regina Chen, Yan Jin, Flora Hung-baesecke


With the heavy use of mobile social networking applications (SNAs), corporations have widely applied corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities enhanced by mobile technologies (i.e., mCSR) to target stakeholders. This study examined the relationships among gratifications sought and use on mobile SNAs, CSR motives, and the organization–public relationships in the context of the 2017 Jiuzhaigou earthquake in China. Results from an online survey (N = 589) demonstrated that gratifications such as recognition needs and accessibility significantly predicted the level of mobile SNA use in times of a natural disaster. In addition, a corporation’s mCSR for disaster relief drove positive organization–public relationship outcomes among individuals, who used mobile SNAs for information-seeking and -sharing as well as attributed the mCSR to the corporation’s value and stakeholder expectations it faced. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed.



gratifications, social networking applications (SNAs), China, mobile communication, corporate social responsibility (CSR), social media, relationship, natural disaster

Full Text: