Treating Ivanka unfairly: Understanding the impact of Presidential Tweeting on publics’ perceptions and intentions to buycott or boycott corporations

Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Corporate Communications, 2019, 24 (4), pp. 636 - 652
Issue Date:
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IPRRC_Paper.docxAccepted Manuscript version247.61 kB
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© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the impact of presidential tweeting about corporations on publics’ perceptions of and behavioral intentions toward those corporations. Specifically, the authors examined publics’ intentions to boycott or buycott (Friedman, 1996) Nordstrom, four months after President Trump’s tweet denouncing the company’s decision to discontinue his daughter’s clothing line. Design/methodology/approach: An online survey was conducted among 517 American citizens using Qualtrics panels in June 2017. Respondents were compensated for their participation. Findings: The authors found strong associations between perceived moral inequity and boycott intentions, and perceived business/economic nature of corporate action and buycott intentions. Furthermore, demographic characteristics associated with both types of perceptions were also examined. Younger, more educated respondents tended to accept Nordstrom’s actions as being routine business decisions, whereas conservative participants saw Nordstrom’s actions as being morally iniquitous. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to explore the impact of presidential tweeting, albeit indirectly, on publics’ perceptions and intentions toward corporations who form the subjects of said tweets. Practitioners may utilize these findings to provide guidance to corporations who may be at the receiving end of presidential tweeting.
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