Building positive internal and external stakeholder perceptions through CSR storytelling

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In this paper, we propose organizations can leverage the storytelling process to convey corporate social responsibility (CSR) actions and events. In doing so, organizations may mitigate the major challenges that hinder positive returns from CSR initiatives–awareness and skepticism. We propose a conceptual model that demonstrates the effects of CSR storytelling. Specifically, we propose the storytelling process yields positive impacts on internal and external stakeholder outcomes including increasing employees’ thriving and meaningful work, as well as the attitudes and trust of multiple external stakeholders. To support the proposed relationships in our model, we apply narrative transportation theory and complement it with theory and literature on brand outcomes, CSR, positive organizational psychology, and communication. We discuss our contributions and highlight the value of continued research at the intersection of storytelling, CSR, and internal and external organizational outcomes.