Title page for ETD etd-04292010-122824

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Narcisse, Liana L.
URN etd-04292010-122824
Title Public Perception and the Oil Industry: An Analysis of Oil Employees' and Nigerians' Opinions Regarding Exxon Mobil and Shell Oil's Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts
Degree Master of Mass Communication (M.M.C.)
Department Mass Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Sanders, Meghan Committee Chair
Dahmen, Nicole Committee Member
Osborne, Anne Committee Member
Scholl, Roseanne Committee Member
  • Two-Step Flow
  • Nigeria
  • Corporate Social Responsibility
  • Shell Oil
  • Exxon Mobil
Date of Defense 2010-03-17
Availability unrestricted
This study looked at oil industry employees’ and Nigerians’ perceptions of Exxon Mobil and Shell Oil as socially responsible corporations and the role the two-step flow model of communication plays in shaping these publics’ impressions of the companies. Measures of participants’ perceptions of corporate social responsibility (CSR) were developed using Carroll’s 1971 three-dimensional model of CSR and Ketola’s (2008) holistic model of CSR. This study found that for both companies participants had average to less-than-favorable perceptions of the companies’ socially responsible behavior, according to the various categories of CSR. However, employees were more likely to view the companies more favorably than Nigerians; but, this difference was significant in only a few measures of CSR. This study also found that participants viewed Exxon Mobil as more socially responsible than Shell Oil. The two-step flow model of communication played a significant role in shaping a more positive perception of both companies, especially among Nigerians. Findings from this study can be used to help companies understand their weaknesses and strengths of their CSR campaigns. This study’s findings will help companies like Exxon Mobil and Shell Oil identify tactics for gain a socially responsible image and strengthen community support in antagonistic environments, such as Nigeria.

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