Consumers' attributions and brand evaluations in product-harm crises : the role of implicit theories of personality

Cheng Yue YIN, Hong Yan YU, Patrick POON

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study aims to examine the moderating role of implicit theories of personality in the relationship between corporate recovery strategy(i.e., support versus stonewalling) and consumers’ attributions (and brand evaluations). It is suggested that consumers’ implicit theoriesabout the fixedness/malleability of personality can affect consumers’ attributions and brand evaluations during a product-harm crisis. Inaddition, corporate image (i.e., strong versus weak) can moderate the influence of the role of implicit theories of personality. Twoexperiments were conducted to examine the proposed hypotheses. Results of Experiment 1 show that consumers who endorse entity theory(i.e., entity theorists) are likely to attribute crisis as more internal, stable, and controllable, particularly when they do not have any priorknowledge about the firm. The entity theorists would have more negative brand evaluations than incremental theorists (who endorse in-cremental theory), when “support” strategy was used by the firm. Results of Experiment 2 show that entity theorists are prone to have moreexternal (internal) and unstable (stable) attributions toward a firm with a strong (weak) corporate image. Furthermore, entity theoristswould provide more positive brand evaluations than incremental theorists when “stonewalling” strategy was used by a firm with strongcorporate image, but not when “support” strategy was used by a firm with weak corporate image. Managerial implications are providedto managers with regard to product-harm crisis and recovery strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-95
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review
Volume15
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016

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