Consumers' attributions and brand evaluations in product-harm crises : the role of implicit theories of personality
Journal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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.
This study was supported by the NationalSocial Science Foundation of China (No. 15BGL092) and theNatural Science Foundation of China (No. 71072159, 71172163).
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Yin, C.-Y., Yu, H.-Y., & Poon, P. (2016). Consumers' attributions and brand evaluations in product-harm crises: The role of implicit theories of personality. Journal of Consumer Behaviour, 15(1), 87-95. doi: 10.1002/cb.1549