Consumer Fairness and Trust Judgments in Response to ‘Bad Behavior’ by Firms

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Firms are facing reputational crises with increasing regularity. Despite this, relatively little is known about what types of firm actions consumers will judge to be reprehensible, and how firms should respond once a reputational crisis has occurred. In this dissertation I focus on two specific topics related to firm reputational crises: consumer price fairness judgments and consumer trust repair. In Essay 1 I propose that autonomy threat, a previously unexplored construct in the context of pricing, is a critical determinant of the judged fairness of demand-based price increases by firms. I test my proposal in one pilot study, five experimental studies, and one meta-analysis. In Essay 2 I investigate how firms can most effectively repair consumer trust once a reputational crises has occurred. I propose that is most effective for firms to repent following integrity violations, and to seek third-party regulation following competence violations. I test my proposal in four experimental studies, including one field study.

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  • 03/07/2019
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