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Article
Consumers' attributions and brand evaluations in product-harm crises : the role of implicit theories of personality
Journal of Consumer Behaviour: An International Research Review
  • Cheng Yue YIN, Northeast Normal University
  • Hong Yan YU, Sun Yat-Sen University
  • Patrick POON, Lingnan University
Document Type
Journal article
Publication Date
1-1-2016
Publisher
John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Disciplines
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.
DOI
10.1002/cb.1549
E-ISSN
14791838
Funding Information
This study was supported by the NationalSocial Science Foundation of China (No. 15BGL092) and theNatural Science Foundation of China (No. 71072159, 71172163).
Publisher Statement
Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.
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Citation Information
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