International Business and Entrepreneurship Faculty Publications and Presentations

Consumer Response to Irresponsible Firm Behavior: A Cross-National Study in the United States, Mexico and Thailand: An Abstract

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Conference Proceeding

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This study examines consumer response to firm’s irresponsible behavior that is damaging to the environment and infringes upon sustainable development goals. We measure consumer reactions to information provided in six scenarios from respondents in the US, Mexico, and Thailand. The spectrum of emotional reactions that is measured ranges from expressing anger to becoming active in demanding sustainable practices wanting to make the company pay for the irresponsible behavior. We examine the various circumstances that damage the consumer-supplier relationship and the factors that impact this relationship, such as physical proximity to the consumer and the severity of the violation. According to construal theory, a person perceives distance of objects or events in both psychological and physical terms (Trope and Liberman 2010). Drawing from this theory, individuals engage their emotions toward the physical proximity of the violation differently (Strizhakova and Coulter 2019). When individuals perceive the negative effect of such incident from close distance (i.e. local area), they tend to perceive negative consequences more concretely than compared to the distant occurrence. In addition, according to the attribution process framework proposed by Hartmann and Moeller (2014), the severity of incident plays a role in the blame and responsibility of incidents for more severe incidents compared to incidents of low severity (Tennen and Affleck 1990). When people perceive the effects of incidents as severe, they are likely to react to those incidents emotionally with anger. The experimental research design includes six conditions forming a 2 X 2 (Distance of effect: Close vs Distant) X 2 (Severity: High vs Low) possible combinations that test fluctuation in consumer response.


© 2022 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG

Publication Title

Developments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science