Date of Degree

5-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Business

Advisor

Sankar Sen

Committee Members

Karl Lang

Pragya Mathur

Subject Categories

Business | Business and Corporate Communications | Business Law, Public Responsibility, and Ethics | Marketing

Keywords

Brand Reputation, Morality, Transgressions, Corporate Social Responsibility

Abstract

Although it is very typical for consumers to be exposed to multiple instances of negative publicity about a brand, existing research has focused on consumers’ reactions to one-time negative publicity instances. Given the important role of self-brand connection in consumers’ reactions to negative brand-related information, the current study investigates how consumers with different self-brand connection levels react to multiple instances of negative publicity in a single domain versus across different domains. Specifically, I suggest that consumers with high self-brand connection might be defense motivated, which in return, might result in justification of one-time instances unless consistency in behavior is signaled. Therefore, consumers with high self-brand connection might have lower brand evaluations after being exposed to multiple instances of negative publicity in the same domain versus across different domains. On the other hand, consumers with low self-brand connection might be accuracy motivated and perceive negative brand-related information very diagnostic. Thus, these consumers might readily attribute responsibility to the brand after a one-time negative publicity instance, and repeated publicity instances in the same domain might have less informational value. Since each different publicity instance would have an incremental effect in their brand evaluations, consumers with low self-brand connection might have lower brand evaluations after exposure to multiple instances of negative publicity across different domains versus in the same domain.

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