• Lie, Cheat, and Steal: How Harmful Brands Motivate Consumers to Act Unethically

    Author(s):
    Scott Connors, Mansur Khamitov (see profile) , Jeff D. Rotman
    Date:
    2018
    Subject(s):
    Consumer culture, Consumption, Punishment, Ethics, Advertising ethics
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    harmfulness, unethical behavior, consumer cheating, brand punishment
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6KV7P
    Abstract:
    While brand punishment—through either individual or collective action—has received ample attention by consumer psychologists, absent from this literature is that such punishment can take the form of unethical actions that can occur even when the consumer is not personally harmed. Across three studies, we examine consumers’ propensity to act unethically towards a brand that they perceive to be harmful. We document that when consumers come to see brands as harmful—even in the absence of a direct, personal transgression—they can be motivated to seek retribution in the form of unethical intentions and behaviors. That is, consumers are more likely to lie, cheat, or steal to punish a harmful brand. Drawing on these findings, we advance implications for consumer psychologists and marketing practitioners and provide avenues for future research in the area.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    2 years ago
    License:
    Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives
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