Publication

Softening the blow: Company self-disclosure of negative information lessens the damaging effects on consumer judgment and decision making

Fennis, B. M. & Stroebe, W. Mar-2014 In : Journal of Business Ethics. 120, 1, p. 109-120 12 p.

Research output: Scientific - peer-reviewArticle

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  • art_10.1007_s10551-013-1647-9

    Final publisher's version, 237 KB, PDF-document

DOI

Is self-disclosure of negative information a viable strategy for a company to lessen the damage done to consumer responses? Three experiments assessed whether self-disclosing negative information in itself lessened the damaging impact of this information compared to third-party disclosure of the same information. Results indicated that mere self-disclosure of a negative event positively affected consumers' choice behavior, perceived company trustworthiness, and company evaluations compared to third-party disclosure. The effectiveness of the self-disclosure strategy was moderated by the initial reputation of a company, such that its impact was only observed for companies that had a poor reputation at the outset. For them, self-disclosure considerably lessened the impact of negative information compared to third-party disclosure. For companies that enjoyed a positive reputation, type of disclosure did not affect consumer responses. Mediation analysis showed that perceptions of company trustworthiness underlie the effects of the self-disclosure strategy on consumer judgment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)109-120
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Volume120
Issue number1
Early online date14-Feb-2013
StatePublished - Mar-2014

    Keywords

  • Consumer behavior, Social influence processes, Judgment and decision making, Company trustworthiness beliefs, ORGANIZATIONAL TRUST, STEALING THUNDER, PRODUCT FAILURE, MODERATING ROLE, REPAIR, COMPETENCE, INTEGRITY, PERSPECTIVE, TRUSTWORTHINESS, EXPLANATIONS

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ID: 2215078