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: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Copy link to clipboard

Documents

  • Softening the Blow

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

    Request copy

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
Publication statusPublished - 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

View graph of relations

ID: 2215078