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Consumer response to corporate irresponsible behavior: Moral emotions and virtues


  • Grappi, Silvia
  • Romani, Simona
  • Bagozzi, Richard P.


A unique theoretical framework for explaining consumer word of mouth and protest behaviors against corporate irresponsibility is developed and tested. Through field surveys with adult consumers, this study demonstrates how consumers' negative moral emotional responses to corporate infractions instigate, in combination with other-regarding virtues, negative word of mouth and protest toward the corporation. Negative moral emotions include contempt, anger, and disgust; whereas other-regarding virtues entail justice, beneficence, equality, and communal cooperation. The results provide scholars and managers with means of improving their understanding and handling of consumers' reactions to corporate irresponsibility.

Suggested Citation

  • Grappi, Silvia & Romani, Simona & Bagozzi, Richard P., 2013. "Consumer response to corporate irresponsible behavior: Moral emotions and virtues," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 66(10), pages 1814-1821.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:66:y:2013:i:10:p:1814-1821
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2013.02.002

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Yuksel, Ulku & Mryteza, Victoria, 2009. "An evaluation of strategic responses to consumer boycotts," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(2), pages 248-259, February.
    9. Brunk, Katja H., 2010. "Exploring origins of ethical company/brand perceptions -- A consumer perspective of corporate ethics," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 255-262, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:touman:v:54:y:2016:i:c:p:209-220 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Singhapakdi, Anusorn & Lee, Dong-Jin & Sirgy, M. Joseph & Senasu, Kalayanee, 2015. "The impact of incongruity between an organization's CSR orientation and its employees' CSR orientation on employees' quality of work life," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 60-66.
    3. Antonetti, Paolo & Anesa, Mattia, 2017. "Consumer reactions to corporate tax strategies: The role of political ideology," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 74(C), pages 1-10.
    4. repec:eee:ijrema:v:31:y:2014:i:4:p:380-394 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Dong Lu & Yide Liu & Hongfeng Zhang & Ivan K. W. Lai, 2016. "The Ethical Judgment and Moral Reaction to the Product-Harm Crisis: Theoretical Model and Empirical Research," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(7), pages 1-17, July.
    6. repec:eee:jbrese:v:84:y:2018:i:c:p:271-284 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Joon Sung Lee & Dae Hee Kwak, 2016. "Consumers’ Responses to Public Figures’ Transgression: Moral Reasoning Strategies and Implications for Endorsed Brands," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 137(1), pages 101-113, August.
    8. repec:eee:worbus:v:53:y:2018:i:2:p:194-208 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Cristel Antonia Russell & Dale W. Russell & Heather Honea, 2016. "Corporate Social Responsibility Failures: How do Consumers Respond to Corporate Violations of Implied Social Contracts?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 136(4), pages 759-773, July.
    10. Belschak-Jacobs, G., 2018. "Organisational Behaviour and Culture," ERIM Inaugural Address Series Research in Management 105093, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam..
    11. Palihawadana, Dayananda & Oghazi, Pejvak & Liu, Yeyi, 2016. "Effects of ethical ideologies and perceptions of CSR on consumer behavior," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 69(11), pages 4964-4969.
    12. repec:kap:jbuset:v:146:y:2017:i:4:d:10.1007_s10551-016-3237-0 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Paolo Antonetti & Stan Maklan, 2016. "An Extended Model of Moral Outrage at Corporate Social Irresponsibility," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 135(3), pages 429-444, May.


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