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Marketing research on product-harm crises: a review, managerial implications, and an agenda for future research

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  • Kathleen Cleeren

    (KU Leuven)

  • Marnik G. Dekimpe

    (Tilburg University
    KU Leuven)

  • Harald J. Heerde

    (Massey University
    Tilburg University)

Abstract

A product-harm crisis is a discrete event in which products are found to be defective and therefore dangerous to at least part of the product’s customer base. Product-harm crises are not only dangerous for consumers; they also represent a major threat to the reputation and equity of brands or companies, which often struggle with how to best respond. The marketing literature has witnessed a surge in interest on the consequences of product-harm crises for a variety of stakeholders, including consumers, the brand or company itself, its investors, as well as competitors. This article offers a systematic review of research on product-harm crises in the marketing literature. We discuss the antecedents and consequences of product-harm crises, their moderators and mediators, and the theories and methodologies used. We identify commonalities and differences between the studies, as well as gaps in the literature and avenues for future research. Finally, we synthesize the managerial implications across studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Kathleen Cleeren & Marnik G. Dekimpe & Harald J. Heerde, 2017. "Marketing research on product-harm crises: a review, managerial implications, and an agenda for future research," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 45(5), pages 593-615, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:joamsc:v:45:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s11747-017-0558-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11747-017-0558-1
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    5. Jun Zhang & Joon Soo Lim, 2021. "Mitigating negative spillover effects in a product-harm crisis: strategies for market leaders versus market challengers," Journal of Brand Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 28(1), pages 77-98, January.
    6. Yu, Heyao & Legendre, Tiffany S. & Ma, Jing, 2021. "We stand by our brand: Consumers’ post-food safety crisis purchase intention and moral reasoning," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 132(C), pages 79-87.
    7. Olga Untilov & Stéphane Ganassali, 2020. "Product‐harm science communication: The halo effect and its moderators," Post-Print hal-02957579, HAL.
    8. Gatti, Lucia & Pizzetti, Marta & Seele, Peter, 2021. "Green lies and their effect on intention to invest," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 127(C), pages 228-240.
    9. Didem Gamze Isiksal & Elif Karaosmanoglu, 2020. "Can self-referencing exacerbate punishing behavior toward corporate brand transgressors?," Journal of Brand Management, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 27(6), pages 629-644, November.
    10. Mukherjee, Arka & Chauhan, Satyaveer S., 2021. "The impact of product recall on advertising decisions and firm profit while envisioning crisis or being hazard myopic," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 288(3), pages 953-970.
    11. Khalifa, Dina & Shukla, Paurav, 2021. "When luxury brand rejection causes brand dilution," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 129(C), pages 110-121.

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