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How do Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy tendencies influence consumer avoidance and revenge-seeking following a service failure?

Tyler Hancock (Department of Marketing, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Stacie F. Waites (Department of Marketing, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, North Carolina, USA)
Catherine M. Johnson (Department of Marketing, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)
Jennifer L. Stevens (Department of Marketing, University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA)

Journal of Consumer Marketing

ISSN: 0736-3761

Article publication date: 19 April 2023

Issue publication date: 31 July 2023

368

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to identify the impact that Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy tendencies have on avoidance and revenge-seeking after a service failure. The research examines the role that negative affect and desire for revenge play in aggressive behaviors by consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a survey research methodology. The measurement model is validated using CFA, and hypotheses are tested using structural equation modeling. The mediated and serially mediated relationships are calculated using the bootstrap method by creating estimands to test the effects.

Findings

Machiavellianism is less likely to drive avoidance and negative affect, reducing desire for revenge, negative word of mouth and vindictive complaining. Those with narcissism tendencies are likely to develop a negative affect and a corresponding desire for revenge after the failure only if negative affect is developed. Consumers who exhibit psychopathy tendencies are likely to seek out revenge directly.

Practical implications

Each Dark Triad tendency influences consumer avoidance and revenge-seeking in different ways when a consumer’s goals are impeded. Companies can focus on service recoveries differently based on the types of tendencies of consumers engaging in avoidance and revenge-seeking.

Originality/value

The individual paths from Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy tendencies to avoidance and revenge-seeking are developed and analyzed. Further distinctions between each Dark Triad tendency aids service providers in addressing and preparing for these consumer behaviors.

Keywords

Citation

Hancock, T., Waites, S.F., Johnson, C.M. and Stevens, J.L. (2023), "How do Machiavellianism, narcissism and psychopathy tendencies influence consumer avoidance and revenge-seeking following a service failure?", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 721-733. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-05-2022-5390

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2023, Emerald Publishing Limited

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