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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

M. Deniz Dalman, Manoj K. Agarwal and Junhong Min

This paper aims to investigate whether anthropomorphized (i.e. humanized) brands are judged less negatively for competence failures than for moral lapses and how these…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate whether anthropomorphized (i.e. humanized) brands are judged less negatively for competence failures than for moral lapses and how these ethical judgments impact negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) intentions of less-lonely and more-lonely consumers.

Design/methodology/approach

Two scenario-based experiments were conducted, involving a total of 1,375 US mechanical turk (Amazon consumer panel) participants.

Findings

Findings show that brand humanization has an impact on ethical judgments only for less-lonely consumers. More specifically, for less-lonely consumers, a humanizing strategy backfires when the failure is moral but helps the brand when the failure is competence-related. On the other hand, more-lonely consumers judge the situation less negatively overall, and this effect is not impacted by the anthropomorphization strategy. Process tests indicate that these judgments indirectly affect consumers’ intention to spread NWOM following negative events.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could examine the specific process for lonely consumers (i.e. the role of empathy) and manipulate the size of the negative events (i.e. consumer perceptions of moderate vs extreme failures).

Practical implications

Brand managers need to consider their specific situations, as anthropomorphization can have both positive and negative effects depending on the consumers and the failure type (moral vs competence).

Originality/value

Extant research indicates that a humanizing strategy backfires when the market has negative information about the brand. This research introduces types of negative information, as well as consumers’ loneliness as moderators and contributes to the literature in branding, business ethics and word-of-mouth.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2017

Amro A. Maher and Anusorn Singhapakdi

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the moral failure of a scandalized foreign brand afflicted with a product-harm crisis on competing brands (i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of the moral failure of a scandalized foreign brand afflicted with a product-harm crisis on competing brands (i.e. within the same product category) while taking into account the country of origin (COO) of the brands.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents the results of two studies. The first study uses an experimental design, while the second uses a survey to examine a real-life product-harm crisis.

Findings

The results indicate that the moral failure of a scandalized foreign brand has an indirect negative effect on the intention to purchase competing foreign brands from the COO of the scandalized foreign brand. This effect is, however, reversed for domestic brands, where moral failure has an indirect positive effect on the intention to purchase competing domestic brands.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this research were based on an examination of how US consumers responded to the moral failure of Japanese and German brands. Future studies should examine brands from different COOs in different countries.

Practical implications

These results suggest that competing foreign brands from the COO of the scandalized brand should collaborate to quickly handle a product-harm crisis to prevent a spillover and that domestic competitors should capitalize on the opportunity to attract new customers.

Originality/value

This study represents a first attempt to examine the effect of a foreign brand’s moral failure in handling product-harm crisis on competing brands, both foreign and domestic.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 30 April 2019

S. J. Oswald A. J. Mascarenhas

In the wake of the extraordinary financial scandals that both preceded and followed the September–October Financial Crises of 2008, discussions about the executive virtues…

Abstract

Executive Summary

In the wake of the extraordinary financial scandals that both preceded and followed the September–October Financial Crises of 2008, discussions about the executive virtues of honesty and integrity are no longer academic or esoteric, but critically urgent and challenging. As representatives of the corporation, its products and services, corporate executives in general, and production, accounting, finance, and marketing executives in particular, must be the frontline public relations and goodwill ambassadors for their firms, products, and services. As academicians of business education, we must also analyze these corporate wrongdoings as objectively and ethically as possible. What is wrong must be declared and condemned as wrong, what is right must be affirmed and acknowledged as right. We owe it to our students, our profession, our stakeholders, and to the business world. Contemporary American philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre (1981) proposes the issue of morality in a threefold question: Who am I? Who ought I to become? How ought I to get there? The answer to every question refers to the virtues, especially to corporate executive virtues. This chapter explores corporate executive virtues, especially the classical cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude, and justice as defining and enhancing corporate executive life.

Details

Corporate Ethics for Turbulent Markets
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-192-2

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Article
Publication date: 24 August 2010

Tero Vartiainen

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of moral conflicts in information systems development by studying student perceptions in an information systems (IS…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of moral conflicts in information systems development by studying student perceptions in an information systems (IS) project course implemented in close collaboration with information technology firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an empirical case study. Students' perceptions of moral conflicts were gathered through diaries, drawings, and questionnaires; and the analysis was inspired by phenomenography.

Findings

The analysis reveals six types of moral conflicts. Students face conflicts related to their work tasks and to human and outside parties, and inherent in them is an inclination to moral failure in terms of doing something they perceive to be morally wrong, and also the desire for moral success in resolving the conflicts as well as possible. Students practicing the project manager's job confronted the most difficult moral conflicts.

Practical implications

The just IS student project community is suggested as a way of integrating ethics into IS education, and extending the research on moral conflicts to the business context is recommended.

Originality/value

The paper offers two contributions. First, it develops the research on IS and project‐based learning (PjBL) from a moral perspective and second, it facilitates ethics integration into IS education in the PjBL context.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 23 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2003

Lee Clarke

Disaster and calamity are extreme events that can be used to glean general lessons about how society works. I use the problem of panic to develop several ideas. Panic, we…

Abstract

Disaster and calamity are extreme events that can be used to glean general lessons about how society works. I use the problem of panic to develop several ideas. Panic, we know from years of disaster research, is quite rare at least in the United States. I consider the implication of this for theories of social behavior and human nature. I also suggest the idea of “failing gracefully” as a systems-level notion that highlights the social context of behavior rather than individual panic. I reconsider findings concerning “altruistic” and “corrosive” communities. I critically evaluate the idea of “moral panic,” and end with a consideration of the rhetoric functions of “panic.”

Details

Terrorism and Disaster: New Threats, New Ideas
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-227-6

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1999

Charles H. Schwepker and David J. Good

Because salespeople operating under an outcome‐based control system are likely to be motivated by self‐interest, sales quotas are believed to drive salespeople to perform

Abstract

Because salespeople operating under an outcome‐based control system are likely to be motivated by self‐interest, sales quotas are believed to drive salespeople to perform unethical behavior, particularly if this behavior is deemed necessary to achieve quota. Accordingly, this article examines the relationship between perceived quota difficulty and moral judgment. Two factors potentially moderating this relationship, ethical climate and consequences for not making quota, are also considered, as well as the influence of market attractiveness and self‐efficacy on quota difficulty. The analysis indicates a significant relationship between quota difficulty and moral judgment when salespeople foresee negative consequences for failing to achieve quota. Further, self‐efficacy and market attractiveness affected perceived quota difficulty. Implications of the study are offered.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Denghua Yuan, Geng Cui and Lei Lai

When apologizing for a brand crisis, self-attribution by a business inevitably affects consumer attitude and behavior. The purpose of this study is to draw from the…

Abstract

Purpose

When apologizing for a brand crisis, self-attribution by a business inevitably affects consumer attitude and behavior. The purpose of this study is to draw from the dissonance-attribution model and investigate the effect of self-attribution in apologies on consumers’ brand attitude.

Design/methodology/approach

This study includes two scenario-based experiments of 2 × 2 design.

Findings

In the first experiment on product failure, the results show that internal attribution generates significant change in brand attitude in a positive direction, while external attribution leads to negative change in brand attitude. Dispositional attribution leads to significantly more positive brand attitude than situational attribution. Internal/dispositional attribution produces significantly more positive effect on consumer attitude than the other three types of attribution. Moreover, perceived risk is found to mediate the relationship between attributions and brand attitude, and such mediating effect is moderated by consumers’ corporate associations. However, in the second experiment on moral crisis, the mediating and moderating effects are not significant.

Practical implications

Clearly, how a company apologizes for a product crisis makes a big difference in the effectiveness of recovery strategies to restore consumer confidence. Sincere apologies based on internal/dispositional attribution are more effective to re-gain the respect of consumers and win them back.

Originality/value

This study is the first to examine consumer reactions to self-attributions by marketers apologizing for a brand crisis and the combined effect of self-attributions along the horizontal dimension (internal versus external attribution) and the vertical dimension (dispositional versus situational attribution).

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Howard H. Stevenson and Jose Carlos Jarrillo‐Mossi

As an entrepreneurial company becomes successful and grows, the seeds of destruction are sown for the very entrepreneurial impulses that initiated the success in the first…

Abstract

As an entrepreneurial company becomes successful and grows, the seeds of destruction are sown for the very entrepreneurial impulses that initiated the success in the first place. The transition from an entrepreneurial growth firm to a “well managed” business is often accompanied by a decreasing ability to identify and pursue opportunities. This article addresses some of the techniques that have allowed entrepreneurship to flourish in spite of a company's success.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Book part
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Abstract

Details

Research on Professional Responsibility and Ethics in Accounting
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80071-758-9

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Book part
Publication date: 7 February 2011

Ron Beadle and Geoff Moore

In this chapter, we set out to demonstrate how organizational theory and analysis can benefit from the work of the distinguished philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. In the…

Abstract

In this chapter, we set out to demonstrate how organizational theory and analysis can benefit from the work of the distinguished philosopher Alasdair MacIntyre. In the first part of the chapter we show how MacIntyre's conception of how rival traditions may move towards reconciliation has the potential to resolve the relativist conclusions that bedevil organization theory. In the second part, we show how MacIntyre's ‘goods–virtues–practices–institutions’ general theory provides a framework for reconciling the fields of organization theory and organizational ethics. In the third part, we provide a worked example of these two strands to demonstrate the implications of MacIntyre's philosophy for organizational analysis. We conclude with a research agenda for a distinctively MacIntyrean organization theory.

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