Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
In psychology, negative behavior on the part of an individual is described as a transgression and transgressions are defined as an action by one individual towards another which violates the implicit or explicit norms and rules that serve as guides for conduct within the context of a relationship. Transgressions range from the mundane to the extreme and when an individual transgresses, they typically react in one of two ways: They may try to explain why they engaged in transgressive behavior by providing excuses or justifications through the use of apologia or they may take responsibility and apologize. Individuals who were transgressed against can also react in a number of ways: For instance, they may choose to behave constructively by forgiving the transgressor or they may choose to behave destructively by terminating their relationship with the transgressor. Much as with interpersonal relationships, transgressive behaviors can be exhibited by brands towards individuals. Attachment theory is often used to explain the ways in which individuals can be expected to react to transgressions. However, relationships between consumers and brands differ from interpersonal relationships in a number of ways, which may affect the influence of attachment theory in a marketing context. Thus, this investigation focuses on whether a consumers attachment style can be used to make predictions about consumer responses to brand transgressions in the service context. Additionally, it explores the impact of apologies and apologia the types of responses a brand can employ to respond to a transgression in order to determine their influences on consumer reactions to brand transgressions. This research demonstrates that when securely attached consumers experience brand transgressions, they are more likely to behave constructively while insecurely attached consumers who experience brand transgressions are more likely to behave destructively. Further, it demonstrates that when securely attached consumers are presented with apologies following brand transgressions, the strength of their constructive responses increases while the presentation of apologia decreases the strength of their constructive responses. Finally, it also demonstrates that when insecurely attached consumers are presented with apologia following brand transgressions, the strength of their destructive responses decrease while the presentation of apologies results in an increase in the strength of their destructive responses. Therefore, the findings of this research contribute to the literature by demonstrating that attachment style can be used to help explain consumer reactions to brand transgressions in a service context and that a brands response following a transgression can be used to influence the nature of a customers reaction to that transgression.
Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to ProQuest
Joyal, Aaron David, "Who Wants You To Say Youre Sorry?: The Moderating Effect Of Brand Response On The Relationship Between Customer Attachment Style And Reactions To Brand Transgressions" (2020). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 2916.