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An Examination of Consumer-Company Identification as a Key Predictor of Consumer Responses in Corporate Crisis

Mon, May 25, 9:00 to 10:15, Caribe Hilton, Flamingo C


Through an experiment, this study examined how varying degrees of consumer-company identification affected consumers’ perception of and reaction to corporate crisis and the crisis-affected company. Results suggested that compared with weak identifiers, strong identifiers’ identification level had a larger decrease in a high severity condition but not in a low severity condition. Furthermore, two-sided response messages were more effective in reducing the attribution of crisis responsibility than one-sided positive response messages for weak identifiers, while one-sided positive response messages were more effective than two-sided response messages for strong identifiers. But this message effect was only found in low but not high severity crisis. Findings of the study indicated that consumer-company identification may serve as a key variable in predicting consumer responses to crisis and that crisis severity may serve as a boundary condition determining the effectiveness of crisis response messages.


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