Deakin University
Browse

File(s) under embargo

Corporate apologies are effective because reform signals are weighted more heavily than culpability signals

journal contribution
posted on 2024-04-15, 05:14 authored by MJ Hornsey, CM Chapman, Stephen La MacchiaStephen La Macchia, J Loakes
We report two pre-registered experiments (N = 1,410) designed to provide the first examination of the relative weight consumers give the culpability and reform signals of corporate apologies. Participants read accusations that a company had used a morally dubious supplier. Compared to statements that denied responsibility, apologies increased perceptions of both culpability (that the organization was responsible for the transgression) and of reform (that the organization was unlikely to repeat the transgressions in the future). However, reform signals had stronger impacts on consumer trust and consumer support than culpability signals. Because of this, the net effect of the apology on trust and consumer intentions was generally positive relative to a no-responsibility message and a no-information control condition. Results suggest corporations embroiled in a public scandal will benefit overall from issuing a corporate apology, which should help restore consumer support.

History

Journal

Journal of Business Research

Volume

177

Article number

114620

Pagination

1-11

Location

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

ISSN

0148-2963

eISSN

1873-7978

Language

eng

Publication classification

C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal

Publisher

Elsevier

Usage metrics

    Research Publications

    Exports

    RefWorks
    BibTeX
    Ref. manager
    Endnote
    DataCite
    NLM
    DC