Unpacking the Effects of Alleged Gender Discrimination in the Corporate Workplace on Consumers’ Affective Responses and Relational Perceptions

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Communication Research, 2018
Issue Date:
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© 2018, The Author(s) 2018. The purpose of this study was to investigate (a) how allegations of gender discrimination affect consumers’ relationship with the brand in question, and (b) individual-level factors that affect consumers’ negative affective response to the allegations and eventually, consumer-brand relationships. Findings from a survey conducted among 473 Americans indicate that individuals’ relational perceptions with a corporate brand whose products/services they consume are negatively affected by allegations of misconduct, in this case, gender discrimination. Results revealed that individuals’ moral orientation and anticorporate sentiment predicted their perceptions of moral inequity of corporate behavior, which in turn affected their negative affective response to the allegations. Such negative affective response then affected individuals’ consumer–corporate brand relationships.
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