Management response to negative comments, psychological distance and product nature: a consumer perspective

Zheng, Chundong, Yuan, Liping, Bian, Xuemei, Wang, Han and Huang, Lei (2020) Management response to negative comments, psychological distance and product nature: a consumer perspective. European Journal of Marketing, 54 (10). pp. 2551-2573. ISSN 0309-0566

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Purpose – Management response to consumer comments has become a widely adopted marketing strategy to address the undesirable effects caused by negative remarks. Yet, when and what management response is more effective and under what circumstances remains under-researched. This study aims to fill this gap.
Design/methodology/approach – In three experiments using five different products, the authors manipulate psychological construal level (psychological distance: distant vs proximal) and management response (response of primary vs secondary features) and thereafter assess their bearings on consumer psychological and behavioral reaction toward products of two distinctive natures (hedonic vs utilitarian).
Findings – At a psychological distance, consumers show a preferable reaction to management response of primary over secondary features. In contrast, when the psychological distance is proximal, consumers react more positively to management response of secondary than primary features. In addition, these effects vary as a function of product nature, hedonic vs utilitarian.
Research limitations/implications – The findings of this research bring a significant contribution to marketing communication literature and extend the construal level theory.
Practical implications – A better understanding of the relative effectiveness of distinct types of management response to negative consumer comments is essential for more targeted and effective marketing strategies.
Originality/value – Little research has documented the effects of distinct types of management response. How psychological distance might underpin these effects has not been explored. In addition, whether the interaction effect of management response and psychological distance varies with differences in product nature, namely, hedonic and utilitarian, remains unanswered until this research.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Satisfaction, Construal level theory, Psychological distance, Management response, Behavioral reaction, Negative online consumer comments, Product nature
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
N900 Others in Business and Administrative studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2020 15:26
Last Modified: 03 Dec 2020 10:07

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