Consumers' forgiveness after brand transgression: The effect of the firm's corporate social responsibility and response

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47 Citations (Scopus)


In this article we examine the interplay between the severity of a brand transgression, consumers prior awareness of the firm s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and the firm s response (apology vs. apologia) on the rates of forgiveness among consumers. Results of two experiments show that consumers prior awareness of the firm s CSR initiatives significantly differentiates apologia from apology, with the effect of apology on consumer forgiveness being more apparent when brand transgression severity is mild. Results also show that consumer forgiveness mediates the effect of brand transgression severity, firm response, and consumer awareness on repurchase intentions. In this way, the study enables managers to determine whether or not an apology or apologia will be sufficient to solicit consumer forgiveness, using information about the levels of awareness of CSR among consumers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1851 - 1877
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Marketing Management
Issue number17-18
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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