Giving firms an "E" for effort: Consumer responses to high-effort firms

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

220 Scopus citations

Abstract

This research shows that consumers reward firms for extra effort. More specifically, a series of three laboratory experiments shows that when firms exert extra effort in making or displaying their products, consumers reward them by increasing their willingness to pay, store choice, and overall evaluations, even if the actual quality of the products is not improved. This rewarding process is defined broadly as general reciprocity. Consistent with attribution theory, the rewarding of generally directed effort is mediated by feelings of gratitude. When consumers infer that effort is motivated by persuasion, however, they no longer feel gratitude and do not reward high-effort firms.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)806-812
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume31
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2005
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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