Who Is to Blame? The Role of Perceived Deception and Moral Emotions in Consumers’ Attributional Search: A Structured Abstract
Questions of morality arise with many business decisions and practices, specifically when consumers are involved. Businesses as well as consumers have moral standards they cling to when interacting with other actors. These moral standards can be seen as individuals’ knowledge about implicit moral rules, norms, and laws of social life (Tangney et al. 2007). Moral emotions are the connecting link between moral standards and moral behavior and can be defined as individuals’ considerations about what is “good and bad, right and wrong and ought and should” (Weiner 2006, p. 87). In business practices, moral standards could be openness and honesty in communication. On the other side, lying, cheating, deceiving, and other incidents can be classified as morally inacceptable behavior. In the field of consumer behavior, deception has been investigated as one of these moral transgressions (Gardner 1975; Darke and Ritchie 2007; Darke et al. 2010; Boush et al. 2009). This chapter investigates a sales strategy by retailers and companies which is potentially misleading for consumers. Specifically, we are interested in the role of moral emotions when consumers perceive deception.