The Role of Authentic (vs. Hubristic) Pride in Leveraging the Effectiveness of Cost Transparency

Journal of Business Ethics 174 (2):423-439 (2021)
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Abstract

In the era of consumer distrust of corporations, transparency is becoming a must rather than an option. While prior research has explored why businesses should disclose their costs and how consumers may react to such cost transparency, it is still unclear how marketers can best communicate cost transparency. The present research offers a practical examination of how and when cost transparency is effective, specifically, by examining the moderating role of authentic and hubristic pride on the effectiveness of cost transparency. Across two experimental studies, the effectiveness of cost transparency is leveraged using authentic pride, whereas hubristic pride decreases it. Further, we empirically demonstrate the mediating role of moral elevation. Overall, the results demonstrate that marketing messages that elicit authentic pride can increase the effectiveness of cost transparency. Hence, the current research highlights how marketers and brands can effectively combine specific emotional appeals with cost transparency to obtain favorable consumer evaluations.

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