Examining buyers' negative word-of-mouth intentions following suspected salesperson transgressions

Academic Article


  • Our understanding of the factors that motivate business-to-business (B2B) buyers' negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) intentions in response to a suspected salesperson transgression and subsequent recovery effort is limited. This is surprising given the frequency with which salesperson transgressions occur and the ease with which buyers can disseminate their resulting dissatisfaction through NWOM. We address this shortcoming across two studies. In the first study, we examine buyers' NWOM intentions in response to a supplier transgression and recovery attempt. Consistent with suspicion theory and the idea that buyers have limited information when confronting these situations, we find that buyers' NWOM intentions are higher following the commission of a suspected transgression by a selling-oriented as opposed to customer-oriented salesperson. However, we also find that while salesperson-led recovery efforts result in no difference in NWOM intentions across the two types of salespeople, manager-led recovery efforts result in significantly greater NWOM intentions for selling-oriented salespeople. In the second study, we replicate these findings while also demonstrating that buyers' interactional justice perceptions mediate this process. We discuss the theoretical and managerial implications arising from these findings, while also presenting avenues for future research in the area.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • DeCarlo TE; Hansen JD
  • Start Page

  • 35
  • End Page

  • 44
  • Volume

  • 102