Fear of opportunistic customers is an important reason why firms are reluctant to implement service guarantees. This article empirically tests potential drivers of cheating. Potential material gain and repeat purchase intent were tested across three studies, whereas satisfaction, ease of invoking the guarantee, morality, shame, self-monitoring, and Machiavellianism were each tested in a subset of the three studies. The results for potential material gain and repeat purchase intent were consistent across all three studies: potential material gain had no effect on consumer cheating, but repeat purchase intent reduced that tendency. Other findings suggest that high levels of satisfaction, morality, and self-monitoring reduce cheating, whereas high levels of Machiavellianism increase cheating. Furthermore, two three-way interaction effects were encountered. Specifically, Machiavellianism interacted with gain and ease of invocation, and with gain and repeat purchase intent. In both cases, individuals with high Machiavellianism took advantage of certain situational constellations.
Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science – Springer Journals
Published: Apr 9, 2008
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