Online consumer misbehaviour: an application of neutralization theory
Harris, Lloyd C. and Dumas, A.. (2009) Online consumer misbehaviour: an application of neutralization theory. Marketing Theory, Vol.9 (No.4). pp. 379-402. ISSN 1470-5931Full text not available from this repository.
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/1470593109346895
Studies have argued that misbehaviour by customers is becoming increasingly prevalent in certain sectors. However, online consumer misbehaviour is comparatively under-researched. The focus of the current study is peer-to-peer activities, including copying music, movies, software or video games: a phenomenon which affects the entertainment sector as a whole and costs the industry billions of pounds each year. Neutralization theory provides a potentially fruitful perspective from which to explore consumer justifications and rationalizations for their online misbehaviour. The aim of this paper is to explore the extent to which peer-to-peer users employ techniques of neutralization to justify prior-to behaviour or rationalize their activities post behaviour. First, a review of online customer misbehaviour is provided, followed by an overview of existing research into the techniques of neutralization. Following a discussion of the research methods employed, findings regarding the peer-to-peer online misbehaviours and neutralization techniques are presented. Data analysis reveals that peer-to-peer file-sharers employ (often multiple) techniques of neutralization in order to pre-justify or post-event rationalize their activities, including: denial of victim; denial of injury; denial of responsibility; claim of normality; claim of relative acceptability; justification by comparison; and appeal to higher loyalties. The paper concludes with a series of implications for both theory and practice.
|Item Type:||Journal Article|
|Subjects:||H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory|
|Divisions:||Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School > Marketing & Strategic Management
Faculty of Social Sciences > Warwick Business School
|Journal or Publication Title:||Marketing Theory|
|Publisher:||Sage Publications Ltd.|
|Number of Pages:||24|
|Page Range:||pp. 379-402|
|Access rights to Published version:||Restricted or Subscription Access|
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