Implicit Contracts and Consumer Behavior
CitationKim, Tami. 2017. Implicit Contracts and Consumer Behavior. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard Business School.
AbstractMy dissertation is composed of three papers on the psychology of implicit contracts— that is, a set of practices that individuals expect others to follow in the absence of explicit promises—focusing on how such contracts develop (often quickly and unexpectedly) and how violations of such contracts harm both consumer-firm relationships and interpersonal relationships. The first paper (Procedural justice and the Risks of Consumer Voting) examines the impact of allowing consumers to vote on firm decisions—thus making decision-making processes transparent. The second paper (Why Am I Seeing This Ad? The Effect of Ad Transparency on Ad Effectiveness) examines the relationship between ad transparency (i.e., disclosing to consumers why they are seeing certain targeted advertisements over others) and ad performance. The third paper (Pettiness in Communal-Sharing and Market-Pricing Relationships) explores how implicit contracts vary as a function of relationship type. Specifically, we show that petty behavior—intentional attentiveness to trivial details—harms communal-sharing relationships by increasing people’s feelings that exchanges are transactional. I conclude with a discussion of future research agenda.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:40620143