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Appears in Collections:Management, Work and Organisation Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: Gratitude mediates consumer responses to marketing communications
Author(s): Bridger, Emma
Wood, Alex M
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Keywords: Gratitude
Marketing communications
Relationship management
Cognitive appraisals
Issue Date: 2017
Date Deposited: 21-Sep-2016
Citation: Bridger E & Wood AM (2017) Gratitude mediates consumer responses to marketing communications. European Journal of Marketing, 51 (1), pp. 44-64.
Abstract: Purpose: From Adam Smith onwards, gratitude has been held as invaluable to societal functioning in view of its role in helping individuals maintain their reciprocal obligations to one another. The purpose of the current research was to use current conceptions of gratitude derived from work in social psychology to test whether simple descriptions of hypothetical organisations could systematically differ in the extent to which they elicit gratitude, and subsequently whether gratitude would mediate behavioural intentions towards these organisations.  Methodology: In two studies, participants read vignettes describing hypothetical organisations that systematically differed in the extent to which the services they provided were costly to the organisation, of high value, and provided out of a genuine desire to help. Perceptions of these dimensions, feelings of gratitude, and behavioural intentions towards each organisation were subsequently measured.  Findings: The appraisal group manipulation significantly impacted consumers’ behavioural intentions towards these businesses, and the majority of this relationship was mediated by feelings of gratitude towards the organisations.  Research limitations/implications: These data indicate that gratitude not only mediates customer responses to relationship marketing investments, but may also be integral in marketing communications’ role in converting non-customers to customers. They also indicate that marketing communications should stress that an organisations services are of high value, of cost to the organisation and provided out of a genuine desire to help.  Originality/value: This paper shows for the first time that the same cognitive appraisals that underpin feelings of interpersonal gratitude mediate responses to global evaluations of organisations. This considerably broadens the situations under which gratitude had previously been considered to operate and argues for the inclusion of gratitude in understanding how marketing communications and relationship management are used to influence consumer responses.
DOI Link: 10.1108/EJM-11-2015-0810
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[GratitudemediatesConsumerResponses_BridgerWood.pdf] Publisher policy allows this work to be made available in this repository. Published in European Journal of Marketing, 2017, Vol. 51 Iss: 1, pp.44 - 64 by Emerald. The original publication is available at: This article is deposited under the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial International Licence 4.0 (CC BY-NC 4.0). Any reuse is allowed in accordance with the terms outlined by the licence ( To reuse the AAM for commercial purposes, permission should be sought by contacting
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