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Moral Salience and the Role of Goodwill in Firm-Stakeholder Trust Repair

  • Jill A. Brown (a1), Ann K. Buchholtz (a2) and Paul Dunn (a3)


Re-establishing trust presents a complex challenge for a firm after it commits corporate misconduct. We introduce a new construct, moral salience, which we define as the extent to which the firm’s behavior is morally noticeable to the stakeholder. Moral salience is a function of both the moral intensity of the firm’s behavior and the relational intensity of the firm-stakeholder psychological contract. We apply this moral salience construct to firm misconduct to develop a model of trust repair that is based on goodwill, and moderated by the firm’s stakeholder culture.



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