Ties That Bind and Blind: the Negative Consequences of Using Social Capital to Facilitate Purchases

Bryan R. Johnson, Pennsylvania State University, USA
William T. Ross, Jr., Pennsylvania State University, USA
In this paper we examine consumers’ use of social relationships to facilitate purchases. Although social capital research tends to focus on the benefits of social relationships, our research identifies several classes of negative consequences obtained by consumers drawing upon personal relationships to make purchases: recourse bridling, trust decay, and relationship atrophy. Interestingly, consumers often underestimate the negative consequences associated with leveraging their relationships for personal gains, until they occur. Our findings refine and extend social capital theory, both in marketing and in the larger social science arena, by highlighting this previously hidden dimension of social capital behavior.
[ to cite ]:
Bryan R. Johnson and William T. Ross, Jr. (2009) ,"Ties That Bind and Blind: the Negative Consequences of Using Social Capital to Facilitate Purchases", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 36, eds. Ann L. McGill and Sharon Shavitt, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 591-593.