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The business landscape has shifted from simply delivering quality products and services to creating shared value. It does this by fulfilling consumers’ deeper needs and meeting their increasingly high expectations. Brand transgressions inhibit organizations’ ability to meet consumers’ demands, complicating the consumer-brand relationship. As a result, brands are often unprepared to deal with the consequences of transgressions, which can be costly. The purpose of this research is to explore the influence of prior consumer-brand relationships on the organizational outcomes of brand transgressions through the lens of social contract theory. This systematic review synthesizes 39 articles to derive five analytical themes: (1) Relationships are complicated; (2) consumers form expectations in brand relationships; (3) love and hate: organizational outcomes of brand transgressions; (4) the severity of the brand transgression matters; and (5) changing the trajectory through forgiveness. Furthermore, evidence suggests that though brands transgressions are inevitable, negative organizational outcomes are not.


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