Customer citizenship behaviours are important for a sustainable customer-brand relationship, yet little is known about the effect of psychological contract breach on citizenship behaviours. From the perspective of psychological contract theory, this research examined the impact of psychological contract breaches on customer citizenship behaviours through the mediating mechanism of psychological contract violation in the customer-brand relationship. Experiments were used to assess the effect of two types of psychological contract breaches on customer citizenship behaviours. The results show that the negative effect of a relational contract breach differs between the dimensions of citizenship behaviours. A relational contract breach has direct and indirect negative effects on recommendation behaviours and helping behaviours, but it does not affect voice behaviours. A transactional contract breach directly and negatively influences recommendation behaviours, but it has no effect on voice behaviours. A transactional contract breach indirectly increases helping behaviours through psychological contract violation. Psychological contract violation partially mediates the effect of a transactional contract breach on customer recommendation behaviours and fully mediates the effect of a relational contract breach on helping behaviours. These findings generate managerial implications for firms aiming to maintain sustainable customer-brand relationships.
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