Ryngelblum, A. & N. ViannaAccomplishments and relevance of consumer protection organizations

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Arnaldo L. Ryngelblum & Nadia Vianna 

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International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Volume 25, Issue 1

Despite the special attention given to consumers by the business and academic literature, the dissatisfaction of Brazilian consumers has increased significantly. This manifest mainly through the initiation of complaints’ procedures against companies at Procon and other civil society consumer protection organizations (CPOs) that began to take over these issues complementarily to governmental action. This study aims to examine the accomplishments and relevance of these organizations in protecting consumers and in preparation of related public policies.

A qualitative case study was conducted involving an in-depth collection of information about a restricted system, which included multiple sources. The information was obtained through semi-structured interviews conducted with CPOs’ executives, and documents from the other participating organizations in the consumer protection field.

The CPOs have been positively evaluated by participants from the consumer protection field, for their effective action in the intermediation of complaints and in proposing laws and regulations on consumer protection. However, this picture is contrasted with the difficulties imposed by the practices of other field logics, such as legal procedures, media priorities and business interests that, however, collaborate in various occasions.

CPOs’ relevance is more easily evaluated through social legitimation such as endorsements and declarations by the media, the public, by the CPOs’ own publicity, and so on. As consumers can choose from alternative channels for redress, firms should be updated with the different procedural norms of each.

Draws a picture of the work developed by Consumer Protection Organizations and indicates a possible assessment of their relevance in a scenario of logics complexity, which can be useful for policy makers.

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