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What drives café customers to spread eWOM? Examining self-relevant value, quality value, and opinion leadership

DongHee Kim (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA)
SooCheong (Shawn) Jang (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA)
Howard Adler (School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 16 March 2015

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine hidden drivers of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) by modeling attributes of self-relevant and quality-relevant values. This is a meaningful extension of previous consumer behavior research regarding the association of eWOM and self-constructs.

Design/methodology/approach

An on-site survey was conducted to collect data. Statistical analyses, including structural equation modeling and multigroup analysis, were used to empirically examine which factors significantly influence café customers to engage in eWOM.

Findings

The study found significant drivers of eWOM intentions by examining self-relevant values connected with the café, such as conveying reflected appraisal of self, conspicuous presentation and self-image congruity beyond the simple evaluation of service quality. The moderating effect of consumer opinion leadership on the relationships between those drivers and eWOM intentions was also investigated.

Practical implications

The results demonstrated that consumers’ self-construal value was a salient diver of eWOM intentions rather than service quality value itself. However, the findings showed that these service qualities positively influenced opinion leaders’ eWOM intentions to generate information. This makes an important contribution by providing practical messages for foodservice operators to develop more effective marketing strategies.

Originality/value

The present research extends our understanding of the drivers of eWOM beyond the idea that eWOM simply reflects perceived quality evaluations. The authors found that consumers can construct a self-identity and present themselves to others in the virtual world by showing “what they eat or experience”.

Keywords

Citation

Kim, D., Jang, S.(S). and Adler, H. (2015), "What drives café customers to spread eWOM? Examining self-relevant value, quality value, and opinion leadership", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 27 No. 2, pp. 261-282. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-06-2013-0269

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited