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Intended audience and valence of electronic word-of-mouth on social media: a study of Dutch consumers

Gauze Pitipon Kitirattarkarn (School of Communication Arts, Bangkok University, Pathumthani, Thailand)
Weiting Tao (School of Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)
Wan-Hsiu Sunny Tsai (School of Communication, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida, USA)

Internet Research

ISSN: 1066-2243

Article publication date: 31 December 2020

Issue publication date: 19 May 2021

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to systematically evaluate the psychological factors of independent versus interdependent self-construal, self-evaluation motives of enhancement versus verification, and the mediating role of bridging and bonding social capital on consumers' positive and negative brand-related electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) sharing with in-group and out-group audiences.

Design/methodology/approach

The online survey was conducted with young adult consumers in the Netherlands (N = 322). Multiple regression analysis with PROCESS was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

Consumers with independent self-construal are more likely to share negative eWOM, particularly via social messengers with in-group members. These consumers, however, tend to share positive eWOM on companies' social media accounts that reach out-group audiences including online strangers. Additionally, self-evaluation was the key motivation driving positive eWOM sharing with in-groups, while bridging social capital mediated the effects of self-construal on sharing negative eWOM.

Originality/value

The paper provides a more holistic understanding of the factors impacting the valence and intended audience for eWOM sharing. The findings advance eWOM research by differentiating positive and negative eWOM sharing in the context of intergroup communication.

Keywords

Citation

Kitirattarkarn, G.P., Tao, W. and Tsai, W.-H.S. (2021), "Intended audience and valence of electronic word-of-mouth on social media: a study of Dutch consumers", Internet Research, Vol. 31 No. 3, pp. 990-1017. https://doi.org/10.1108/INTR-03-2020-0133

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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