Antecedents of attitudes toward eWOM communication: differences across channels
Article publication date: 3 October 2016
Despite the extensive academic interest in electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication, consumer attitudes toward eWOM communication have been neglected. The purpose of this paper is to propose a conceptual framework for attitudes toward eWOM communication across digital channels.
Data were collected through a web-based survey on seven major digital communication channels. ANOVA was applied in order to analyze their differences. In addition, structural equation modeling was used to test the eWOM attitude model, using a sample of 864 participants who have had prior experience with the channels under study.
Findings indicate that both attitude toward eWOM and its antecedents significantly differ across channels. Additionally, a path analysis model reveals that the original integrated model applies to eWOM communications. Yet, in the case of eWOM, irritating messages may be positively related to attitude toward the channel, and credibility serves as a mediator of message value.
This paper supports the notion that attitude toward eWOM communication significantly differs across media channels. Future research should examine additional implications of attitude toward eWOM, and explore new and evolving channels.
Practitioners should adjust their eWOM media strategy to their objectives; blogs and social networks are more effective for brand attitude formation, whereas web forums enhance message credibility.
To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first research study that tests attitudinal differences toward eWOM across digital channels. As such, it contributes to the understanding of people’s perception of these platforms.
Gvili, Y. and Levy, S. (2016), "Antecedents of attitudes toward eWOM communication: differences across channels", Internet Research, Vol. 26 No. 5, pp. 1030-1051. https://doi.org/10.1108/IntR-08-2014-0201
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