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Influence of eWOM information on consumers’ behavioral intentions in mobile social networks: Evidence of Iran

Ehsan Abedi (Department of Business Management, Islamic Azad University of North Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Davood Ghorbanzadeh (Department of Business Management, Islamic Azad University of North Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Atena Rahehagh (Department of Business Management, Islamic Azad University of North Tehran, Tehran, Iran)

Journal of Advances in Management Research

ISSN: 0972-7981

Article publication date: 2 September 2019

Issue publication date: 14 January 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Today, consumers play an active role in creating, generating and distributing the electronic word of mouth (eWOM) independent of marketers. Customer acquisition through referrals and word of mouth (WOM) has thus become an important goal for firms. In addition, mobile social networks have created valuable opportunities for eWOM. People are now able to discuss products and services of brands with their friends and acquaintances. The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of eWOM information on consumers’ behavioral intentions in mobile social networks.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed the information adoption model (IAM), theory of reasoned action and social exchange theory to investigate the influence of eWOM information on consumers’ behavioral intentions in mobile social networks. The study used 394 respondents to evaluate the proposed model using SmartPLS software.

Findings

Results show that the quality and credibility of eWOM information has a positive direct effect on perceived information usefulness. Attitude toward eWOM information mediates the influence of perceived information usefulness on information adoption. Also, attitude toward eWOM information has a significant positive influence on behavioral intentions, such as purchase intention and forwarding of eWOM information. However, information adoption does not have any significant relationship with the forwarding of eWOM information.

Research limitations/implications

This study seeks to address the dearth of research in the field of mobile social networks, especially regarding eWOM information. The study proposes a new model and empirically validates the hypothesized relationships. This research can serve as a stepping-stone for future research in this field.

Practical implications

This research is one of the first studies focusing on the influence of eWOM information, especially in mobile social networks. The research offers comprehensive and empirically validated factors pertaining to eWOM information in mobile social networks. The results of this study may be useful also for practitioners and managers of online companies.

Originality/value

A new eWOM IAM in mobile social networks is proposed based on information characteristics and consumer behavior. The model is validated afterward.

Keywords

Citation

Abedi, E., Ghorbanzadeh, D. and Rahehagh, A. (2020), "Influence of eWOM information on consumers’ behavioral intentions in mobile social networks: Evidence of Iran", Journal of Advances in Management Research, Vol. 17 No. 1, pp. 84-109. https://doi.org/10.1108/JAMR-04-2019-0058

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited