The purpose of this research was to create a brief scale to measure perceived social benefit that would be appropriate for use in future research aiming to explore the role of this variable in determining word-of-mouth (WOM) behaviour. There is evidence that perceived social risk negatively impacts the willingness to share, but the role of perceived social benefit has not yet been explored. Understanding how perceived social risk and benefit interact to determine WOM will inform social marketing campaign design.
This paper outlines two studies: Study 1 was concerned with the development of the perceived social benefit of sharing scale (PSBSS), including the construction of preliminary items and the reliability and discriminant validity of the final scale. Study 2 involved an investigation of the concurrent validity of the PSBSS in relation to the likelihood to share.
Study 1 demonstrated that the perceived social benefit associated with WOM was related to social approval, impression management and social bonding. The results of Study 2 established that scores on the PSBSS predicted self-reported likelihood to engage in both face-to-face WOM and electronic WOM.
The PSBSS can be used to examine the role of perceived social benefit, including how the interaction between perceived social risk and benefit determines where, when and with whom people will share WOM.
The authors would like to thank the members of the RMIT Behavioural Business lab, particularly Janneke Blijlevens, for feedback on this project. This research was supported by an Australian Government Research Training Program (RTP) Scholarship.
Powell, A.E., Camilleri, A.R., Dobele, A.R. and Stavros, C. (2017), "Developing a scale for the perceived social benefits of sharing", Journal of Consumer Marketing, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 496-504. https://doi.org/10.1108/JCM-03-2017-2124
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