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eWOM credibility: a comprehensive framework and literature review

Deepak Verma (Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India)
Prem Prakash Dewani (Marketing, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Lucknow, India)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 22 December 2020

Issue publication date: 10 May 2021




The purpose of this paper is to provide a comprehensive review on electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) credibility. Further, the authors propose a comprehensive and integrated model on eWOM credibility.


The authors conducted a systematic review of the extant literature on marketing, sociology and psychology to identify the factors that affect eWOM credibility. Further, the authors developed themes and identified factors which lead to eWOM credibility.


Four factors were identified, i.e. content, communicator, context and consumer, which affect eWOM credibility. Several variables associated with these four factors were identified, which result in eWOM credibility. Further, the authors developed 22 propositions to explain the causal relationship between these variables and eWOM credibility.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual model needs empirical validation across various eWOM platforms, i.e. social networking websites, e-commerce websites, etc.

Practical implications

Managers and e-commerce vendors can use these inputs to develop specific design elements and assessment tools which can help consumers to identify credible eWOM messages. Credible eWOM messages, in turn, will increase the “trust” and “loyalty” of the customers on e-commerce vendors.


This paper provides a conclusive takeaway of eWOM credibility literature by integrating multiple perspectives and arguments from the extant literature. This study also presents an integrated model, which provides a theoretical framework for researchers to further examine the interaction effect of various variables, which results in eWOM credibility.

Peer review

The peer review history for this article is available at:



Funding: This work was supported by the IIM Lucknow [Grant Number: SM-266].


Verma, D. and Dewani, P.P. (2021), "eWOM credibility: a comprehensive framework and literature review", Online Information Review, Vol. 45 No. 3, pp. 481-500.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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