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Article

Anne Martensen and Lars Grønholdt

The purpose of this paper is to examine how received word-of-mouth (WOM) influences consumer emotions and, in turn, behavioral attitude and intention.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how received word-of-mouth (WOM) influences consumer emotions and, in turn, behavioral attitude and intention.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual model is developed by extending the theory of reasoned action framework to include WOM and emotions. The conceptual model is operationalized through a structural equation model, and the model is estimated and tested by using the partial least squares method. A survey among 509 consumers in Denmark forms the empirical basis for the study.

Findings

The paper finds that positive and negative WOM has an asymmetric influence on emotions, behavioral attitude and intention, i.e. that consumers respond differently to positive and negative WOM. The paper also finds that positive WOM has a larger impact than the social norm on behavioral attitude and intention and that negative WOM has an impact equal to that of the social norm. Furthermore, the study finds that emotions are an important mediator for both WOM and social norm.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is limited to a large travel agency in Denmark.

Practical implications

This paper has clear implications in terms of measuring the importance of WOM and emotions in consumer decision-making. It may serve as a useful basis for a practical WOM marketing strategy, which is a critical and increasingly applied element of customer-focused companies’ marketing strategies.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insights into how WOM works and the interplay between WOM, emotions and social norm in consumer decision-making.

Details

International Journal of Quality and Service Sciences, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-669X

Keywords

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Article

Jie Gu, Xiaolun Wang and Tian Lu

The purpose of this paper is to explain the “good-to-good” app switching phenomenon that has not been specifically addressed in the prior switching literature. Drawing on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explain the “good-to-good” app switching phenomenon that has not been specifically addressed in the prior switching literature. Drawing on the consumer learning theory, this study explores how external social word of mouth (WOM) and internal satisfaction influence app users’ switching intention through social learning route and analogical learning route. This study also examines the moderating effect of app heterogeneity.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey was used to collect data. Two categories of mobile apps with different levels of within-category heterogeneity were targeted in survey questions. A total of 525 valid survey responses were collected.

Findings

Social WOM about a competing app increases users’ switching intention through both social norm influence and social information influence, resulting in a direct effect on switching intention and an indirect effect through the perceived attractiveness of a competing app. Users’ satisfaction with an adopted app positively influences the perceived attractiveness of an unadopted competing app, offering evidence for analogical learning in user switching. Meanwhile, users’ satisfaction imposes a direct negative effect on switching intention. A higher level of within-category heterogeneity strengthens (weakens) the positive effect of social WOM (satisfaction) on users’ perceived attractiveness of a competing app.

Originality/value

This study complements the existing switching literature by disentangling the “good-to-good” switching phenomenon in the mobile app market from the consumer learning perspective. This study extends the understanding of cross-category user switching by considering different levels of product heterogeneity.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article

Jorge Arenas-Gaitán, Francisco J. Rondan-Cataluña and Patricio E. Ramírez-Correa

The aim of this study is to analyze the antecedents of word-of-mouth (WOM) in a social networking sites (SNS) context, based on social identification theory and uses and…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to analyze the antecedents of word-of-mouth (WOM) in a social networking sites (SNS) context, based on social identification theory and uses and gratification theory. This general objective can be divided into two sub-objectives. First, to measure the relationship between social identity, altruism and perceived encouragement as antecedents of WOM in SNS. Second, to study the existence of SNS-user segments which have differentiated behaviors according to the proposed model.

Design/methodology/approach

Partial least squares (PLS) has been used to analyze both validity and reliability of the measurement scales and the estimation of the structural model. Next, the heterogeneity of SNS-users has been analyzed using the finite mixture segmentation FIMIX-PLS. Furthermore, a multi-group analysis (MGA-PLS) has been used to analyze the differences between the behaviors of the resulting segments.

Findings

The main conclusion of this study is that social identity and perceived encouragement are worthy predictors of WOM. Additionally, there is a strong relationship between social identity and perceived encouragement. Another significant consequence is the existence of a large quantity of unobserved heterogeneity. Unsociable users, habitual users and obligated users show different behaviors regarding the relationships between the variables of the proposed model.

Originality value

The results indicate that in general WOM communications transmitted by SNS-users are not motivated by altruism or by their willingness to help others. In addition, social identity and perceived encouragement are good predictors of WOM. Another originality of this research is that considering only one general model hides a large amount of unobserved heterogeneity: different segments of users showed diverse behaviors regarding the model’s variables.

Details

Journal of Research in Interactive Marketing, vol. 12 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7122

Keywords

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Article

Mauricio Palmeira, Gerri Spassova and Jordi Quoidbach

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether people’s intuitions regarding the social consequences of word of mouth (WOM) match the actual consequences. The authors…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore whether people’s intuitions regarding the social consequences of word of mouth (WOM) match the actual consequences. The authors investigate the expectations people have about how sharing WOM (positive or negative) will change others’ perceptions of them and then compare these expectations to the actual impact of WOM.

Design/methodology/approach

Six studies were conducted. Study 1 predicted how sharing their experiences with various products or services would change others’ opinion of them. Studies 2a/2b contrasted participants’ intuitions about the potential social consequences of sharing WOM with the consequences. Studies 3a/3b and 4a/4b tested for the hypothesized mediating mechanism. Studies 5a/5b focused on negative WOM and used participants’ own reviews to compare intuitions with impact. Study 6 explored whether considering one’s own consumption experience mitigates the negative social impact of WOM.

Findings

Consumers expect positive WOM to improve perceptions as it conveys only positive cues about the communicator (i.e. helping intentions and a positive personality). Negative WOM is expected to have neutral impact, as it conveys mixed cues (i.e. helping intentions but a negative personality). In contrast, the authors show that sharing negative WOM tends to be quite detrimental, whereas sharing positive WOM has little impact. People are largely unaware of these effects.

Research limitations/implications

The research contributes to the literature on WOM and social transmission by comparing people’s intuitions about the social consequences of WOM with its actual consequences. The authors acknowledge that they used mostly WOM messages that were pre-written (vs spontaneously generated by participants). This may have constrained the generalizability of the results. Several potential moderators remain to be investigated, such as the role of message extremity, the interpersonal closeness between communicator and receiver, whether the WOM was solicited vs spontaneous, online vs offline, etc.

Practical implications

Greater effort is needed to raise consumers’ awareness about the gap between their expectations and the actual social consequences of WOM. Furthermore, marketers responsible for designing product review opportunities should be encouraged to provide consumers with more flexible options, such as the ability to easily remove an online review. Finally, consumers transmitting negative WOM in particular should be aware that their negative tone may compromise the persuasiveness of their message by making the receiver more vigilant and thus less receptive.

Originality/value

The authors are the first to directly contrast people’s intuitions about the social consequences of WOM with its consequences. Unlike the previous literature, the authors investigate people’s intuitions directly, and investigate the consequences of positive and negative WOM by comparing them to a neutral no-WOM condition. They also shed light on the specific personality traits people infer from WOM.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 54 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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Article

Keith S. Coulter and Anne Roggeveen

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how source, network, relationship, and message/content factors affect how consumers respond to a word‐of‐mouth (WOM

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how source, network, relationship, and message/content factors affect how consumers respond to a word‐of‐mouth (WOM) communication in an online social network.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were addressed using two online surveys. The first of these examined persuasive WOM communications on Facebook, the second investigated WOM communication on Twitter.

Findings

It was found that closeness to the source of a persuasive communication may have less of an impact on message acceptance in online social networks compared to traditional WOM. The number of persons in a product network, as well as whether those members of a product network are also members of one's friend network, are important factors that determine message acceptance.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates differences between online versus traditional WOM, and has important implications for marketing practitioners.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 35 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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Article

Yan Li, Ruijuan Wu and Dongjin Li

The purpose of this paper is to examine how subjective characteristics of social network sites (SNSs) affect consumers' positive and negative word-of-mouth (WOM) sharing.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how subjective characteristics of social network sites (SNSs) affect consumers' positive and negative word-of-mouth (WOM) sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

The data used for this study were obtained from an online survey with a sample size of 369 consumers. Structural equation modeling was performed to test hypotheses and examine the research questions.

Findings

The authors found that the perceived anonymity of an SNS is negatively correlated with its perceived interpersonal closeness of friends, and the number of friends in an SNS is positively correlated with its perceived interpersonal closeness of friends. With regard to positive WOM, the perceived anonymity of the SNS has a significant negative influence on consumers' WOM, and both perceived interpersonal closeness and the number of friends have a significant positive influence on consumers' WOM. But, in the case of negative WOM, only perceived interpersonal closeness of friends has a significant positive influence on consumers' WOM.

Practical implications

When attempting to promote positive WOM, marketers should choose consumers who possess the “right” subjective characteristics of SNSs (i.e. low anonymity, high interpersonal closeness of friends and a large number of friends). At the same time, marketers should monitor the emergence of consumers' negative WOM, especially those consumers who have a high level of interpersonal closeness of friends in SNSs, and respond to the content of negative WOM without delay.

Originality/value

This study investigates the influence that subjective characteristics of SNSs have on consumers' WOM sharing and therefore contributes to the literature on the antecedents of WOM generation and also contributes to the research that compares positive WOM with its negative counterpart.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 44 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

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Article

Biao Luo, Zheyu Zhang, Yong Liu and Weihe Gao

The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumers respond to online word of mouth (WOM) with different valence (i.e. what does it say) and from different sources (i.e…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine how consumers respond to online word of mouth (WOM) with different valence (i.e. what does it say) and from different sources (i.e. who said it) in an important emerging economy, China.

Design/methodology/approach

Theory with experiments.

Findings

The authors find that Chinese consumers seek confirmatory information and pay greater attention to WOM that agrees with their initial attitude. Consumers with a high (vs low) need for cognition are more likely to rate WOM from far (vs closer) social distance as more impactful on themselves. For public-consumption products, the consumers are influenced more by “who said it” (source) than by “what does it say” (valence). The reverse holds for private consumption.

Research limitations/implications

The paper could be extended to other online behaviors. It can also be extended to empirical testing using market data.

Practical implications

Since Chinese consumers tend to focus on online information that is consistent with their initial attitude, it can be more difficult for either the seller or third-party website to utilize online WOM as a persuasive tool in China than in other countries. Firms may also customize their online strategies based on product category. For products that are consumed in private, WOM content is more important than source. If the firm wants to facilitate consumer interaction and influence, greater attention should be paid to make the content easy to access and utilize.

Social implications

Due to the explosive growth of e-Commerce in China, many global and Chinese firms rushed to set up online communities to facilitate information exchange among consumers. Our findings indicate that the impact of these communities may have been overvalued. Chinese consumers are influenced by online information, but if the majority of the online messages are from anonymous strangers, consumers tend to discount their credibility.

Originality/value

Our study represents an earlier effort to predict, and test, how online WOM can be associated with the specific cultural and market environments. It provides direct implications for both consumer behavior and firm strategy.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 7 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

Keywords

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Article

Ashleigh Ellen Powell, Adrian R. Camilleri, Angela R. Dobele and Constantino Stavros

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…

Abstract

Purpose

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.

Design/methodology/approach

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.

Findings

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.

Originality/value

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.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 34 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

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Article

Faiz Ahamad

Job information through word-of-mouth (WOM) has a crucial impact on employer attractiveness. The phenomenal rise of social media offers alternate WOM platforms for sharing…

Abstract

Purpose

Job information through word-of-mouth (WOM) has a crucial impact on employer attractiveness. The phenomenal rise of social media offers alternate WOM platforms for sharing job information, which is quite different from traditional face-to-face WOM. The purpose of this paper is to examine the differential impact of traditional word-of-mouth (t-WOM) and social media word-of-mouth (s-WOM) on employer attractiveness along with the difference in the job attributes and relationship strength with the information source.

Design/methodology/approach

A 2 × 2 × 2 experiment was conducted to examine the impact of information source (t-WOM and s-WOM), job attributes (tangible and intangible) and relationship strength (strong and weak), on employer attractiveness. Source expertise and source trust were treated as the control variable.

Findings

The result shows the differential impact of t-WOM and s-WOM on employer attractiveness. Moreover, t-WOM from strong relation source found to have a high impact on employer attractiveness than s-WOM. No significant difference due to job attributes was found.

Research limitations/implications

Use of only positive WOM and not the negative one, student as the subjects, etc.

Practical implications

The present study suggests using t-WOM and s-WOM to attract talented job seekers.

Originality/value

This is the first study to analyze the differential impact of t-WOM and s-WOM on employer attractiveness.

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Article

Larissa M. Sundermann

Although antecedents and consequences for the sender of word of mouth (WOM) are well evaluated in many research fields, non-profit service research focusing on…

Abstract

Purpose

Although antecedents and consequences for the sender of word of mouth (WOM) are well evaluated in many research fields, non-profit service research focusing on consequences for WOM receivers is limited. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to provide evidence for the positive effect that WOM has on commitment, trust, satisfaction and identification (relationship-related factors) and on intentional loyalty of blood donors. Furthermore, the role of the social reference group and the incentive ethics are analysed.

Design/methodology/approach

Blood donors of the German Red Cross Blood Donor Service were invited to take part in an online survey during May/June 2016. A total of 702 (23.74 per cent) blood donors, who first donated in 2015/2016, participated. The data were analysed using partial least squares structural equation modelling.

Findings

The results provide evidence that the mere presence of receiving WOM positively influences commitment, satisfaction and identification as well as intentional loyalty. The negative moderation effect of incentive ethics was partially confirmed.

Practical implications

This study recommends using WOM approaches to bind donors but first evaluating the exact consequences of provided WOM rewards. WOM is an effective strategy, and non-profit organizations (NPOs) should use this to strengthen their relationship with donors.

Originality value

The paper provides and tests a theoretical framework to evaluate the impact of receiving WOM on relationship-related factors and intentional loyalty. It fills a gap in current discussions about the effectiveness of WOM as a marketing strategy to strengthen donor–NPO relationships.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

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