The choice of content by information providers in word of mouth communications

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Academy of Marketing Studies Journal, 2013, 16 (SI), pp. 19 - 34
Issue Date:
2013-02-20
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Word-of-Mouth communication is an invaluable source of information for consumers. A comprehensive understanding of the flow of market information through interpersonal networks is therefore of unique theoretical and practical importance. Present Word-of-Mouth research is receiver centric, largely ignoring the role of the information provider as a gatekeeper to information dissemination. The objective of this research is to develop a more comprehensive understanding of Word-of-Mouth by modelling the decision making behaviour of information providers. Adopting the network theory general assumption of altruistic exchange motivation, this research uses a choice modelling framework to demonstrate that information providers assign greater utility to (1) information about product features important to the receiver, and (2) information which disconfirms receiver preferences. In addition, these effects are found to be moderated by perceptions about the receivers knowledge. Existing research has not previously considered information providers perceptions of receivers as a potential moderator of WOM flow, with the results here suggesting this should be an area of future investigation. © 2012 by the DreamCatchers Group, LLC.
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