Managing negative word-of-mouth: an exploratory study

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Journal of Marketing Management, 2014, 30 (13-14), pp. 1423 - 1447
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This exploratory study investigates how executive-level and functional managers in three large organisations understand and respond to negative wordof-mouth (NWOM). The findings, based principally on analysis of 54 interviews over 3 years, show that organisations devote far more resources to the management of NWOM than they do to the promotion of positive word-of-mouth. Marketing and other customer-facing work groups play varied roles in organisational response to NWOM, which often involves complaints management and crisis management. We find that senior management,marketing, sales, advertising, PR and contact-centre staff all have different fears about NWOM and therefore respond to it in various ways. Our recommendations for better management of NWOM stress three points leadership, organisational readiness and public relations management.
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