The Effect of Message Valence on e-WoM Spread: A Moderated Mediation Analysis

Article Information
Journal: Business and Economics Research Journal
Title of Article: The Effect of Message Valence on e-WoM Spread:
A Moderated Mediation Analysis
Author(s): Edin Guclu Sozer
Volume: 10
Number: 2
Year: 2019
Page: 541-555
ISSN: 2619-9491
DOI Number: 10.20409/berj.2019.184
This study aims to examine the effect of e-WoM message on the intention level of consumers to spread the word to other consumers in the presence of a moderated mediation interaction effect between risk perception and uncertainty avoidance levels of consumers. An experimental design was implemented, and the manipulated experimental condition was e-WoM message represented in two levels, negative and positive. The results indicate that, compared to negative ones, positive e-WoM messages lead to higher intention to share the message with other consumers. However, in the presence of perceived risk, the positive direct effect of positive messages turns into a negative indirect effect when perceived risk mediates this relationship. Moreover, this negative indirect effect stabilizes with the uncertainty avoidance moderated relationship between e-WoM message and perceived risk. In the light of these findings, a two levels e-WoM communication strategy was proposed to maximize the benefits of positive customer feedbacks: Construction of a strong pool of positive e-WoM messages generated by existing satisfied customers and the use of negative framing in the marketing communication messages targeted to prospect customers.

Keywords: e-WoM, Message Valence, Perceived Risk, Uncertainty Avoidance

JEL Classification: M30, M31, M37 Full Text