Jai Hak Chung


Consumers influence other consumers` brand choice behavior by delivering a variety of objective or subjective information on a particular product, which is called WOM (Word-Of-Mouth) activities. For WOM activities, WOM senders should choose messages to deliver to other consumers. We classify the contents of the messages a consumer chooses for WOM delivery into two categories: Subjective (positive or negative) evaluation and objective information on products. In our study, we regard WOM senders` activities as a choice behavior and introduce a choice model to study the relationship between the choice of different WOM information (WOM with positive or negative subjective evaluation and WOM with objective information) and its influencing factors (information sources and consumer characteristics) by developing two bivariate Probit models. In order to consider the mediating effects of WOM senders` product involvement, product attitude, and their characteristics (gender and age), we develop three second-level models for the propagation of positive evaluations, of negative evaluations, and of objective information on products in an hierarchical Bayesian modeling framework. Our empirical results show that WOM senders` information choice behavior differs according to the types of information sources. The effects of information sources on WOM activities differ according to the types of WOM messages (subjective evaluation (positive or negative) and objective information). Therefore, our study concludes that WOM activities can be partially managed with effective communication plans influencing on consumers` WOM message choice behavior. The empirical results provide some guidelines for consumers` propagation of information on products companies want.

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