Electronic Word-of-Mouth: Factors Affecting Consumer Review Writing Behavior on Electronic Platforms

Electronic Word-of-Mouth: Factors Affecting Consumer Review Writing Behavior on Electronic Platforms

Emel Yıldız (Gümüşhane University, Turkey) and Hasan Ayyıldız (Karadeniz Technical University, Turkey)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6220-9.ch014


This chapter examines the effects of word-of-mouth motivations and culture on electronic word-of-mouth behavior. This chapter also focuses on the effects of cultural values on electronic word-of-mouth behavior. Within the context of the study, online forums in which consumers write comments have been used. The data was obtained from an electronic survey provided to 561 consumers. The reliability of scales has been tested via the Cronbach's Alfa Method and the validity of scales has been tested by Factor Analysis. After determining the reliability and validity of the scales, research hypotheses were tested by Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) and Multiple Regression Analysis. The findings show that motivation and culture have positive effects on electronic word-of-mouth behavior. This chapter also attempts to explain the effects of cultural values on electronic word-of-mouth behavior, and it is found that while uncertainty avodiance and masculinity have positive effects, individualism and power distance have negative effects on electronic word-of-mouth behavior.
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Consumers have long been in contact with each other on a variety of topics such as watching a movie or going to a restaurant. Communication with family, friends, and relatives provides consumers an outlet to share information and experiences with others pre- and post-purchase. Word-of-mouth providing a flow of information among consumers which affects purchasing behavior and without cost to the businesses is of interest to academicians and businesses (Lang, 2006: 1; Mangold et al., 1999: 73). In today's information society, consumers are exposed daily to a large number of information and messages (Cakim, 2010: 3). However, there is no time to investigate such a diverse array of such information. Therefore, consumers seek a way to obtain reliable information by communicating with each other. In the past, these communications which were more regional and local have changed shape with the advent of the Internet and in recent times the concept of electronic word of mouth has been raised.

As the Internet has become an important communication tool, the world has become increasingly interdependent (Yoon, 2008: 1) as there is now a computer in almost every home. This improves access to the Internet via forums and social networking sites that are the repository of information through which consumers may transmit their opinions and experiences (positive or negative) to a great number of consumers without the limitations of time and space. By sharing these opinions and experiences, consumers seek to achieve some social benefits.

Consumers can contact many people and create their own social networks via online communities, and can protect and upgrade their own image depending on the social environment. Therefore, consumers share information which they believe can benefit themselves. In this manner, consumers can portray themselves as informed and intelligent in the eyes of other consumers. Benefits such as making friends and upgrading their image to show loyalty consumers can exhibit positive attitudes towards companies that they use products many years. For this purpose, they praise the company to othe consumers to ensure more custoemrs and profit. Some consumers have not full information about the products and services. Uncertainty as a result of the lack of information has caused consumers to hesitate before buying.

Consumers who have information share their information and experiences with uninformed consumers to help and facilitate decisions. Sometimes word-of-mouth behavior can be performed to express the anger and resentment that is the result of negative experiences. Also, as a result of negative experiences, consumers can share experiences with other consumers in order to seek advice. These online reviews become almost a business and some companies offer incentives like web miles and points for each review.

In addition to the above factors, culture also greatly affects consumers’ word-of-mouth behavior. Some studies in the literature stated that culture is associated with the word of mouth behavior (Dawar et al., 1996; Money et al., 1998; Liu et al., 2001; Komlodi & Carlin, 2004; Okazaki, 2009; Lam et al., 2009; Schumann et al., 2010; Chu & Choi, 2011; Pookulangara & Koesler, 2011). The explanations above show that motivation and culture are effective concepts on review writing behavior in electronic word-of-mouth, but there is no study integrating these two concepts. This situation played an important role for determining the subject of the study. After determining the subject, the research model was developed by examining related literature. The conceptual framework was created to ensure integrity and related literature was examined. At the end of the study the findings are explained.

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