The Importance of Similarity and Expertise of the Information Source in the Word-Of-Mouth Communication Process

Title

The Importance of Similarity and Expertise of the Information Source in the Word-Of-Mouth Communication Process

Author

Tkaczyk, Jolanta

 

Classification JEL

M30

Abstract

Credibility is the extent to which the recipient sees the source as having appropriate knowledge, skills and experience and believe it as the transferor impartial, objective information. Source perceived as credible in addition to having a proficiency in a specific area, is more convincing than something less knowledgeable. However it must also be more robust – honest, ethical and trustworthy. Research clearly support the hypothesis that sources with the specific knowledge and / or reliability are increasingly more appealing and efficient than those with less knowledge or less reliability. Harrison-Walker (2001) and Mazzarol, Sweeney, and Soutar (2007) treat WOM as the process, under which the discussion is held, around an organisation and its offerings, and during these discussions recommendations may appear. The participants of the WOM process may act as the source (sender/originator) of the message, its recipient, and also the intermediary; they can take an active or passive role in the process. Most consumers, when are looking for the best available offer on the market, are interested in opinions of other customers and their past experiences. Source credibility in the process of word-of mouth may depend on its characteristics – similarities and professionalism (Wangenheim, Bayon 2003). The aim of the article is to verify the hypothesis by which a consumer engaged in a particular product category will be more likely to use the expert’s opinion rather than the opinion of a person like himself in the product decision making process. Verification of the hypothesis will be based on the analysis of the results of research conducted on sample of 1,000 Polish consumers, chosen at random. The study was carried out by CAWI method. The involvement in the product category and the propensity to use expert’s opinion rather than the opinion of consumers similar to the respondents were investigated in 15 product categories. The project was funded by the National Science Centre on the basis of the decision DEC-2012/07/D/HS4/01761.

Keywords

word-of-mouth; desicion making process, consumer behaviour, credibility

Full Text:download pdf

Cite: download citation (for EndNote, Reference Manager, ProCite)

 

Please cite this article as: mbd (2016) The Importance of Similarity and Expertise of the Information Source in the Word-Of-Mouth Communication Process. International Conference on Marketing and Business Development. http://www.mbd.ase.ro/?p=252