Consumer Susceptibility to Social Influence and Tendency to Generate a Positive or Negative Message in Word of Mouth Communication
Susceptibility to social influence is expressed by inclination for fulfilling others’ expectations, as well as by tendency to acquire information on products through observation of other people’s behaviour, and collecting opinions from them in active way. Word-of-mouth communication (WOM) is a specific form of social communication. Harrison-Walker as well as Mazzarol, Sweeney i Soutar treat the word-of-mouth as the process embracing discussions carried out upon the organization and its offer, during which a recommendation can be formulated. The message transmitted in the WOM communication can be of positive, negative or neutral character. The purpose of this article is to examine the relationship between consumer susceptibility to social influence and the tendency to generate positive or negative message. In order to measure susceptibility to social influence the Interpersonal Influence Scale will be applied (Bearden, Netenmeyer, Teel 1989). After analyzing the literature, the following research hypothesis was formulated: the stronger the participant’s susceptibility to social influence, the weaker tendency to generate a positive message and the stronger tendency to generate a negative one. To verify the hypotheses the research based on CAWI method were conducted in the group of 1000 people (aged 15-50), reflecting the structure of Poland’s population in terms of gender and place of residence, selected with random quota sampling. Only a minimal correlation was confirmed in case of the recommendation (positive opinion). There was no correlation between producing negative opinions and the susceptibility to social influence.
marketing communication, word of mouth, social influence.
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