Opinion-leading silver surfers in the UK: a personality-based approach to managing negative electronic WOM

Breitsohl, Jan, Khammash, Marv and Griffiths, Gareth (2012) Opinion-leading silver surfers in the UK: a personality-based approach to managing negative electronic WOM. In: Academy of Marketing Conference 2012. Marketing: catching the technology wave, 2–5 July 2012, Southampton, UK.

[img] PDF - Published Version
Download (293kB)


The purpose of this study is to investigate the diffusion of negative opinions over the Internet in relation to specific personality antecedents (i.e. Altruism, Need for uniqueness, Self-confidence) and communication outcomes (i.e. Overall satisfaction, E-complaint-propensity).
Based on an online survey consisting of 2,393 e-consumers aged 50+, the present research methodology uses Structural Equation Modelling to verify the proposed conceptual relationships. Findings confirm the positive influence of online opinion-leaders on the propensity to spread negative e-WOM and demonstrate the importance of personality characteristics as means to influence negative online opinion-diffusion. Importantly, negative e-WOM was further found to reduce consumers' overall satisfaction and to possibly occur in addition to direct e-complaining. This research therefore is the first to empirically establish the concept of negative Opinion-leadership in an online context and in relation to e-consumers above 50, in addition to proposing a novel, personality-based model of negative online opinion diffusion.
For marketing practitioners, this study emphasises the importance of negative online opinion-leaders as a target group that requires distinct communication strategies. Marketing and complaint mangers are recommended to appeal to specific personality traits in order to prevent negative online opinion-cascades and possibly encourage direct complaints.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Other)
Schools and Departments: University of Sussex Business School > Business and Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Depositing User: Tahir Beydola
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2016 15:46
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2019 13:41
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/63418

View download statistics for this item

📧 Request an update