Informational and relational influences on electronic word of mouth: An empirical study of an online consumer discussion forum

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83 Citations (Scopus)


In the face of market competition and growing digitization in commerce, electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) communication has become increasingly important in shaping consumer attitudes and behaviors. We consider eWOM communication not only as an information exchange but also as a social exchange via online consumer discussion forums. Thus, we take a dual view of online communication, considering both its informational and relational influences, to predict eWOM behaviors. We propose a theoretical model, grounded in the elaboration likelihood model, the motivationopportunity-ability framework, and constraint-based and dedication-based relationships, to predict eWOM intention. We test this model by surveying users of an online discussion forum. Our empirical results indicate that dedication-based relational influence is more significant than informational influence in driving online referral behaviors. A dedication-based relationship has a stronger effect on eWOM intention than does a constraint-based relationship. Moreover, affective attitudes rather than cognitive attitudes significantly determine eWOM intention.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-165
Number of pages29
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013


  • Constraint-based relationship
  • Consumer discussion forums
  • Dedication-based relationship
  • Elaboration likelihood model
  • Electronic word of mouth (eWOM)
  • Informational influence
  • MOA framework
  • Relational influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

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