Fogelman Professor and former Student publish a paper on Positive and Negative Word
of Mouth in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science
For release: January 9, 2013
Emin Babakus, Professor at the Department of Marketing & Supply Chain Management,
Aliosha Alexandrov (U of M Ph.D.) and Bryan Lilly, both at the University of Wisconsin,
Oshkosh, have a forthcoming article on consumer word of mouth titled "The Effects
of Social- and Self-Motives on the Intentions to Share Positive and Negative Word
of Mouth" in the Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science.
In this study, they examine social- and self-motives as drivers of Word of Mouth (WOM).
The main proposition is that the transmitter expects to gain personal and social benefits
from sharing his opinion about a brand. The gains are in the form of expected satisfaction
of self- and social-needs. Through an empirical analysis, the study examines how the
underlying mechanism varies for positive and negative WOM. Positive WOM is motivated
primarily by the need for self-enhancement, and negative WOM is motivated by the need
for self-affirmation. The need for social comparison affects both valences of WOM,
the need for social bonding affects only positive WOM, and intention to help others
and share social information affect only negative WOM. The findings suggest that discussing
brands can be a mechanism for acquiring personal and social benefits, and consequently,
promotional campaigns should highlight the gains customers accrue through WOM.