Balance and Word-Of-Mouth Communication: a Signed Digraph Analysis of Consumers’ Cognitive Networks

Andrea C. Wojnicki, University of Toronto, Canada
Nan Jia, University of Toronto, Canada
This research investigates the role of balance and consistency in inter-consumer communication, through an analysis of consumers’ cognitive networks representing their word-of-mouth (WOM) experiences. Following a preliminary study employing in-depth interviews, consumers’ recalled and hypothetical WOM experiences were examined in an online survey according to social network methods. Results indicate that digraphs associated with recalled WOM experiences are more balanced than would be the case if they were generated by chance, and importantly, this balance implicates disseminators’ future WOM propensities. We conclude that consumers’ micro-level cognitive processes affect their propensities to engage in future macro-level marketplace communication.
[ to cite ]:
Andrea C. Wojnicki and Nan Jia (2008) ,"Balance and Word-Of-Mouth Communication: a Signed Digraph Analysis of Consumers’ Cognitive Networks", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 607-615.