Word-Of-Mouth Communication As Helping Behavior

Andrew Kaikati, University of Minnesota, USA
Rohini Ahluwalia, University of Minnesota, USA
Word-of-mouth (WOM) communication has been characterized as a decision, involving weighing of costs and benefits (Gatignon and Robertson 1986). This research develops a cost-benefit framework to systematically test individual differences in altruism, or the internal motivation to help others, as an underlying driver of WOM. In three studies, benefits of information (e.g., diagnostic value) and/or communicator costs (either resource or social costs) of information-sharing are manipulated. Findings indicate that, high altruists’ WOM behavior is driven by the perceived diagnostic value of information, whereas low altruists’ WOM behavior is driven by perceived communicator costs.
[ to cite ]:
Andrew Kaikati and Rohini Ahluwalia (2010) ,"Word-Of-Mouth Communication As Helping Behavior", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 37, eds. Margaret C. Campbell, Jeff Inman, and Rik Pieters, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 126-129 .