Wirkungen von electronic-Word-of-Mouth-Empfehlungen bei misstrauischen Rezipienten : eine empirische Untersuchung unter Betrachtung der Empfehlungskongruenz sowie der Botschaftsargumentation

  • Suspicion of ulterior motives and the perception of online-recommendations : the role of congruity and message sidedness

Pütz, Christoph; Steffenhagen, Hartwig (Thesis advisor)

Aachen : Publikationsserver der RWTH Aachen University (2009)
Dissertation / PhD Thesis

Aachen, Techn. Hochsch., Diss., 2009


This research investigates effects of suspicion of ulterior motives in the context of electronic word-of-mouth communication. In particular, it is examined how two recommendation characteristics, recommendation congruity and message sidedness, affect consumers' motive attributions, their attitudes toward the recommended item and their choice behavior. The term recommendation congruity refers here to the perceived fit between a presenter of an object and the recommended object. In Study 1 the hypotheses are tested in a low involvement setting. Consistent to the predictions, a congruity x message sidedness interaction occurs that determines the type of motive (i.e. intrinsic, extrinsic) a recipient attributes to observed referral behavior. It can also be shown, that the recipient’s attitude toward the recommended object is affected by the examined recommendation characteristics. Furthermore it is demonstrated, that a recipient’s perception of a sender's recommendation motive plays an essential role in the attitude formation process. Study 2 attempts to replicate the findings of Study 1 in a high involvement setting. Except for the proposed mediation effect, none of the results reoccur. Based on the empirical findings we derive implications for the design of effective referral campaigns.