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The Role of Electronic Word of Mouth in Shaping Consumer Attitudes

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Use this URL to link or cite this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/29266
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Title: The Role of Electronic Word of Mouth in Shaping Consumer Attitudes
Author: Koomanova, Gulsana
Contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, valtiotieteellinen tiedekunta, Sosiaalitieteiden laitos, Viestintä
Thesis level:
Abstract: The purpose of this research was to investigate the role of electronic word of mouth (eWOM) in
shaping consumer attitudes towards various products and services with concentration on the
consumer attitude change. eWOM has long been proven to play an important role in influencing
consumer attitudes and has been researched from a variety of perspectives. This study attempts to
look deeper into the process of consumer attitude change by applying as the central theory of the
study the Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion by Petty and Cacioppo.
In the processes of examining the background academic and empirical research the Internet and Web
2.0 are closely depicted in order to understand how throughout the past centuries technology allowed
the rise of various mediums where consumers can not only share their opinions online about products
and services but also communicate with other consumers. Manuel Castel’s Internet Galaxy, Gildin’s,
Carl and Noland’s, Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh and Gremler’s researches on eWOM are the
central works that helped to shape both the theoretical and empirical parts of this study.
The mixed method approach was chosen as a research method for this study. An online survey was
conducted via the Surveymonkey.com platform and eight qualitative in-depth interviews were
conducted.
The results of the study show that central route queues as text quality and text argumentativeness are
more prominent among the research subjects and the peripheral route queues: source credibility and
source expertise did not show considerable significance. Also more experience and participation
consumers have with user-rating websites and applications more inclined they are to elaborate on the
central route cues and are more likely to search for opinions that they consider rational and credible.
Also these respondents are less inclined to search for ratings that confirm their existing beliefs about
products or services. Less experience/participation they have about eWOM more likely they are to
search for reviews confirmatory to their own.
Description: Vain tiivistelmä. Opinnäytteiden sidotut arkistokappaleet ovat luettavissa HY:n keskustakampuksen valtiotieteiden kirjastossa (Unioninkatu 35). Opinnäytteitä lainataan ainoastaan mikrokortteina kirjaston kaukopalvelun välityksellä.Abstract only. The paper copy of the whole thesis is available for reading room use at the Library of Social Sciences (Unioninkatu 35) . Microfiche copies of these theses are available for interlibrary loans.Endast avhandlingens sammandrag. Pappersexemplaret av hela avhandlingen finns för läsesalsbruk i Statsvetenskapliga biblioteket (Unionsgatan 35). Dessa avhandlingar fjärrutlånas endast som microfiche.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/29266
Date: 2012-01-20
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