Balance and Word-of-Mouth Communication: A Signed Digraph Analysis of Consumers' Cognitive Networks

44 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2007

See all articles by Andrea C. Wojnicki

Andrea C. Wojnicki

University of Toronto

Nan

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

Date Written: January 26, 2007

Abstract

This research investigates the role of balance and consistency in inter-consumer communication, i.e. word-of-mouth (WOM), through an analysis of consumers' cognitive networks or "signed digraphs" representing their WOM experiences. Following a preliminary study employing in-depth interviews, consumers' recalled and hypothetical WOM experiences were generated from a substantial online survey and examined 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 that this balance implicates not just disseminators' satisfaction with the experience, but also their future WOM propensities. In other words, consumers' micro-level cognitive processes affect their propensities to engage in future interpersonal, macro-level marketplace communication.

Keywords: word of mouth, social network analysis, balance theory, networks

JEL Classification: M30, M31, M39, C49

Suggested Citation

Wojnicki, Andrea C. and Jia, Nan, Balance and Word-of-Mouth Communication: A Signed Digraph Analysis of Consumers' Cognitive Networks (January 26, 2007). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=959535 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.959535

Andrea C. Wojnicki (Contact Author)

University of Toronto ( email )

Toronto, Ontario M5S 3G8
Canada

Nan Jia

Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
(416) 978-7019 (Phone)
(416) 978-7019 (Fax)

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