Why Consumers Talk: An Investigation of the Extrinsic Motivators of Electronic Word of Mouth

Jie Feng, Purushottam Papatla


We investigate the relative effects of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators on online consumer word of mouth. Specifically, we examine how the influence of product satisfaction – an intrinsic motivator – compares to three extrinsic motivators, i.e., product life cycle stage, product attributes and expert opinions, in stimulating electronic word of mouth. We also examine the roles of different types of product attributes in generating electronic word of mouth.

The context of our investigation is electronic word of mouth for automobiles. Our results suggest that while intrinsic motivators do play a strong role in generating electronic word of mouth, extrinsic motivators such as the product’s life cycle stage, its attributes and experts’ opinions play a stronger role. Specifically, new products are likely to generate more word of mouth than older ones. Following the product’s life cycle stage in importance are the product’s attributes and expert opinions, in that order, in their influence. We also provide implications for additional research on the role of extrinsic motivators in generating consumer word of mouth.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/jbtp.v2n1p63


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