Old Wine in New Bottles?
Virtual paper development symposium to support the Revisiting Electronic Word-of-Mouth special issue of the Journal of Business Research; Symposium deadline 26 Mar 2021
INTEREST CATEGORY: INNOVATION AND TECH
POSTING TYPE: Revisits
Author: Hongfei Liu
Conference: Journal of Business Research Special Issue Paper Development Virtual Symposium on Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM)
Conference website: www.eWOM2021.com
Structured abstract: 1,000 words maximum
Submission deadline: 26-March-2021
Associated Special Issue
Journal of Business Research [Impact Factor: 4.874]
Special Issue: Old Wine in New Bottles? Revisiting Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM)
Submission open: 1-July-2021
Submission deadline: 31-Oct-2021
Manuscript Development Virtual Symposium for the Special Issue
The Special Issue guest editorial team organizes a manuscript development virtual symposium. The aim of this online symposium is to help researchers further develop their submissions for the Special Issue and to provide a platform for researchers and practitioners to network and discuss the important research avenues. Researchers who are interested in submitting to the special issue are encouraged to submit extended abstracts to the virtual symposium. The Virtual Symposium is scheduled on 6th/7th May 2021 via Zoom. The symposium submission is open till 26th March 2021. For more details, please visit our website: www.eWOM2021.com.
Researchers who are interested in submitting to the special issue are highly encouraged to submit structured abstracts (1,000 words maximum) to the virtual symposium. Shortlisted abstracts will be invited to be presented at the virtual symposium and will be discussed with other attendees and the guest editors.
Please note submitting to and/or presenting at the symposium is not a guarantee for the acceptance in the JBR special issue.
Conference Committee/Guest Editors
Dr. Hongfei Liu, University of Southampton, UK, email@example.com
Professor Chanaka Jayawardhena, University of Surrey, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
Professor Paurav Shukla, University of Southampton, UK, email@example.com
Dr. Victoria-Sophie Osburg, Montpellier Business School, France, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Vignesh Yoganathan, The University of Sheffield, UK, email@example.com
Background and Rationale for the Special Issue
Word-of-Mouth (WOM) as a marketing concept was introduced in the 1950s (Brooks Jr., 1957), and has been reinvigorated in the Internet age (Dellarocas, 2003). Almost two decades ago, Hennig-Thurau, Gwinner, Walsh & Gremler (2004) explored how the Internet age has allowed individual consumers to engage in Electronic Word-of-Mouth (eWOM) via consumer-opinion platforms. Despite these early efforts and ongoing attention devoted to the examination of eWOM from both academics and practitioners, there have been renewed calls for a more nuanced understanding of eWOM in order to maximize the business value (Babić Rosario, de Valck & Sotgiu, 2020). These calls have been legitimized in light of the ever-emerging and -evolving phenomena in the market – technological advancements, consumer’s attitudes towards marketing activities and online information, rising privacy concerns in the digital age, etc.
Against this backdrop, this Special Issue focuses on exploring the latest trends in eWOM research and practices beyond the prototype developed almost two decades ago (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004). We welcome research that addresses the following question: What are the implications of the expansive and rapid changes driven by latest digital technologies and modern marketplace on consumers’ and other stakeholders’ eWOM behaviors and marketers’ eWOM practices and strategies? Given the rapid developments and wider implications of the topic in an information age, this call for papers will be intentionally broad. The following is not an exhaustive list, but provides some examples of potential directions and topics:
· Beyond “positive and negative statement” – Reconceptualization of eWOM
eWOM, conceptualized as “any positive or negative statement made by potential, actual, or former customers about a product or company, which is made available to a multitude of people and institutions via the Internet”, is still widely acknowledged (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004). However, as an ever-changing online phenomenon, eWOM message has various forms (e.g. text, image, video) and can be used across different marketing dynamics, for example, as a part of influencer marketing (Evans, Phua, Lim & Jun, 2017), seeded marketing (Chae, Stephen, Bart & Yao, 2017) and viral marketing (Borges-Tiago, Tiago & Cosme, 2019). This ever-widening evolution of the phenomena has perhaps not been captured in the prototyped conceptualization. Additionally, eWOM has been used interchangeably with other concepts (e.g. user-generated-content, online reviews and online recommendations). The commonness and distinctiveness between such concepts remain unclear. Therefore, we call for papers that reconceptualize eWOM in the modern age or distinguish eWOM from similar marketing concepts and applications possibly through conceptual study, document analysis, systematic literature review and meta-analysis.
· Beyond Consumer-to-Consumer (C2C) communication – Expansion of the communication scope
eWOM is traditionally viewed as a C2C communication due to its voluntary and non-commercial nature (Libai et al., 2010). As businesses are increasingly aware of the impact of eWOM on firm performance, businesses have been devoting themselves to involving in eWOM communication by taking proactive and reactive actions (Wakefield & Wakefield, 2018). This has resulted in the transformation of eWOM from a C2C-only to B2C-friendly communication in the consumer market. Brands tend to foster positive eWOM or deal with negative eWOM in order to serve their marketing objectives. We, thus, highlight the strategic management of eWOM and encourage inquiries that explore the effectiveness of businesses’ engagement in eWOM communication. Meanwhile, B2B businesses increasingly embrace social media channels, including social networking sites (e.g. Facebook), blog sites (e.g. TypePad), social stream sites (e.g. app.net), professional networking sites (e.g. LinkedIn), review sites (e.g. Glassdoor), and video sites (e.g. Vimeo) (Iankova, Davies, Archer-Brown, Marder & Yau, 2019). eWOM has been also initially observed in industrial marketing, and plays an increasingly important role in selling-purchasing mechanism in B2B marketplace (Steward, Narus & Roehm, 2018). Research that conceptualizes, theorizes and contextualize eWOM activities B2B market is welcomed.
· Beyond consumers’ decision-making process – information-shaped consumer behaviors
Traditional view implants eWOM throughout the consumers’ decision-making process (e.g. eWOM-seeking pre-purchase and eWOM-giving post-purchase). While mobile technology dominates today’s market, it is easier than ever for consumers to access to and/or to be force-fed with an abundance of consumption-related information at any moment of daily life. Consumer behavior has also been shaped dramatically due to the information overloading. Consumers’ eWOM engaging behaviors (e.g. interactions between different parties regarding different information at different point of time) become increasingly diverse (Liu, Jayawardhena, Osburg & Babu, 2020), while the psychological mechanisms behind such behaviors are also different (Previte, Russell-Bennett, Mulcahy & Hartel, 2019). Therefore, we call for papers that examine consumers’ eWOM behaviors that are evolving with the changing marketplace and/or explain novel psychological mechanisms behind such behaviors.
· Beyond online review sites and brands’ virtual communities – The rise of new digital media platforms
Digital Media disseminates eWOM, yet research on eWOM media/platforms remains fragmented. Early eWOM research either tends to focus on the online review sites highlighting antecedents and outcomes of review-based eWOM (e.g. Gretzel & Yoo, 2008) or emphasizes brands’ virtual communities (e.g. Facebook fan page) where social identity is key (Dholakia, Bagozzi & Pearo, 2004). Media differences for eWOM activities, consumers’ eWOM media preferences and cross-media eWOM engagement are underexplored (Xu & Lee, 2020). Additionally, the continued technological development and changes in consumer trends catalyze the emergence of new social media platforms, such as video-based social networking sites (e.g. Tik Tok and YouTube), photo-based social networking sites (e.g. Instagram and Pinterest) and multimedia mobile applications (e.g. Snapchat), and alternative approaches of content sharing, like temporary sharing (e.g. Instagram Story), live streaming (e.g. Facebook Live) and photo filter (Snapchat’s sponsored filter) (Roy, Datta & Mukherjee, 2019). We urge pioneering researchers to investigate the effectiveness of eWOM using the latest functions on new platforms.
· Beyond a bunch of online reviews – The power of machine learning and big data
On Yelp, 150 million business reviews are generated monthly (Capoccia, 2018). There is no doubt that the increasing eWOM messages generate a pool of big data. Understanding eWOM by analyzing such big data through various tools (e.g. social listening, lexical analysis and statistical programming) allow academics and practitioners to understand the hidden clues that consumers left in the online environment and to interpret the deeper meanings behind consumers’ words. Meanwhile, the availability of big data facilitates the applications of machine learning in eWOM research and practices (Vermeer, Araujo, Bernritter & van Noort, 2019). Such techniques enable businesses to sustainably identify useful information that serves specific analytical purposes and enlightens business decisions. We welcome studies that capture consumer eWOM behaviors and business eWOM strategies using big data, and research employs machine learning techniques in interpreting eWOM phenomena.
- Beyond fake reviews – The ethicality of eWOM communication
In the competitive market, some businesses commit ‘review fraud’, while creating fake reviews and eWOM messages across different media for themselves or their competitors becomes the most significant ethical issue in the eWOM communication (Luca & Zervas, 2016). Justifiably, in today’s society, ethicality attracts increasing attention in both business practices and Internet use. In terms of business ethics, a series of important questions remain underexplored, such as how ethicality-related eWOM influences consumers’ perceptions and brands’ performance, how eWOM enhances the effectiveness of brands’ CSR activities and ethical practices, how media owners and policy-makers address and prevent vicious competition through eWOM etc. (Chu, Chen & Gan, 2020). From the perspective of cyber- and techno-ethics, eWOM communication also highlights various ethical concerns. For example, eWOM messages as digital footprints left by consumers raise privacy concerns (Nam, Baker, Ahmad & Goo, 2020). Aggressive eWOM conversation could also trigger online bullying (Israeli, Lee & Karpinski, 2019). We look forward to receiving papers that investigate eWOM from the perspectives of consumer ethics, business ethics and cyber ethics.
· Beyond consumers’ product/service recommendations – A multi-stakeholder and interdisciplinary view of eWOM
Naturally, consumers are key players in eWOM communication, and conversations are usually around the products or services of a particular brand. However, beyond real-life consumers, professional reviewers and influencers (see Bzzangent.com) increasingly engage in eWOM activities (Stubb & Colliander, 2019). More importantly, moving even further from the consumers’ perspective, latest observations suggest eWOM communication involves different parties and has an impact on multiple stakeholders, such as current and prospective employees (Stamolampros, Korfiatis, Chalvatzis & Buhalis, 2019), suppliers (Banerjee, Ries & Wiertz, 2020), competitors (Cao, 2019) and local communities (Uchinaka, Yoganathan & Osburg, 2019). In addition to the propensity of digital marketing, the digitalization has accelerated the transformation of various disciplines, while the power of eWOM has also been recognized across different disciplines, such as ‘digital finance’ (Cai, Lin, Xu, & Fu, 2016), ‘digital human resource management’ (Osburg, Yoganathan, Bartikowski, Liu & Strack, 2020) and ‘digital politics’ (Grover, Kar, Dwivedi, & Janssen, 2019). We look to receive research papers that take alternative stakeholders’ perspectives and/or investigate interdisciplinary phenomena led by eWOM.
Babić Rosario, A., de Valck, K., & Sotgiu, F. (2020). Conceptualizing the electronic word-of-mouth process: What we know and need to know about eWOM creation, exposure, and evaluation. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 48, 422–448. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-019-00706-1
Banerjee, A., Ries, J. M., & Wiertz, C. (2020). The impact of social media signals on supplier selection: insights from two experiments. In Press International Journal of Operations & Production Management. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijopm-05-2019-0413
Borges-Tiago, M. T., Tiago, F., & Cosme, C. (2019). Exploring users’ motivations to participate in viral communication on social media. Journal of Business Research, 101, 574-582. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2018.11.011
Brooks Jr, R. C. (1957). “Word-of-mouth” advertising in selling new products. Journal of Marketing, 22(2), 154-161. https://doi.org/10.1177/002224295702200205
Cai, S., Lin, X., Xu, D., & Fu, X. (2016). Judging online peer-to-peer lending behavior: A comparison of first-time and repeated borrowing requests. Information & Management, 53(7), 857-867. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2016.07.006
Cao, H. (2019). Online review manipulation by asymmetrical firms: Is a firm’s manipulation of online reviews always detrimental to its competitor?. Information & Management, 103244. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.im.2019.103244
Capoccia, C. (2018, April 11). Online Reviews Are the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Small Businesses. Retrieved from https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2018/04/11/online-reviews-are-the-best-thing-that-ever-happened-to-small-businesses/#486c279f740a
Chae, I., Stephen, A. T., Bart, Y., & Yao, D. (2017). Spillover effects in seeded word-of-mouth marketing campaigns. Marketing Science, 36(1), 89-104. https://doi.org/10.1287/mksc.2016.1001
Chintagunta, P. K., Gopinath, S., & Venkataraman, S. (2010). The effects of online user reviews on movie box office performance: Accounting for sequential rollout and aggregation across local markets. Marketing Science, 29(5), 944-957. https://doi.org/10.1287/mksc.1100.0572
Chu, S. C., Chen, H. T., & Gan, C. (2020). Consumers’ engagement with corporate social responsibility (CSR) communication in social media: Evidence from China and the United States. Journal of Business Research, 110, 260-271. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2020.01.036
Dellarocas, C. (2003). The digitization of word of mouth: Promise and challenges of online feedback mechanisms. Management Science, 49(10), 1407-1424. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.49.10.1407.17308
Dholakia, U. M., Bagozzi, R. P., & Pearo, L. K. (2004). A social influence model of consumer participation in network-and small-group-based virtual communities. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 21(3), 241-263. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2003.12.004
Evans, N. J., Phua, J., Lim, J., & Jun, H. (2017). Disclosing Instagram influencer advertising: The effects of disclosure language on advertising recognition, attitudes, and behavioral intent. Journal of Interactive Advertising, 17(2), 138-149. https://doi.org/10.1080/15252019.2017.1366885
Gretzel, U., & Yoo, K. H. (2008). Use and impact of online travel reviews. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 2008, 35-46. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-211-77280-5_4
Grover, P., Kar, A. K., Dwivedi, Y. K., & Janssen, M. (2019). Polarization and acculturation in US Election 2016 outcomes–Can twitter analytics predict changes in voting preferences. Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 145, 438-460. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.techfore.2018.09.009
Hennig-Thurau, T., Gwinner, K. P., Walsh, G., & Gremler, D. D. (2004). Electronic word-of-mouth via consumer-opinion platforms: what motivates consumers to articulate themselves on the internet?. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 18(1), 38-52. https://doi.org/10.1002/dir.10073
Iankova, S., Davies, I., Archer-Brown, C., Marder, B., & Yau, A. (2019). A comparison of social media marketing between B2B, B2C and mixed business models. Industrial Marketing Management, 81, 169-179. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2018.01.001
Israeli, A. A., Lee, S. A., & Karpinski, A. C. (2019). The relationship between Internet addiction and negative eWOM. The Service Industries Journal, 39(13-14), 943-965. https://doi.org/10.1080/02642069.2018.1453501
Libai, B., Bolton, R., Bügel, M. S., De Ruyter, K., Götz, O., Risselada, H., & Stephen, A. T. (2010). Customer-to-customer interactions: broadening the scope of word of mouth research. Journal of Service Research, 13(3), 267-282. https://doi.org/10.1177/1094670510375600
Liu, H., Jayawardhena, C., Dibb, S., & Ranaweera, C. (2019). Examining the trade-off between compensation and promptness in eWOM-triggered service recovery: A restorative justice perspective. Tourism Management, 75, 381-392. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2019.05.008
Liu, H., Jayawardhena, C., Osburg, V. S., & Babu, M. M. (2020). Do online reviews still matter post-purchase?. Internet Research, 30 (1), 109-139. https://doi.org/10.1108/intr-07-2018-0331
Luca, M., & Zervas, G. (2016). Fake it till you make it: Reputation, competition, and Yelp review fraud. Management Science, 62(12), 3412-3427. https://doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2015.2304
Nam, K., Baker, J., Ahmad, N., & Goo, J. (2020). Determinants of writing positive and negative electronic word-of-mouth: Empirical evidence for two types of expectation confirmation. Decision Support Systems, 129, 113168. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.dss.2019.113168
Osburg, V. S., Yoganathan, V., Bartikowski, B., Liu, H., & Strack, M. (2020). Effects of ethical certification and ethical eWoM on talent attraction. Journal of Business Ethics, 164(3), 535-548. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-4018-8
Previte, J., Russell-Bennett, R., Mulcahy, R., & Hartel, C. (2019). The role of emotional value for reading and giving eWOM in altruistic services. Journal of Business Research, 99, 157-166. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbusres.2019.02.030
Roy, G., Datta, B., & Mukherjee, S. (2019). Role of electronic word-of-mouth content and valence in influencing online purchase behavior. Journal of Marketing Communications, 25(6), 661-684. https://doi.org/10.1080/13527266.2018.1497681
Stamolampros, P., Korfiatis, N., Chalvatzis, K., & Buhalis, D. (2019). Job satisfaction and employee turnover determinants in high contact services: Insights from Employees’ Online reviews. Tourism Management, 75, 130-147. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2019.04.030
Steward, M. D., Narus, J. A., & Roehm, M. L. (2018). An exploratory study of business-to-business online customer reviews: external online professional communities and internal vendor scorecards. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 46(2), 173-189. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11747-017-0556-3
Stubb, C., & Colliander, J. (2019). “This is not sponsored content”–The effects of impartiality disclosure and e-commerce landing pages on consumer responses to social media influencer posts. Computers in Human Behavior, 98, 210-222. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chb.2019.04.024
Uchinaka, S., Yoganathan, V., & Osburg, V. S. (2019). Classifying residents’ roles as online place-ambassadors. Tourism Management, 71, 137-150. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tourman.2018.10.008
Vermeer, S. A., Araujo, T., Bernritter, S. F., & van Noort, G. (2019). Seeing the wood for the trees: How machine learning can help firms in identifying relevant electronic word-of-mouth in social media. International Journal of Research in Marketing, 36(3), 492-508. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijresmar.2019.01.010
Wakefield, L. T., & Wakefield, R. L. (2018). Anxiety and ephemeral social media use in negative eWOM creation. Journal of Interactive Marketing, 41, 44-59. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.intmar.2017.09.005
Xu, X., & Lee, C. (2020). Utilizing the platform economy effect through EWOM: Does the platform matter?. International Journal of Production Economics, 227, 107663. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijpe.2020.107663