Online Opinion Leadership in Negative eWOM Dissemination
Zhang, RM; Yap, SF; Xu, YZ
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With the rise of online media channels, negative electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) can damage a well-established brand within a short time frame. Departing from the past research that focuses on positive WOM and offline setting, this study addresses issues as follow: Does an opinion leader exist in the course of negative e-WOM dissemination after a bad news about a brand or its product revealed to the public? How is the online opinion leadership established in the process of negative e-WOM dissemination? How does such an opinion leader influence the online community members’ sentiments towards the brand and its product? Through the content analysis on iphone6’s bending issue, the research uncovers how online opinion leadership is developed and how it functions in eWOM dissemination. This study advances the understanding of the intervening factors that underlie the influence of opinion leader and its role in the process of negative e-WOM dissemination within an online community.