HCBE Faculty Articles

Title

Prosumer Motivations for Electronic Word-Of-Mouth Communication Behaviors

Document Type

Article

Date

2017

Publication Title

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN or ISBN

1757-9880

Volume

8

Issue

2

First Page

280

Last Page

295

Description

Purpose

“Prosumers” (combining “producer” and “consumers”) describes consumers’ ability to openly share their product/service experiences and thereby drive sales and digital marketing. Understanding what motivates active prosumers to engage in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) and share or review their hotel experiences online can help organizations empathize with consumers and use their messages to co-create value. Identifying prosumers’ motivators can enable companies to properly target them as resources for review or consumer feedback studies. This paper aims to investigate the influence of motivators (intrinsic and extrinsic), service quality and age on consumers’ eWOM communication behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

A panel of 204 travelers was surveyed regarding their hotel travel experiences, propensity to write online reviews, preferred review-writing platform, motivations for writing reviews and impressions of service quality. To test the hypotheses, a multivariate regression analysis was performed with eWOM as the dependent variable. Differences in eWOM as a function of preferred review platform were also tested using ANOVA, with a multiple comparison analysis that underlines the differences between prosumers who prefer different types of review platforms and their eWOM behaviors.

Findings

Both intrinsic and extrinsic motivators, as well as service reliability, had a significant influence on eWOM behavior, while service tangibility had a negative relationship. Additionally, prosumers’ engagement in eWOM about their hospitality experience differed according to their preferred review platform.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of the analysis underline the importance of consumer motivations and of satisfaction with service quality in the context of digital review behavior. For marketing and hospitality research, this shows the benefits of including not only individual characteristics and demographics when analyzing review behavior but also elements such as perceptions of service quality. Given the differences in how the dimensions of service quality affect consumers’ engagement in online review behavior, this represents a very important topic for research and can be included in future studies that analyze the consumer review behavior model.

Practical implications

Regarding the implications for practitioners, this study highlights the important role played by consumer satisfaction with service in the hospitality industry and its effect on their involvement in online reviews. Managers should be focused constantly on offering great service to their guests, while, at the same time, offering them motivations to engage in posting positive reviews about their vacation. Moreover, as the results of this study imply that various dimensions of service quality have a different impact, managers should focus especially on the aspects that consumers consider important and constantly include in their reviews, such as the tangibles dimension. The results of this study also have the potential to provide to businesses more information to improve the social aspects of vacationing, which can not only improve perceptions about service quality but can also have a positive influence on consumers’ motivations.

Originality/value

This paper develops a better understanding of what motivates people to engage in the eWOM communication behavior of writing online hotel reviews, by showing the effect of consumer motivations and service quality variables on prosumers’ engagement in online review behavior.

DOI

10.1108/JHTT-09-2016-0048

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