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Word-of-mouth communication in marketing: An exploratory study of motivations behind opinion leadership and opinion seeking

Özdamar Ertekin, Zeynep
Atik, Deniz
With a qualitative approach, this research aims to gain a deeper understanding of the motivations behind both opinion leadership and opinion seeking, in a non-western context. Findings show that no one is exclusively an opinion leader or a seeker and that both opinion leaders and seekers are motivated by deeper psychological needs, which may have a critical role in theory and practice. In addition to previously identified motivations and characteristics of opinion leaders and opinion seekers, new dimensions have been revealed. The diversity of motivations identified in this study suggests that managers must consider a broad range of reasons and deeper psychological needs that lead consumers to engage in word-of-mouth communication. Future research guidelines are provided which we hope will inspire additional empirical work.