Publication Details

Bhayani, A. 2017, 'Do consumers consider Word of Mouth for crucial life decisions?', International Journal of Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Marketing, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. e1575-1-e1575-10.


This study reexamines the Theory of Reasoned Action in a culture with higher uncertainty avoidance and power distance and analyzes how homophily and the ability (expertise) of word of mouth (WOM) sources impacts on the consumer attitudes and purchase decisions with respect to such high-risk credence products as college selection. By using an interpretivist approach to model building, the study comprises 41 interviews, finding that WOM made a significant impact on attitudes but not on purchase behaviors. Homophily with friends was regarded as an important factor at the search stage, but strong ties were more important in the purchasing of the product. Expertise and the credibility of the WOM played a significant role in generating trust in WOM, resulting in attitude change, although with a minimal impact on purchase behavior. The article concludes with implications for practice.



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