Intended audience and valence of electronic word-of-mouth on social media: a study of Dutch consumers

Gauze Pitipon Kitirattarkarn, Weiting Tao, Wan Hsiu Sunny Tsai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This study aims to systematically evaluate the psychological factors of independent versus interdependent self-construal, self-evaluation motives of enhancement versus verification, and the mediating role of bridging and bonding social capital on consumers' positive and negative brand-related electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) sharing with in-group and out-group audiences. Design/methodology/approach: The online survey was conducted with young adult consumers in the Netherlands (N = 322). Multiple regression analysis with PROCESS was used to test the hypotheses. Findings: Consumers with independent self-construal are more likely to share negative eWOM, particularly via social messengers with in-group members. These consumers, however, tend to share positive eWOM on companies' social media accounts that reach out-group audiences including online strangers. Additionally, self-evaluation was the key motivation driving positive eWOM sharing with in-groups, while bridging social capital mediated the effects of self-construal on sharing negative eWOM. Originality/value: The paper provides a more holistic understanding of the factors impacting the valence and intended audience for eWOM sharing. The findings advance eWOM research by differentiating positive and negative eWOM sharing in the context of intergroup communication.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)990-1017
Number of pages28
JournalInternet Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2020


  • Intergroup communication
  • Self-construal
  • Self-enhancement
  • Self-verification
  • Social capital
  • eWOM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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