Virtual community produces a new social model and consumption actions, which greatly affect an individual’s network consumption behavior. This research investigated electronic word-of-mouth (EWOM) in virtual communities and examined the influence of negative EWOM on the switching behavior of consumers. Based on the analysis of the extant theory, we proposed the elements of virtual community involvement, negative EWOM’s strength, consumer brand switching behavior, and complaint reaction. Subsequently, we postulated hypotheses. To explore the specific relationship between the variables further, we conducted an empirical test of the assumptions and the model using a questionnaire survey. Contrary to prior research findings, we found that virtual relationships cannot improve the reliability of negative EWOM, and that negative EWOM retransmission has no correlation with brand switching behavior.
Field of Research: Virtual community involvement; negative electronic word-of-mouth; brand Switching behavior; complaint reaction
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