Consumers' Responses to Negative Word-of-Mouth Communication: An Attribution Theory Perspective

Academic Article


  • Research on negative word-of-mouth communication (WOMC) in general, and the process by which negative WOMC affects consumers' brand evaluations in particular, has been limited. This study uses attribution theory to explain consumers' responses to negative WOMC. Experimental results suggest that (a) causal attributions mediate the negative WOMC-brand evaluation relation, (b) receivers' attributions depend on the manner in which the negative WOMC is conveyed, and (c) brand name affects attributions. Results also suggest that when receivers attribute the negativity of the WOMC message to the brand, brand evaluations decrease; however, if receivers attribute the negativity to the communicator, brand evaluations increase.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Laczniak RN; DeCarlo TE; Ramaswami SN
  • Start Page

  • 57
  • End Page

  • 73
  • Volume

  • 11
  • Issue

  • 1