Date: August 2010
Creator: Taylor, David George
Description: To paraphrase an old bromide, "you are what you consume." Consumers derive their sense of self through products, brands, performances and a host of other meaning-laden materials that they consume. The marketing literature has long recognized possessions as an extension of the self-concept. Although hundreds of studies have examined the linkage between consumption and the self, surprisingly few have examined a related phenomenon - the relationship between the self-concept and word of mouth (WOM). A handful of studies have demonstrated the use of WOM to enhance the consumer's self-image, but most extant research focuses on how the act of engaging in WOM is used to build the self-concept. To date there has not been an extensive examination of the process by which WOM transfers the meaning of a product, brand, advertisement or narrative from one consumer to another as part of identity construction. This dissertation attempts to answer the following research questions: 1. Do self-concept and identity motivate consumers to engage in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM)? 2. Is there a conceptual model to represent the effects of message characteristics, product/brand characteristics and individual personality differences on the self-enhancement value of eWOM and resulting eWOM behaviors? A conceptual model was proposed and, ...
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