Negative WOM (nWOM) as an evaluative response to dissatisfactory consumption experiences is deemed of greater referral value when it communicates negative disconfirmation of consumption-related expectations. Nonetheless, the nWOM is frequently a demolition force to brands and companies, causing less desirable brand evaluations and purchase intentions. It is essential to understand how negative WOM is capable of producing contagious influences among consumers. As with the development of the Internet, sites of online forums and product review platforms proliferate and intensify the spreading of eWOM. Concerning diffusion speed and reach, the contagious influence of nWOM via Internet cannot be overlook for its devastating power on brands and marketers. Thusly, the present study focuses on nWOM recipients’ viewpoints at the communicators and investigates how the recipients’ perceptions of the communicators’ motivation, ability and opportunity in message encoding will affect nWOM communication effect in the web-mediated context. The presentation of service consumption experience in online WOM is of a greater concern to the study considering service’s intangibility and adaptability properties which might demand more concrete information for WOM reception and evaluations. Using three experiments, the study applies the MAO theory (motivation, ability and opportunity), posits and tests if WOM communicators’ vivid presentation of personal dissatisfactory experience will provide a better information processing opportunity to receivers. In addition, nWOM communicators’ perceived benevolence (motivation) and expertise (ability) in articulating personal experience are examined to see if these two factors further enhance the contagious influence of a vivid experiential presentation (opportunity) of online nWOM.
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- The Contagious Influence of Experiential Presentation in Online Negative Word-of-Mouth: A Sender’s MAO Perspective