Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 36 Number 3 2019 pp. 969-1001

Factors Affecting the Adoption of an Electronic Word of Mouth Message: A Meta-Analysis

Qahri-Saremi, Hamed and Montazemi, Ali Reza


Electronic word of mouth (eWoM) messages are increasingly consequential for consumers’ decisions regarding products/services. This has led to a large body of scholarly research on factors affecting eWoM message adoption. Adoption of an eWoM message refers to accepting the information and recommendations contained in an eWoM message, which consequently influence consumers’ cognitive and behavioral tendencies toward pertinent products/services. Notwithstanding the contributions of prior eWoM studies, we observe inconsistent findings across these studies that make a consensus difficult to reach. Lack of consistency is also evident among eWoM service providers in the selection and presentation order of the pertinent factors on their sites. To address this gap, we draw on the heuristic-systematic model in a meta-analytic structural equation modeling study to test a nomological eWoM adoption model that assesses the factors affecting the adoption of an eWoM message. Our meta-analysis of 87 eWoM studies, comprising 105,318 observations, sheds light on eight factors toward eWoM message adoption. Our findings unravel the multitude of ways in which these factors can influence eWoM message adoption and show the relative importance of these factors based on their total effects on eWoM message adoption. This enables the eWoM service providers to enhance the inconsistencies in the selection and presentation order of important factors toward eWoM message adoption on their sites.

Key words and phrases: electronic word of mouth, eWoM message adoption, message helpfulness, online reviews, additive effect, bias effect, attenuated effect, meta-analysis, TSSEM, Heuristic-Systematic Model, structural equation modeling