This research uncovers a social factor that helps to explain how a consumer’s cultural orientation affects the extent to which they engage in online word-of-mouth (eWOM). The first study aggregates archival data from 52 countries and finds a positive relationship between collectivism and the extent that consumers share product-related information on social networking sites; however, collectivism is not found to relate to the extent that consumers rate and review products online. A second study examines why collectivism is positively associated with sharing product-related information on social networking sites. Collectivism is measured at the individual level among consumers in two culturally distinct countries—India and the United States. The results demonstrate that a collectivistic orientation is positively associated with similarity among members of one’s online social network (i.e., homophily) and that homophily is positively associated with sharing product-related information on social networking sites. In an increasingly global online marketplace, these findings provide needed guidance on how culture affects eWOM.
- social media
- social networking sites