Trust and reciprocity effect on electronic word-of-mouth in online review communities

Rebwar Kamal Gharib, Alexeis Garcia-Perez, Sally Dibb, Zilia Iskoujina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Social media developments in the last decade have led to the emergence of a new form of word of mouth (WOM) in the digital environment. Electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) is considered by many scholars and practitioners to be the most influential informal communication mechanism between businesses and potential and actual consumers. The purpose of this paper is to extend knowledge about WOM in this new context by proposing a conceptual framework that enables a better understanding of how trust and reciprocity influence eWOM participation in ORCs.

This study applies non-probability convenience sampling technique to conduct a quantitative study of data from an online survey of 189 members of ORCs. Partial least squares (PLS) is used to analyse the correlations between individuals’ intention to seek opinion, to give their own opinion and to pass on the opinion of another within ORCs.

The data analysis reveals that opinion seeking within ORCs had a direct effect on opinion giving and opinion passing. Ability trust and integrity trust had a positive effect on opinion seeking, while benevolence trust had a direct positive effect on opinion passing. Reciprocity had a direct impact on opinion passing. While reciprocity did not affect opinion giving, the relationship between these two concepts was mediated by integrity trust.

Research limitations/implications
By studying the complexities that characterise the relationships between reciprocity, trust and eWOM, the study extends understanding of eWOM in ORCs.

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of only a few papers that have examined the complex interrelationships between reciprocity, trust and eWOM in the context of ORCs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)120-138
JournalJournal of Enterprise Information Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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