Influences on consumer use of word-of-mouth recommendation sources

Dale Duhan, Scott D. Johnson, James Wilcox, Gilbert D. Harrell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Scopus citations


This article reports the development and testing of a theoretical model of the initial stages of recommendation-based decision making by consumers. Although consumers use a variety of recommendation sources, they have different motivations for the use of different sources. The model focuses on the factors that influence the likelihood of consumers using strong-tie sources (e.g., friends and family) and weak-tie sources (e.g., acquaintances or strangers) or recommendations. The factors used in the model are the prior knowledge level of the consumer about the product being considered, the perceived decision task difficulty level, and the type of evaluative cues sought by the consumer. Hypotheses are tested using data collected in an extensive field study with consumers. Two paths or routes of influence on the use of recommendation sources are proposed and confirmed in the study.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-295
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Academy of Marketing Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1997


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