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

  • Dale F. Duhan
  • Scott D. Johnson
  • James B. Wilcox
  • Gilbert D. Harrell


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.


Prior Knowledge Decision Task Task Difficulty Consumer Research Consumer Decision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Academy of Marketing Science 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale F. Duhan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Scott D. Johnson
    • 3
    • 5
  • James B. Wilcox
    • 2
  • Gilbert D. Harrell
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.University of OregonUSA
  2. 2.the College of Business at Texas Tech UniversityUSA
  3. 3.the College of Business and Public AdministrationUniversity of LouisvilleUSA
  4. 4.Pennsylvania State UniversityUSA
  5. 5.Eli Broad Graduate School of ManagementMichigan State UniversityEast Lansing

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