The effects of social capital on cross-cultural eWOM communication in minority-mainstream consumer interactions on social media

Shalom Levy, Yaniv Gvili, Hayiel Hino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Social media sites facilitate electronic word of mouth (eWOM) communication among consumers of diverse cultures and ethnicities. Based on the theory of planned behaviour (TPB), the present research proposes a conceptual framework for minority consumers' engagement in eWOM associated with the mainstream culture. The model incorporates social capital and social interaction as key factors that affect cross-cultural eWOM communication between minority and mainstream consumers. This research also aims to explore the responses of minority consumers to eWOM communications originating with members of the majority group. Design/methodology/approach: A structural equation modelling (SEM) procedure was applied to data collected from social media (Facebook) users (N = 539) from two minority communities: Israeli Arab and Israeli Ultra-Orthodox Jewish minorities. Findings: The findings show that: (a) minority consumers' engagement with eWOM is indirectly related to social capital, (b) this relationship is mediated by minority consumers' attitudes and their subjective norms regarding eWOM engagement with dominant cultural groups, (c) social interaction of minorities with the dominant culture enhances the influence of social capital on eWOM engagement and (d) behavioural engagement with eWOM varies across cultural minorities, depending on the minority group’s unique cultural characteristics. Practical implications: The findings have managerial implications for practitioners who use social media in their marketing and business activities, as they demonstrate that the effectiveness of eWOM communication is contingent on the cultural characteristics of the ethnic minority consumer groups being targeted by managers. Originality/value: The present research contributes to the theory of consumer engagement by demonstrating that engagement is contingent on the intercultural social context in which eWOM is communicated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Emerging Markets
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • Engagement
  • Minority consumers
  • Social capital
  • Social media
  • eWOM

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