Exploring antecedents and consequences of eMavenism in their electronic word-of-mouth communication
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Past studies suggest that market mavenism refers to the degree to which a consumer is likely to become a market maven. High market mavenism consumers are characterized to possess information across many kinds of product categories and initiate word-of-mouth communication (WOM). High market mavenism consumers are influential consumers and key participants in WOM communication. Due to the explosion of online communication platforms, electronic word-of-mouth communication (eWOM) comes to attention. Understanding the virtual version of market mavenism becomes a salient topic. eMavenism is the extent to which consumers are involved in finding and disseminating marketing or advertising information online. Consumers who are relatively high on eMavenism are conventionally considered eMavens. eMavenism should be regarded as a unique type of market mavenism. This dissertation study aims to examine both the antecedents and eWOM communication behavioral consequences of eMavenism. The antecedents of eMavenism are considered from scattered literature on market mavenism, while eWOM communication behavioral consequences are identified from extensive literature review on the characteristics of eWOM communication. The results suggest that psychological tendencies and technology factor are the most important antecedent groups that positively affect eMavenism. Although consumption factor is not significantly related to eMavenism, it may serve as a perspective to analyze the primary difference between eMavenism and market mavenism. The insignificant relationships between demographics and eMavenism challenge the traditional perception that high mavenism consumers are constrained to the old, the unemployed, or housewives. The findings from this dissertation study debunk that high eMavenism consumers come from a broad variety of demographic groups. The findings call for a shift from focusing on consumer demographics to focusing on consumer psychographics in analyzing eMavenism. As to eWOM communication behavioral consequences, specific anonymity types are preferred by highly eMavenist respondents. Highly eMavenist respondents stay active in different online media outlets and contribute more positive than negative eWOM in online discourse. This dissertation study enhances the theoretical understanding of eMavenism and eWOM communication. The findings are also managerially relevant.