Negative Word of Mouth: A Systematic Review and Research Agenda


  • Swapan Deep Arora Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow
  • Devashish Das Gupta Indian Institute of Management Lucknow
  • Gillian S. Naylor University of Nevada, Las Vegas


The inevitability of firm-level failures is well-accepted despite the well-intentioned efforts of firms to satisfy and delight consumers in every value-exchange. Several consumer responses may follow dissatisfactory exchanges, with negative word-of-mouth (NWOM) being a commonly exhibited response, having potentially severe consequences for the firm. NWOM canvas has seen a significant shift with the increasing relevance of the internet and social media. These developments have changed how NWOM is generated, received, and acted upon by consumers and correspondingly managed by firms. We review the evolution of the state of knowledge in the domain, suggest conceptual refinements, present an aggregative framework of antecedents, and propose a taxonomy of NWOM behaviors. This study aims to rekindle researcher interest in the domain and to widen practitioners’ horizon of NWOM when they set out to manage and optimize firm-consumer exchanges.

Author Biography

Devashish Das Gupta, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow

Dr. Devashish Das Gupta is working as Associate professor with the Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, India. He has published widely in reputed journals and is curently working in the tourism domain.


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