Word-of-Mouth in Consumer Decision-Making: An Agenda for Research


  • Stephen S. Tax University of Victoria
  • Murali Chandrashekaran University of Cincinnati
  • Tim Christiansen Arizona State University


The importance of word-of-mouth is well documented in the consumer behavior literature. It has been identified as a primary source of informational influence in consumer prepurchase decision making as well as a vehicle for expressing satisfaction or dissatisfaction with a product experience. With the advent and increasing use of electronic communications among consumers, it is likely that word-of-mouth will play an even larger
role in consumer satisfaction/dissatisfaction and complaining behavior processes. Despite its pervasiveness, little research has directly examined critical issues concerning the measurement of word-of-mouth or the conditions under which it exerts influence on either the giver's or receiver's future behavior. This paper examines these issues and forwards a set of propositions and an agenda for research.