Word-of-Mouth, Relationship Strength, Self-Determination Theory, Motivation


To understand the generation of WOM motivation, this research studies the relationship between three innate psychological needs (e.g. autonomy, competence, and relatedness) and word-of-mouth motivation based on Self-Determination Theory. How the expertise of the sender, the relationship strength between the sender and the receiver affect the motivation of word-of-mouth through these three psychological needs is also studied. A questionnaire based survey was employed to collect data. The results indicate that three psychological needs affect the motivation of word-of-mouth. Moreover, the expertise of the sender affects the motivation of word-of-mouth through competence need, and the relationship strength between the sender and the receiver affects word-of-mouth motivation through relatedness need. This study will help companies to get deeper understanding of WOM motivation, and suggestions is given to improve satisfaction of consumer basic psychological needs in marketing activities.

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