Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Hospitality and Tourism Management

First Advisor

SooCheong Jang

Committee Member 1

James Anderson

Committee Member 2

Chun-Hung Tang

Committee Member 3

DongHee Kim


To understand the underlying constructs and mechanisms of the generation of positive hotel electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM), this study developed a comprehensive model that explains why consumers engage in positive eWOM generation about hotels and what triggers such behaviors. To develop a conceptual model, first, this study identified relevant constructs: a set of eWOM motivations (e.g., self-enhancement, gaining social benefit, helping other consumers, and helping the hotel), consumption-related factors (e.g., utilitarian and hedonic value), a social influence-related factor (e.g., online social capital), and behavioral intention (e.g., intention to generate positive eWOM about hotels). The constructs were incorporated into an integrated model of eWOM formation, and the relationships among constructs were investigated. Last, this study examined the moderating effect of opinion leadership in these relationships. To this end, this study used an online self-administered survey method and collected a sample of 570 usable responses. For data analysis, structural equation modeling was used. Results revealed that in general all identified motivations positively influenced intention to generate positive eWOM about hotels, suggesting eWOM motivations are the precursors of eWOM generation. In addition, the results suggest that hedonic consumption value had a positive impact on all eWOM motivations whereas utilitarian value only had a significant effect on motivation for helping the hotel, indicating that not all consumption values function as a trigger of eWOM motivations. This study also found that online social capital enhanced eWOM motivations, suggesting that online social capital plays a pivotal role that influences eWOM generation. Further, this study found that the overall underlying construct relationships differed between high and low opinion leadership groups, although the comparison of each path coefficient across the level of opinion leadership did not statistically significant. This study is theoretically and practically meaningful for marketing and consumer behavior literature and managers since it provides a comprehensive framework that helps better understanding of underlying constructs and mechanisms regarding the generation of positive eWOM about hotels. Additional findings, detailed discussions, implications, and limitations and future research directions are discussed in the main body of the paper.