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Home arrow Engineering arrow Measuring Electronic Word-of-Mouth Effectiveness: Developing and Applying the eWOM Trust Scale
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Conceptualizing Trust in eWOM

eWOM trust is understood in this research as a latent construct which precedes consumer eWOM behaviours and acts as a guidelined related choices. Diamantopoulos et al. (2008, p. 1204) define latent constructs (or variables) as “phenomena of theoretical interest which cannot be directly observed and have to be assessed by manifest measures which are observable”. According to Nunnally and Bernstein (1994, p. 85), “such a variable is literally something that scientists 'construct' (put together from their own imaginations) and which does not exist as an observable dimension of behaviour”. Hence, a comprehensive conceptualization of the construct of interest as a first step is critical in any measure development process (DeVellis, 2012; Kaplan, 1964; Netemeyer et al., 2003; Schwab, 1980). By following the notion of James and Jones (James & Jones, 1974), Schwab (1980) emphasizes that the definition of the conceptual meaning and the theoretical boundaries of a construct should have supreme priority in substantive research endeavors. Albers and Hildebrandt (2006) state that the importance of a clear conceptual definition often remains unrecognized by researchers. Hence, in order to overcome this problem, the following section aims to clarify the domain of the discussed construct, the construct itself and its composition. By building on theoretical insights and conclusions of the previous literature review, this thesis attempts to provide a conceptual framework that enables a multi-layer analysis of eWOM trust and allows the integration of key trust concepts and different types of trust that have their theoretical origins in different academic disciplines.

 
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