A Structural Equation Modeling Approach to Investigate Negative Word of Mouth Impact on Customer-Based Brand Equity: Does Attribution Matter?

Ahmed Yehia Ebeid, Hesham F. Gadelrab


There is a shortage in the research which addresses the relationship between negative word of mouth (WOM) communication and customer-based brand equity dilution. This research utilizes attribution theory to demonstrate the negative word-of-mouth impact on the customer-based brand equity. Structural equation modeling was used to investigate the proposed effect of negative WOM on brand equity. The study sample consists of 71 post-graduate students, the object of negative WOM was laptops which considered a highly involvement product. Experimental investigation results reveal that customer exposure to negative word-of-mouth increases the brand equity dilution. Results were discussed in the light of casual attribution theory, and practical implications were provided.


Attribution Theory, Brand Equity, Word-of-Mouth, Structural Equation Modeling.

Full Text:



Aaker, A., & David (1996). Measuring Brand Equity Across Products and Markets. California Management Review, 38(3), 102-120.

Adjei, M.T., Noble, S.M., & Noble, C.H. (2010). The influence of C2C communications in online brand communities on customer purchase behavior. Academy of Marketing Science, 38, 634–653.

Ailawadi, K. L., Lehmann, D. R., & Neslin, S. A. (2003). Revenue Premium as an Outcome Measure of Brand Equity. Journal of Marketing, 67(4), 1-17.

Arbuckle, J. L. (2012). Amos (Version 21.0) [Computer Program]. Chicago: SPSS.

Arndt, J. (1967). Role of Product-Related Conversations in the Diffusion of a New Product. Journal of Marketing Research, 4(3), 291-295.

Baldauf, A., Cravens, K. K., Diamantopoulos, A., & Zeugner-Roth, K. P. (2009). The impact of product–country image and marketing efforts on retailer-perceived brand equity: An empirical analysis. Journal of Retailing, 85, 437–52.

Bambauer-Sachse, S., & Mangold, S. (2011). Brand equity dilution through negative online word-of-mouth communication. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 18, 38-45.

Bearden, W.O., Richard, G.N., & Teel, J.E (1989). Measurement of Consumer Susceptibility to Interpersonal Influence. Journal of Consumer Research, 15(4), 473-481.

Bentler, P.M. (1990). Comparative Fit Indexes in Structural Models, Psychological Bulletin, 107 (2), 238-46.

Bollen, K. A. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.

Browne, M. W. & Cudeck, R. (1993). Alternative ways of assessing model fit. In: Bollen, K. A. & Long, J. S. (Eds.) Testing Structural Equation Models. pp. 136–162. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Buchanan, L., Simmons, C.J., & Bickart, B.A. (1999). Brand Equity Dilution: Retailer Display and Context Brand Effects. Journal of Marketing Research, 36(3), 345-355.

Buil, I., De Chernatony, L., & Martinez, E. (2013). Examining the role of advertising and sales promotions in brand equity creation. Journal of Business Research, 66, 115-122.

Calder, B. J. & Burnkrant, R.E. (1977). Interpersonal Influence on Consumer Behavior: An Attribution Theory Approach, Journal of Consumer Research, 4, 29-38.

Chahal, H. & Bala, M. (2012). Significant components of service brand equity in healthcare sector. International Journal of Health Care, 25(4), 343-362.

Chatterjee, P. (2001), Online Reviews – Do Consumers Use Them? In: M. C. Gilly & J. Myers-Levy (Eds.) ACR 2001 Proceedings. pp. 129-134. UT: Association for Consumer Research.

Chattopadhyay, T., Dutta, R. N., & Sivani, S. (2010). Media mix elements affecting brand equity: A study of the Indian passenger car market. Management Review, 22, 173-185.

Crosno, J. L. , Freling, T. H. & Skinner, S. J. (2009). Does brand social power mean market might? Exploring the influence of brand social power on brand evaluations. Psychology & Marketing, 26, 91-121.

Dwyer, P. (2007). Measuring the value of electronic word of mouth and its impact in consumer communities. Journal of interactive marketing, 21(2), 63-79.

Erdem, T., Swait, J., Broniarczyk, S., Chakravarti, D., Kapferer, J., Keane, M., Roberts, J., Steenkamp, E.J., & Zettelmeyer, F. (1999). Brand equity, consumer learning and choice. Marketing Letters, 10, 301-318.

Fiske, S.T., & Taylor, S.E. (1991). Social cognition (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

Gadelrab, H.F. (2004). The Effect of Model Misspecification on Overall Goodness-of-fit Indices for Structural Equation Modeling. PhD Dissertation. Wayne State University, Detroit, MI, US.

Herr, P.M., Kardes, R. & Frank, J.K. (1991). Effects of Word-of-Mouth and Product-Attribute Information on Persuasion: An Accessibility-Diagnosticity Perspective. Journal of Consumer Research,17 (4), 454-462.

Hu, L., & Bentler, P.M. (1999). Cutoff criteria for fit indexes in covariance structure analysis: Conventional criteria versus new alternatives. Structural Equation Modeling, 6, 1–55.

IBM Corp. (Released 2012). IBM SPSS Statistics for Windows, Version 21.0. Armonk, NY: IBM Corp.

Keller, K. L. (1993). Conceptualization, measuring and managing customer-based brand equity. Journal of marketing, 57, 1-22.

Keller, K. L. (2003). Managing brand equity. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Kelley, H. H. (1967). Attribution theory in social psychology. In: D. Levine (ed.), Nebraska Symposium on Motivation (Volume 15, pp. 192-238). Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press.

Kim, J., & Hyun, Y.J. (2011). A model to investigate the influence of marketing-mix efforts and corporate image on brand equity in the IT software sector. Industrial Marketing Management, 40, 424-438.

Laczniak, R.N., DeCarlo, E.T. & Ramaswami, N.S. (2001). Consumers' Responses to Negative Word-of-Mouth Communication: An Attribution Theory Perspective. Journal of consumer Psychology, 11(1), 57-73.

Malle, B.F. (2003). Attributions as Behavior Explanations: Toward a New Theory. Unpublished manuscript, University of Oregon.

Marsh, H.W., Hau, K. T., & Wen, Z. (2004). In search of golden rules: Comment on hypothesis-testing approaches to setting cutoff values for fit indexes and dangers in overgeneralizing Hu and Bentler’s (1999) findings. Structural Equation Modeling, 11, 320–341.

Park, C.S., & Srinivasan, V. (1994). A survey-based method for measuring and understanding brand equity and its extendibility. Journal of Marketing Research, 31, 271-288.

Raykov, T., & Marcoulides, G. A. (2000). A method for comparing completely standardized solutions in multiple groups. Structural Equation Modeling, 7, 292-308.

Simon, C.J., & Sullivan, M.W. (1993). The Measurement and Determinants of Brand Equity: A Financial Approach. Marketing Science, 12, 28-52.

Srinivasan, V., Park, C.S., & Chang, D.R. (2005). An approach to the measurement, analysis, and prediction of brand equity and its sources. Management Science, 9, 1433-1448.

Tucker, L. R., & Lewis, C. (1973). A reliability coefficient for maximum likelihood factor analysis. Psychometrika,38, 1–10.

Washburn, J.H., Till, B.D., & Priluck, R. (2004). Brand Alliance and Customer-Based Brand-Equity Effects. Psychology and Marketing, 21, 387-508.

Weiner, B. (1995). Judgments of Responsibility: A Foundation for a Theory of Social Conduct. New York: The Guilford Press.

Yoo, B., & Donthu, N. (2001). Developing and validating multidimensional consumer-based brand equity scale. Journal of Business Research, 52, 1-14.

Yoo, B., Donthu, N., & Lee, S. (2000). An examination of selected marketing mix elements and brand equity. Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, 28,195-211.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18533/ijbsr.v4i9.605


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c)


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


If you find difficulties in submitting manuscript please forward your doc file to support@thejournalofbusiness.org. Our support team will assist you in submission process and other technical matters.

In order to get notifications on inbox please add  this domain thejournalofbusiness.org in your email safe list.

International journal of business and social research (Print)
ISSN 2164-2540

International journal of business and social research (Online)
ISSN 2164-2559

[International Journal of Business and Social Research (IJBSR) previously published by MIR Center for Socio-Economic Research, MD, USA. From February 2018 this journal is published by the LAR Center Press, OR, USA]