Just as price promotions can be specific ($10 off) or tensile (up to 20 percent off), information exchanged in word-of-mouth (WOM) communication can also be specific or tensile. This study introduces the distinction between tensile and specific claims in the WOM context and shows that tensile WOM is less effective than specific WOM. Information specificity also plays a moderating role: source expertise and tie strength between the receiver and the sender of WOM communication matter only when the information exchanged is tensile. If the information exchanged is specific, the effects of source expertise and tie strength are marginalized.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors thank J.H. Kim for help with data collection and Jean Jacobson for editorial help. This research was partially supported by the Hankuk University of Foreign Studies Research Fund.