Research paper by Martin Williams and Francis Buttle, in Journal of Marketing Management. Examines how different company work groups – sales, marketing, PR, advertising and senior management – recognise and respond to negative word of mouth. Evidence is strong that firms are much more aware of the downside of negative WOM than they are the upside of positive WOM. They invest more resource in mitigating negative WOM than they do promoting positive WOM. Each work group has different understandings of the forms negative word of mouth can take, and the responses available to their work group and companies more broadly. The data for this paper was gathered from 3 major organisations, one financial services brand, one utility, and one non-profit.

Last Modified: March 24, 2015