How service values influence the processing of word-of-mouth in the evaluation of credence beliefs

Kristiina Herold, Jenni Sipilä, Anssi Tarkiainen, Sanna Sundqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this paper is to assess the effect of service values on the processing of word-of-mouth (WOM) information, and their impact on a complex belief in a high-involvement service context. Hypotheses are tested on survey data collected from 378 respondents facing a high-involvement service choice. The results suggest that two distinct information processing routes are active when consumers (here prospective students) evaluate complex beliefs. Furthermore, service values have distinct effects on the processing of WOM information. Self-oriented values foster more cognitive processing, whereas socially oriented values have the opposite effect. Considering the reasons as to why a service is needed (service values) should be a focus for marketers since they can be a powerful persuasion approach affecting the processing of WOM. This study contributes to earlier research on higher education marketing by incorporating service values into the pre-purchase phase of prospective students’ decision-making.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)59-76
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Service values
  • word-of-mouth
  • information processing
  • high-involvement service
  • credence criteria
  • consumer evaluation
  • higher education


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