Complaining to the masses: The role of protest framing in customer-created complaint web sites

James C. Ward, Amy Ostrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

253 Scopus citations

Abstract

Consumers who once might have voiced their dissatisfaction with a firm to a few friends and acquaintances are now constructing Web sites to tell the world about their dissatisfaction. Protest-framing theory reveals the interlocking rhetorical tactics (injustice, identity, and agency framing) consumers use to mobilize mass audiences against a firm, contributing important insights to our understanding of negative word of mouth. Moreover, an analysis of protest sites reveals that consumers "frame" their corporate betrayal to the public to demonstrate their power to influence others and gain revenge. As a result, a community of discontent may arise in which both individual and social identities appear to be constructed and affirmed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)220-230
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Consumer Research
Volume33
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Anthropology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics and Econometrics
  • Marketing

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