Managerial response strategies to eWOM: A framework and research agenda for webcare

Ana Isabel Lopes*, Nathalie Dens, Patrick De Pelsmacker, Edward C. Malthouse

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Managers increasingly address client feedback online, a practice known as webcare. Based on a systematic literature review on webcare, we provide a framework that aims to identify potential generalizations, discuss possible explanations for inconsistencies that require further investigation, and identify the under-researched areas concerning the managerial responses to eWOM (electronic Word-of-Mouth). This framework covers several practical and theoretical questions. Our systematic review suggests that organizations should respond to eWOM, especially when it is negative, and should do so in a personalized, detailed, and timely manner. Accommodative webcare should go beyond a mere apology and should focus on solving the issue. We integrate these results from prior research with insights from justice theory, attribution theory, message personalization, and service recovery to develop an extensive conceptual framework describing the factors to consider when engaging in webcare and the potential outcomes. This framework guides our suggestions for future research that should disentangle the many contradictory effects (e.g., when to use defensive webcare) and cover under-researched topics (e.g., webcare strategies for positive WOM specifically or the underlying mechanisms explaining the effects of different webcare strategies), and the mechanisms through which webcare strategies lead to better business performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number104739
JournalTourism Management
StatePublished - Oct 2023


  • Conceptual framework
  • eWOM
  • Managerial responses
  • Online reviews
  • Research agenda
  • Webcare

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management


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