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Title: Perceived interactivity, attitudes and avoidance of sponsored posts : a theoretical and empirical investigation of blog readers
Author: Mutum, Dilip S.
ISNI:       0000 0004 2724 4072
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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Despite the profound implication of blogs for marketing communications, there are very few theoretical and empirical studies on this emerging social phenomenon. This study is one of the first to investigate how blog users engage with blogs. Specifically it looks at the relationship between perceived interactivity and attitude towards blogs and between perceived interactivity and sponsored posts on blogs. It also looks at how personal factors and blog characteristic factors influences consumers' attitude towards blogs and sponsored posts on blogs. Key literature was reviewed, following which a conceptual framework was developed which was partly based on the advertising hierarchy of effects model and incorporating adaptations of the concepts of need for cognition, technology acceptance model as well as the concepts of perceived interactivity, perceived credibility, attitude towards Websites and avoidance of advertising. 427 completed responses were received out of which 408 responses were used for the initial analysis. After removal of outliers, 399 responses were used for the final analysis. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to refine the constructs and to test for convergent validity, discriminant validity and construct reliability. Structural equation modelling was used to look at the various fit measures and also to empirically test the proposed hypotheses. The results indicate that the higher the interactivity of blogs, the more likely it was for blog users to have a more favourable perception of sponsored posts on the blogs. On the other hand, perceived interactivity was found to be a highly significant and important negative predictor of the avoidance of sponsored posts on blogs. This means that a positive attitude towards blogs does not directly translate into a positive attitude towards sponsored posts on blogs. Using the new typology of mediations and non-mediations as given by Zhao et al. (2010), the importance of the attitude towards blogs construct was also highlighted as it was found to have a mediating effect between perceived interactivity and avoidance of sponsored posts on blogs as well as between perceived credibility and avoidance of sponsored posts on blog constructs. The study also revealed some serious issues with old and widely accepted constructs, specifically, the need for cognition and the technology acceptance model. Moreover, the results show that the need for cognition of blog users; the perceived interactivity and perceived credibility of the blog (and the blogger) are positively related to the attitude towards blogs.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Warwick Business School
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering