Opinion Leadership: Non-work-related advice in a work setting

Viju Raghupathi, Ofer Arazy, Nanda Kumar, Bracha Shapira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Opinion leaders influence the decisions of others and play a significant role in disseminating information,
specifically in the domain of e-commerce. Prior studies exploring the factors that affect a person‟s ability to
influence others have been conducted in either a work setting [i.e. advice networks] or leisure setting (e.g. movie
recommendation). However, it is common for these networks to interweave, for instance when a person asks for
advice from work colleagues on a personal issue, like the purchase of a car. This suggests that there is a need to
differentiate between the antecedents of opinion leadership that stem from one‟s position in the professional network
and the antecedents that stem from personal characteristics associated with the specific non-work related advice [e.g.
expertise in cars]. To explore how opinion leadership is determined in such multifaceted settings, we develop a
theoretical framework of opinion leadership. The results from an empirical study of a movie advice task that was
conducted in a professional setting, demonstrate that both movie-related trustworthiness and work-related centrality
exert distinct effects on one's ability to influence others opinions regarding movies. Implications for theory and
practice of e-commerce are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)220-234
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Electronic Commerce Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2009


  • opinion leader
  • social network
  • competence
  • benevolence
  • network centrality


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