Ulla Hakala and Birgitta of the Sandberg Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland, and Marta Zurawik of Wigan, UK, have investigated electronic word-of-mouth, so-called e-WOM in the context of a relatively new recreational sport, Nordic walking. They hoped to reveal how positive and negative emotions affect e-WOM. Their hypothesis underpinning the study suggests that there is limited knowledge of emotional sharing concerning novel recreational activities.
At the moment, the team explains, there is limited knowledge on emotional sharing concerning novel recreational activities, ones that some – whether participant or observer – might perceive as embarrassing in some way. They have analysed the online discussion surrounding Nordic walking in different countries and found that there are positive and negative views about the activity as one might expect.
“Our understanding of the contagion of emotions in social encounters is limited and the effect of discrete emotions on changes in physical activity behaviour remains largely unexplored,” the team writes. Their work sets out to explore the emotional response to novel recreational activities and to set a context for the study of eWOM with respect to such activities. They suggest that their work is “the beginning of a journey to explore the social sharing of emotions and the role of social media in sharing opinions and experiences on engagement in novel physical activities.”
Zurawik, M., Hakala, U. and Sandberg, B. (2019) ‘Positive and negative emotional spirals in e-WOM of new recreational sports: a case study on Nordic walking’, Int. J. Leisure and Tourism Marketing, Vol. 6, Nos. 3/4, pp.254–278.