טכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל
הטכניון מכון טכנולוגי לישראל - בית הספר ללימודי מוסמכים  
M.Sc Thesis
M.Sc StudentGivol Hen
SubjectA Proposed Full Range Model of Opinion Leadership
DepartmentDepartment of Industrial Engineering and Management
Supervisor Dr. Sarit Moldovan
Full Thesis text - in Hebrew Full thesis text - Hebrew Version


Abstract

Since the late 1940' opinion leadership (OL) is at the heart of academic research and practice. Consumers' decision making considered to be influenced by OL and managerial marketing decisions relies on identifying them properly. However, the theoretical structure of OL is incomplete and there is no consensual, fully comprehensive model of this trait. According to the currently accepted model, OL consist of two dimensions: communicativeness and influence. However, it appears that OL is composed of more than the above dimensions. The present research proposes two additional dimensions that may underlie OL, regarding two aspects of social network centrality: Hub and Broker. In order to examine the proposed theoretical model of OL, a new self-reporting questionnaire was developed. The questionnaire designed to measure OL based on the four mentioned dimensions: the acknowledged dimensions (communicativeness, influence) and the two newly proposed dimensions which deal with social network centrality (Hub, Broker). The research design included two studies .The participants rated their level of agreement regarding each item, on a scale ranged 1-6.In the first study, an exploratory factor analysis was conducted on the data. The results supported the notion that communicativeness and influence were indeed underlying part of OL. However, no statistical support was found for the two dimensions of social Hub and Broker. Rather, the results confirmed the existence of two types of social network centrality, in different way: instead of the functional classification that was suggested (Hub and Broker), the items were divided into general (offline) and digital (online) social centrality. Following these results, the suggested model was updated. The final model included the dimensions of communicativeness and influence, along with the two new dimensions of social network centrality (general and digital). Furthermore, the questionnaire was modified. Then, a second study was conducted with the purposes of assessing the level of fit of the updated model, and testing the validity of the questionnaire. Another sample of participants answered the OL questionnaire, in addition to four other scales (two that tested convergent validity, and two that tested discriminant validity). A confirmatory factor analysis was carried out on the data obtained, that indicated a good fit of the proposed model. Moreover, support was found for the convergent and discriminant validities of the questionnaire .In conclusion, this research yields a solid structure of the OLtrait, and presents a new questionnaire for measuring it.