Ein Vergleich der Konzepte „ Opinion Leadership “, „Market Maven“, „Social Hub “ und „Influential“

Seminararbeit

eingereicht bei: Univ.-Prof. Dr. Oliver P. Heil

von: Philipp J. Reis Matrikel-Nr. 26 24 33 9 philippreis@yahoo.de Studiengang Wirtschaftspädagogik 11. Semester Lessingstraße 13a 55118 Mainz Telefon: +49 1 76 / 26 08 25 29

Abgabetermin: 30. April 2010

Abstract Since the early studies of Katz (1957, pp. 63) influencing persons of an opinion is a combination of persuasiveness, knowledge and social linkage. Since Lazarsfeld and his colleagues (1948) developed the idea of the two step flow of communication several definitions have arose. The three most frequently mentioned are opinion leaders, market mavens and social hubs. This paper firstly elaborates on the role of influence comparing two step flow and multi step flow of communication showing that web 2.0 environments will more likely turn receivers of the two step flow into stake holders of the multi step flow (Watts and Dodds 2007, pp. 444). The different concepts of leadership, mavenism and the social hubs will be characterised on the basis of empirical studies or computer simulated studies. Opinion leadership and market mavenism will be introduced firstly by the studies of their initiators (Katz & Feick and Price) and will be reviewed by subsequent studies if available. The study by Goldenberg and colleagues (2009) elaborating on social hubs can itself be seen as a critical review of the study of Watts and Dodds (2007) being introduced in context with interpersonal influence. This paper will further demonstrate that both the social hub study as well as the contagion process in the multi step of communication can be related to studies in logistics and medical science.

Keywords: Influential, Opinion Leader, Market Maven, Social Hub, Two Step Flow of Communication, Multi Step Flow of Communication

1 Table of Contents Table of Figures Table of Charts 2 3 1. Introduction 4 2.3 Social Hubs – Diffusion Through Central Points with Many Ties 8 8 11 14 4. Discussion 16 Bibliography Appendix . The Different Concepts of Being Influential 3. Interpersonal Influence and the Role of Influentials 5 3.2 Market Mavens – The First Ones to Know and the First Ones to Pass On 3.1 Opinion Leaders – Intermediates between the mass media and the public 3.

2: The Two Step Flow of Communication The Multi Step Flow of Communication 6 7 .2 Table of Figures Figure 1.1: Figure 1.

1: Scores of Leadership and Mavenism in the MMS 12 .3 Table of Charts Chart 3.

and motivation based mavenism has also been tested by comparing the results between high and low mavenism score in the latter case (ibid. 268). pp. . 265) of mavens. Opinion leadership was the first concept that arose from personifying influence. This chapter also offers a critical view on the two step flow by reviewing the study of Watts and Dodds (2007. pp. 75-76). 84)..) in order to find an overall set of mavenism characteristics (ibid. pp. 2009. pp.1. thus reconstructing the flow of information throughout entire networks (ibid. Introduction 4 To successfully exert influence on somebody three questions need to be answered. Introduction 1.1). developed by Lazarsfeld. meaning how many others can be influenced (Goldenberg et. Further Katz (1957.Al.2) will be reviewed by comparing the results of Feick and Price (1987) who designed the Market Maven Scale (MMS) and Goodey and East who reviewed the MMS and did research on range of advice by comparing a self designed mavenism scale to the „[…]self-reported advice[…]“ (Goodey and East 2008. the concept will be approached with the study of Katz who chose the 1940s voting study to identify leaders and their followers along the timeline (Katz 1957. This has been and is still topic of most studies since the 1940s voting study gave go-ahead for the two step flow of communication. The first one deals with his or her strength to convince people and is also connected to the charismatic character of a person.. market mavens and social hubs (Goldenberg et. 1). 2009. pp. The drug study was added to his research analysing the relationships between opinion leaders (Katz 1957. but the blurring definition of this early concept may have led to disjoin the original concept into three sub concepts (Feick and Price 1987. Secondly arguments of persuasion and thus the person’s knowledge are being studied and finally his or her network of influence.). 63).Al. 66) tried to identify opinion leaders on the basis of how often they have been mentioned by their peers taking the Rovere study into account. 455) who suggested that the role of influentials may be overrated. pp. Going deeper into micro-relationships of person-to-person relations and assessing the „[…] relative importance of personal influence […]“ he analysed the Decatur study (ibid. Gender. 69). These sub concepts are currently known as opinion leaders. pp. pp. 1) and will be elaborated in chapter 3. Market mavenism (chapter 3. Starting with opinion leaders (chapter 3. pp. pp. Katz and Berelson (1948). that will be introduced in chapter 2 analysing influentials and the function of being influential to somebody.

pp. pp. In Chapter 4 the characteristics of opinion leaders. These basic ideas will be used to lead over to the most recent study about social hubs by Goldenberg and colleagues (2009) that tested the role of hub diffusion on the example of the Korean social network Cyworld by analysing computer simulated models.3) will be analysed. These opinion leaders act as multipliers between the mass media and the public. Since the publication of the people’s choice in 1948 by Lazarsfeld and colleagues and supposedly for a long time to come the two step flow is claimed the standard model to explain how information diffusion is propelled (Roch 2005.2. knowledge and linkage (Goldenberg et. 1). which have already been mentioned in chapter 1.Al. 2. need to be fulfilled when being influential to others. 2009. 110). pp. pp. including their sub concepts. 441) is based on the two step flow of communication that was developed by Lazarsfeld et.) which. It suggests that information firstly flow from the mass media to so called opinion leaders as shown in figure 1.1 (ibid. will be explained in the following chapter. mavenism and hubs to the terms of charisma. Thus intensive research on the impact of this model on market research and the implementation into the marketing process took place and several models of influence were found (Watts and Dodds 2007. The model does not rule out direct media-toaudience contact. 7). Interpersonal Influence and the Role of Influentials 5 Finally the characteristics of social hubs (chapter 3. pp. . pp. (1948. pp. Interpersonal Influence and the Role of Influentials The assumption of the existence of influentials that represent a small number of people who influence a remarkable number of their peers (Watts and Dodds 2007. This will be done by once again reviewing the drug study that gave several basic ideas for the concept of the social hub. knowledge and linkage. For this purpose three preconditions.Al. 2009.1 (Watts and Dodds 2007. These are charisma. It also gives an answer if these concepts have relations to the origins of their vocabulary in medical science and logistics. but suggests that the number of influenced people can be enhanced by addressing opinion leaders that are shown as stars in figure 1. 441). market mavens and social hubs are outlined to answer the question of this paper trying to relate leadership. pp.Al. 441. 151). Katz 1957. 61). or other personality traits bearing convincing strength. This work can be seen as a reaction to the work of Watts and Dodds (Goldenberg et.

444). Merton (1968) and BursonMarsteller (2001) that are mentioned by Watts and Dodds. Two basic models are named to define influentials in terms of peers they influence. like those by Coleman (1957). pp.2. Contrary to the two step flow of communication it also considers a feedback channel among . The models that emerge from both studies are also further distinct and can be seen as the latest step of this ongoing discussion. 3-4) who opted for a fixed digit threshold. Their justification says that peer networks of opinion leaders have different sizes. according to Watts and Dodds (2007. pp. 444). pp. which has lately been criticised by Goldenberg and colleagues (2009. pp. This fact is symbolised by farther concentrical waves in figure 1.2 than in figure 1. that factors in broadcasting in it’s lexically sense. party adopted from Watts and Dodds 2007. Therefrom they act on the assumption of a multi step flow of communication. 1835). (2002) use relative criteria ranging from 10% to 32% of the top opinion leaders as influential (Watts and Dodds 2007.1.Al. pp. still no generally accepted. Watts and Dodds for example opt for the top-10% rule.Al. 4). pp.1: The Two Step Flow of Communication (Compiled by the Author. for example name fixed figures ranging from three to 14 influenced peers as a critical figure for influentialism. 444). 4) or Coulter et. pp. thus a leader in a larger network needs more follower peers than in a small web with the result of different definitions of an influential (Goldenberg et. pp. empirical definition of an influential. 2009. Classical theories. Watts and Dodds (2007. 441) The two step flow has also been controversially discussed as there is. thus the content transmitted by the mass media can be received and recognised by every participant (Watts and Dodds 2007. pp. Interpersonal Influence and the Role of Influentials 6 Figure 1. 442) tend to continue the way of the Bass model (1969) saying that opinion leaders and thus influentials are not obligatory for diffusion (Bass 2004. Newer studies like those of Keller and Berry (2003.

that are way . pp. pp. According to Watts and Dodds (2007. 444) bases on the assumption of cascades that have emerged from a stimulus and keep on infecting other easily influenceable peers.2. pp. 453). pp. 445). Interpersonal Influence and the Role of Influentials 7 the participants and direct connections between peers like shown by the red arrows in figure 1. Figure 1.). 443-444). party adopted from Watts and Dodds 2007. 445). To elaborate on their assumption of relevance or irrelevance of influentials they compared cascades initiated by influentials with those of average person’s origin (ibid.. The result shows a network that still has some hubs.2: The Multi Step Flow of Communication (Compiled by the Author. pp. whereas the chance to infect the whole web remains with only global cascades whose only limit is the size of the entire network (Watts and Dodds 2007. Their results show that the role of influentials has been overrated as average people have been equally successful in either initiating cascades or early adopting (ibid. In this kind of contagion model two types of cascades are conceivable. Watts and Dodds (2007. pp.2.. pp. Local cascades have a maximum range of „[…] one or two steps of the initiator. 454) an influential is not mandatory for the diffusion of information or innovation within and through networks. pp.2 (Watts and Dodds 2007. pp. like via knot 2 in figure 1. 444) Thus the research done by Watts and Dodds (2007. 445). that still handle many person’s opinions besides the own.2.“ (Watts and Dodds 2007. But opinion leaders or influentials can not be identified as such anymore as opinions can also be carried from one sub network to the other. which turns the receivers of the two step flow into stake holders of the multi step flow (ibid. Other facts like the size and property of the cascade window that defines the time slot for successful cascades or the network density are much more important (ibid. 453-454) do not deny the concept of persons. as the knots 1 und 3 in figure 1.).

10). 230).a. 4) remain with the snow ball model assumption of hubs that enhance the speed of adoption and the size of the network in a classical two step flow of communication which will be deeper analysed in chapter 3. 84) Lazarsfeld et. 72). Etgar and Henry 1983). that usually have impact on the mass media themselves (Watts and Dodds 2007. 442 qtd. Lazarsfeld et.“ (ibid.Al. as they found out that hubs can enhance both speed and size of a network and thus diffusion of information is getting faster and farther carried (Goldenberg et. This is being justified by a higher credibility of interpersonal sources compared to nonpersonal ones (Feick and Price 1987. Katz (1957. (2009. pp.Al. Their results are contrary to Watts and Dodds. pp. 83 qtd. Assael. pp. pp. 61). Grewal et. when Lazarsfeld and colleagues did research on the presidential campaign of 1940 in the United States (Feick und Price 1987. 2009. than mass media-to-person communication in terms of higher frequency. As already mentioned in the previous chapter they are the crucial part in the two step flow of communication.a. The two step flow does not rule out direct media-to-audience contact. Additionally opinion leaders are exposed to the mass media earlier in the campaign and the likelihood of changing the opinion in favour of the leader is higher than turning away from it (Katz 1957. 3. found out that opinion leaders can be seen as „[…] information brokers intervening between mass media sources and the opinion and choices of the population. 1948). Al. pp. after being influenced by his . pp.). yet the efficiency of information diffusion via opinion leaders is higher (Katz 1957. Taking the Decature study into account. 71) also found arguments that person-to-person communication is not only more effective. 2000.1 The Different Concepts of Being Influential Opinion Leaders – Intermediates Between the Mass Media and the Public First findings about opinion leaders back-date to 1948. 83 qtd.a. It is also more effective in terms of sustainability as it is rather unlikely that a peer. 3.Al. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Opinion Leaders 8 more influent than the average population of a network.3. This implies that opinion leaders are not lexically leaders. pp.Al.3 of this work. According to Feick and Price (1987. pp. Goldenberg et. but they point out that they are not a necessary constraint for releasing a cascade. meant in the sense of publicly known leaders or personalities. pp. pp.

if the opinion leader would fulfil the precondition of early owner.Al. the Decature study as well as the drug study that focussed on different fields of opinion leadership. 63. This assumption is also backed by Katz (1957. 75). ibid. when diffusion of the mass media itself was lower. pp. 72). to terms. as illustrated in chapter 1 (ibid. Additionally Robertson and Myers came.or user-ship of a product or service (Arndt 1967..3. pp. p.. who mentions that leaders are steadily exposed to several topic related mass media what he points out to be a shared result of three of the four reviewed studies. 1969).. the opinion leaders also had a further first mover advantage besides faster acquisition and diffusion of information in the focussed realm (Roch 2005. according to Feick and Price (1987. pp. First mover advantage will also be an important aspect when talking about market mavens in the following subchapter as well as doing research on social networks. ibid. 112).. One possibility to develop this information base is extensive interest in a subject of choice. that there are similarities between opinion leaders and early adopters. Usually the expertise in terms of judgements on products.). 84) Nevertheless Feick and Price (1987. nor general opinion leaders. 84 qtd. Furthermore a later direct contact between the influenced peer and the mass media is more likely to be used as a revalidation for his opinion (ibid. . These are namely the Rovere study. pp. Earlier exposure to social networks can strengthen the size of the leader’s network justified on the basis of the time winning margin (Goldenberg et. which is also the main motivation to advice peers (ibid. pp. Taking a deeper look on the properties of opinion leaders Feick and Price (1987. as there are neither general early adopters. pp. 84) elaborated mostly on the informational margin they have compared to their influencees. Robertson and Myers.“ (Feick and Price 1987. pp.. 69. pp. Thus an opinion leader would also be described as an expressive or influential early adopter. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Opinion Leaders 9 leader changes his opinion once more (ibid. 2009. Taking into account that the research of this studies back-dates to the 1940s and 1950s.a. product related market insights and shopping place advices can also be given without having made direct experience with either the shop or the product (ibid. 72). In this case. pp. both are narrowly focussed on a certain topic. 292). 75-76).). pp. 10). pp. 85) mention that ownership of the judged product is rather an exceptional case. the expertise that is usually based on mass media information gets enriched with „[…] product usage or purchase experience. pp.

pp. 72). pp. 63) and product or subject involvement through product or subject interest (Feick and Price 1987. Similar to the property that opinion leaders are narrowly focussed (Feick and Price 1987. 73).3. pp. Most of them mainly rely on the leader’s audience. As Katz points out. following a leader’s prescription (Katz 1957. If this precondition gets combined with the audience’s interest and acceptance of the opinion. 63) this happens by convincing peers of the own opinion by either talking about the subject or being asked about it. pp. or his or her peers. According to Katz (1957. Finally all these aspects of similarity between leader and followers justify why the term peer is chosen in most of the current studies such as the one of Watts and Dodds (2007. In this context Katz (1957. there is inversely no acceptance for an overall opinion leadership across subjects among the followers (Katz 1957. For example an older woman is more likely being asked for her opinion . This moment enables the advice giving person to act as an opinion leader for the limited domain of the subject of discussion (Katz 1957. the Rovere study also found that there is a general classification between „[…] local affairs […]“ (ibid. pp. pp. 84). Doing further research.) One of the most important constraints in the context of interaction is that the opinion leader becomes socially active (Katz 1957. The 1940s voting study for example names the attribute that every social group has its own opinion leaders as a major result (Katz 1957. Apart from sociometrics an equal result is shown when taking the content of a specific opinion leadership into focus. 72). which let become a person an opinion leader. Every interest group has its own opinion leader(s). a leader-tofollower dyad will arise. when sociometrics will be explained. pp.) and „[…] cosmopolitan affairs […]“ and different people are being asked for advice for different subjects. pp. pp. he found that doctors with similar sociometrics were more likely to adopt a new drug earlier. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Opinion Leaders 10 Besides from rather self-oriented constraints such as exposure to mass media (Katz 1957. 74). Even besides these micro environments of person-to-person connections he found his assumption acknowledged. 73). pp. 63) assumed in his study that it is rather similarity than difference that creates a leader-to-follower(s) dyad. One example of this purpose is the macro environments of entire leader-to-follower webs of different social groups. (Later in this chapter it is being elaborated why the term ‚peer’ is chosen. p. pp. 441). 84). there are several other necessary constraints. In the Elmira study this result gets confirmed and recessed saying that the horizontal flow of opinions is also valid for age or work classes and clusters of the same political opinion (Katz 1957. reviewing the drug study. 74).

Thus market mavens can be installed in place of the stars of figure 1. pp. 85). Contrary to opinion leaders their knowledge is rather a broader than a deeper one and the key to market mavenism seems to be rather market involvement. and other facets of market. 406) who points out that market mavens tend to be the first to know. As mentioned in the previous chapter the motivation of opinion leaders to acquire information about a product is interest in the product and maybe prospective ownership of it. that they do not necessarily need to be an owner or user of the product or service they judge (Feick and Price 1987. if new information are available. Further. 85). 84-85). pp. pp. income and education they do not differ from their peers either (Goodey and East 2008. 3. and initiate discussions with consumers and respond to request from consumers for market information.“ (2007. They collect and assess information from the mass media and pass them on to a number of their peers by either initiating discussions or being asked for information (Feick and Price 1987. 73). 83). pp. 267). pp. pp. similar to opinion leaders. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Market Mavens 11 if the peer searching information about the affairs of larger families.3. places to shop. This idea is also supported by the research done by Levy (1978. The motivation to help and guide others is mostly based their involvement (Feick and Price 1987. as both concepts are trying to explain processes of political information diffusion (Feick and Price 1987.2 Market Mavens – The First Ones to Know and the First Ones to Pass On The market maven concept shares it’s origin with the one of the opinion leader. pp. In terms of sociometrics such as gender. It is mostly the anticipation to make use of the knowledge in social interaction (Feick and Price 1987. 85). Additionally it finds support in . than product involvement (Feick and Price 1987. pp. Contrary to that unmarried and young women are asked for advice in terms of cinema advices or fashion affairs (Katz 1957. 85). pp. Equal to opinion leaders they are seen as influential for purchase decisions by their peers and according to this enjoy reputation as information providers (ibid. Feick and Price sum up the role of market mavens as „[…] individuals who have information about many kinds of products. This marks an important difference to the motivation of market mavens as the acquisition of information does not uniquely derive from own interest or own intention to buy the product. 85). pp.1 (chapter 1) in the two step flow of communication and share many properties with the opinion leaders.). household size.

On this basis of assumption about market mavens two concepts have arose. Chart 3. because they found no significantly higher advice giving behaviour of mavens compared to non-mavens. To further separate the mavenism from opinion leadership five aspects were found where market mavens score antipodal from opinion leaders as shown in chart 3. 575) this also explains why broadness is more important than depth of information. the urge to publish their opinion and reading consumer reports (ibid. that are namely the market maven scale (MMS) by Feick and Price (1987) and the test of the market maven concept by Goodey and East (2008). According to Feick and Price mavens score high giving information on innovative products (ibid. who advice to critically review the MMS.2. The result of Feick and Price’s research was that none of the assumptions could be falsified. 41) who mentions that the probability of making use of information in public situations decides about their acquisition.3. Whereas opinion leaders score high in giving information on durable products and product details as market mavens information base forces him to become a „[…] passive diffuser of new product information […]“ (Elliot 1993. pp. Based on Clark and colleagues (2008. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Market Mavens 12 the work of Richmond (1977. pp. which shows contrary results to Goodey and East (2008. pp. Thus they tend to achieve a time margin rather than an information margin if being compared to their peers or opinion leaders. 207).. According to Sieber (1974. 89). The MMS identifies market mavens and opinion leaders by surveying their peers about advice giving persons and the relevance for their shopping behaviour (Feick and Price 1987.2.1: Scores of Leadership and Mavenism in the MMS (Compiled by the Author) Goodey and East (2008) researched if an overall set of the personality of market mavens can be identified. pp.. 241) they assume that mav- . pp. pp. pp.1. pp. as their aim to strengthen their importance within their peer group can only be achieved on a broad information base. 86). 87). 272).

pp.3. pp. self-esteem. pp. 272) also found that the difference between men and women were also more significant than difference between mavens and non-mavens. 275). Further low scores were expected in terms of emotional stability due to their need of social calibration (Goodey and East 2008. Five of these categories were incorporated in the further analysis. As agreeableness is positively correlated with female mavenism and negative with male mavenism. 267). Getting back to the advice giving behaviour Goodey and East (2008. and materialism showed a correlation only with male mavenism at a low significance. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Market Mavens 13 enism arises from a unique combination of the will to fulfil society’s expectations and a high self-esteem.. pp. 269). whereas emotional stability shows an inverse picture (ibid. 272).. 88). . Which shows an equal behaviour of female mavens and opinion leaders. 273).. thus being trend setters. with extraversion and conscientiousness being sorted out (ibid. pp. Subsequently the Goodey and East study consisted of originally seven mavenism properties to operationalise these findings. pp. Additionally if the identified maven was a female owner of the product the motivation for female word of mouth is mostly derived from happiness with the product and the will to pass this satisfaction on to her peers and the likelihood of producing word of mouth is higher than the male likelihood to do so (ibid. pp. 272).“ (ibid. 274).) which is only possible by being ahead of populace (Geissler and Edison 2005. pp. Ironically they seek to be recognised by their peers as unique (ibid. pp. This is unique as the will to fulfil society’s expectations is usually connected to a lower self-esteem (Goodey and East 2008. As well as high scores were expected in terms of materialism and openness to experience due to their marketplace interest and frequently noticed change of brands and products. 273). The latter case also corresponds with a low expected conscientiousness due to inconstant behaviour. Agreeableness and emotional stability displayed the most striking differences in the final run.. Thus Goodey and East came to the conclusion that „[…] any overall profile of a market maven could be misleading. thus they recommend to do further research on the gap between male and female mavens as they display two distinct personality bases (ibid. and agreeableness due to an expected fit to social and group situations. pp.. extraversion.. Expecting a high maven score the participants were assumed to score high in self-esteem. Openness. the distinguishing effect in this case is that word of mouth production is also used to restore emotional stability (ibid.

) the more often they are mentioned by their fellows. The drug study that has already been reviewed in chapter 3. The reasons for the high correlation between innovator ship and linkage are also given by Katz. 3).3 Social Hubs – Diffusion Through Central Points with Many Ties 14 In chapters 3. 2009. 69). who points out that the more the doctor keeps contact with his peer community. In this subsection the term of „whom one knows“ (Katz 1957. 6) If combining these properties with the idea that connections are not necessarily broken if the direct link between two participants is damaged. (thus the more innovative their character is. are positively correlated (ibid. hubs will serve as connection back-ups (ibid.Al.. 1). pp.“ (Goldenberg 2009. pp. which itself is a precondition to develop a large number of connections to neighbours.1 and 3.). pp. Thus a hub is . pp. The result shows that the earlier the doctors adopted the drug. pp. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Social Hubs 3. 3) firstly define a central position of a person within a social network as one of the major preconditions to become a social hub. pp. 63) and thus the only rational. as the hub’s efficiency rises with the hub’s degree (ibid. Asking the question for the social hub. Two different studies will be focussed in this context. the more state-of-the-art information he can acquire. no other question is asked than how many social ties an individual has (Goldenberg et. The hub is finally identified as a hyper connected node. Goldenberg et. Al. Thus it made innovators and followers among the doctors visible (Katz 1957. 2). pp.2 which will give a first impression and the study of Goldenberg and colleagues (2009). (thus the better their linkage is) (ibid.).3. The drug study shows the diffusion of new drugs throughout entire webs of influence on the basis of prescriptions and surveys answered by the acting doctors in the background. 71). which did deeper research on the role of hubs during adoption. Further the number of connections persons have determines their degree and makes Goldenberg conclude that the degree and the centrality of a node (a person).2 of this work it has already been elaborated on the knowledge based and persuasive or charismatic components of interpersonal influence. namely mathematically countable part of interpersonal influence will be elaborated (Goldenberg 2009.. secondly that „[…] social support […]“ (Katz 1957. This also means that the efficiency of a hub and its centrality are positively correlated. meaning a node that is „[…] linked to a large number of people. (2009. 71) may strengthen the mental attitude in favour of taking the risks of new drugs. pp. pp.

7). pp. that the out-degree has a major impact on the adoption process (ibid. pp. 9). whereas followers have a higher influence on market size (ibid. assumed that the speed of adoption is higher correlated with the innovators among the hubs (ibid. This special role of the follower hubs marks an important difference between the rather technical interpretation of social hubs and the psychological interpretation of opinion leaders and market mavens. pp. mention that follower hubs’ character is different from the one of the innovator hubs and closer to the one of the average population. Innovator hubs need a lower rate of exposure to adopt..2 allow flow of information mostly between people of similar sociometrics.. . pp. which were 10 in case of the reviewed study (ibid. measured by in-degree and stimulus output.Al. 7). Al. which is a fixed digit threshold of two exposures in case of the Goldenberg study (2007. as the innovator’s effect on the velocity of diffusion was two times higher than the one of the follower (Goldenberg 2009. Analysing the role of how hubs influence populace two types of hubs can be identified. pp. Thus Goldenberg et. pp.3. Thus vertical flow aside from similar sociometrics is possible.). 2009. pp.. On one hand assumptions found support in the results. measured by out-degree. 1). 3).. Putting the view on the stimulus input of hubs another reason becomes visible why hubs do speed up the overall process of adoption (Goldenberg 2009. pp. Follower hubs need a higher rate of exposures. The Different Concepts of Being Infuential: Social Hubs 15 not necessarily connected to mass media. (2009. 4). For this purpose a distinction between in. It can theoretically be any central highly connected point within a web of interpersonal influence. 4) and thus follower hubs will provide diffusion into mass market (ibid. The latter case is either driven by certain a number of exposures or the fact of being connected to innovators (ibid. pp.Al. 3). On the other hand follower hubs have a seven times higher impact on market size than innovator hubs (ibid.and out-degree of a hub has to be made to differentiate between stimulus income. whereas Goldenberg et. with the number and speed of adoption rising faster the higher its degree is. 8).).) which was later supported during research (ibid. pp. According Goldenberg et.. pp.1 and 3.Al. This situation allows an increase of market size (Goldenberg et.Al. 4) hub adoption is also mostly defined by the degree of a node.. 9). as they are earlier exposed to innovations and adopt earlier than usual consumers (ibid. This leads to the assumption by Goldenberg et. Market mavens and opinion leaders as shown in chapters 3.

pp. The broad (Feick and Price 1987. Thus opinion leaders will have to convince by knowledge. linkage to peers and the earlier exposure. Social Hubs seem to be the only concept that can be allocated to the latter component of influentialism. pp. The problem that remains is the following: Being a social hub only is only one constraint to be fulfilled. Yet Katz (1957.Al. „what one knows“ (ibid. pp. pp. 2001. pp. 84) makes it possible to acquire a time margin compared to their peers. The narrowly focussed knowledge of opinion leaders (Feick and Price 1987. but as it needs time to involve once self deeply with a certain topic. reviewing the constraints. 3). 575) suggests that mavens must have a special capability to convince their peers even about rumour. . Discussion 16 Getting back to the original question if there is a trait of being influential that can be allocated to each of the concepts of personalised influence. Furthermore even the whole concept of mavenism lacks a clear definition. pp. 77) Similar to hub and spoke systems that are built up to reduce costs. as a second try to prove the MMS failed (Goodey and East 2008.4. The properties of hubs are clearly mentioned in terms of location within the web. pp. 406) knowledge of the market maven combined with the urge to publish his opinion (Sieber 1974. Additionally Goodey and East found out that no overall concept of mavenism could be identified beyond reasonable doubt (ibid. 85) and rapidly acquired (Levy 1978. pp. Discussion 4.) will go with leadership and social hub activity will remain with „whom one knows“ (ibid. 9). All these allocations have eligibility in parts of their justification. 63). there will be no time margin achievable compared to mavens. thus improving the efficiency of distribution networks (Rodrigue et. pp. pp. no other definition than the p-hub median problem that is used to find hubs for hub and spoke systems in logistics (Campbell 1996. 272). Mayer 2001. pp. This is. „who one is“ (Katz 1957.Al.). 933. 63) will be allocated to the concept of mavenism. 4) social hubs also enhance the efficiency of information diffusion by either increasing velocity (innovator hubs) or market size (follower hubs) (Goldenberg 2009. but does not clearly mention that it happens only because of knowledge. 69) does mention that leaders convince. pp.). pp. that is namely „[…] whom one knows […]“ (Katz 1957. A central location is needed from which as many ties as possible can be served (Goldenberg et. 2009.

2007. (2009. 2005. 151). and does not accommodate the increasing participation of the former receivers that are more and more accorded the role of being influential in social networks and on social news sites. pp. The dengue fever can be acquired by being bit by gnats or person-to-person airborne infection (n. pp.Al. pp. 9) may help to explain the multi step flow of communication introduced by Watts and Dodds (2007). the multi step flow gets closer to recent situations. 444) that diffusion needs mostly easily influenceable people. 2). Adding futher the constraint mentioned by Watts and Dodds (2007. Being positively mentioned by Goldenberg et. 1948. which is namely the increase in transportation time and the restraint to make detours (Bernsmann et. pp. pp.4. 3) that hubs provide connection back-ups if the direct link is broken. contagion in the multi step flow comes rather close to the way the diffusion of the dengue fever is propelled. 8) the diffusion rate highly depends on surroundings that are determined by the connectivity of the city and the domestic migration in Brazil.A. According to Ferreira (2005. Further comparing the disadvantages of hub and spoke systems in logistics to the ones of diffusion networks.Al. Combined with the fact that the classical two step flow lacks a feedback channel (Lazarsfeld et.Al. . Discussion 17 Convincing others and knowing a lot are also needed to be mentioned among the influentials. pp. implies on the other hand that a detour has to be made.

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Appendix Appendix I .

Appendix I Appendix I: Descriptions of the big five personality domains of Market Mavens II Source: Goodey and East 2008. p. 268 .

Opinion Leader.Appendix II Appendix II: III Ealy Theory Differences Between Early Purchaser. Market Maven & Social Hub Source: Compiled by the author 2010 .

p. 444 b) Diffusion of dengue fever in Brazil Source: Ferreira 2005. 6 .IV Appendix III Appendix III: a) Multi Step Flow of Communication Source: Watts and Dodds 2007. p.

dass ich die vorliegende Arbeit selbständig angefertigt habe. Reis Absichtliche Fehlaussagen werden als Plagiat gewertet und können strafrechtliche Konsequenzen haben.04.2010 _______________________ Philipp J.Ehrenwörtliche Erklärung Ich erkläre hiermit ehrenwörtlich. Mainz. Die Arbeit wurde bisher keiner anderen Prüfungsbehörde vorgelegt und auch noch nicht veröffentlicht. Die aus fremden Quellen direkt oder indirekt übernommenen Aussagen sind als solche kenntlich gemacht. . 29.

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