Title: Positive and negative emotional spirals in e-WOM of new recreational sports: a case study on Nordic walking

Authors: Marta Zurawik; Ulla Hakala; Birgitta Sandberg

Addresses: Wigan, UK ' Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland ' Turku School of Economics, University of Turku, Finland

Abstract: Practising physical activities in public spaces may evoke a variety of emotional expressions, particularly when an activity is considered novel and embarrassing. To date, there is limited knowledge on emotional sharing concerning novel recreational activities in online context via electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM). We approach this knowledge gap by exploring online discussions on Nordic walking, the purpose being to investigate emotional sharing in online discussions concerning the activity. In our netnographic study, we analyse what kinds of discrete emotions related to Nordic walking are shared online in different countries, what are the triggers of online emotional sharing and what are the outcomes expressed online by Nordic walking practitioners. We collected data from countries with various levels of Nordic walking popularity and discovered four types of dynamics - negative spiral, positive spiral, positive change and negative change - that add to the research concerning emotional sharing.

Keywords: sharing of emotions; positive emotions; negative emotions; online discussions; Nordic walking; electronic word-of-mouth; e-WOM; discussion forums; netnography; recreational sports; novel physical activity.

DOI: 10.1504/IJLTM.2019.103564

International Journal of Leisure and Tourism Marketing, 2019 Vol.6 No.3/4, pp.254 - 278

Available online: 08 Nov 2019 *

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