Collaborative authenticity: how stakeholder-based source effects influence message evaluations in integrated care

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Effective communication of information is central to integrated care systems (ICS), particularly between providers and care-consumers. Drawing on communication theory, this paper aims to investigate whether and why source effects increase positive evaluations of health-related messages among care-consumers.
A preliminary online survey (N = 525) establishes the discriminant validity of the measures used in the main experimental study. The main study (N = 116) examines whether identical messages disclosed to be created by different sources (i.e. institutional, care-consumer, collaborative) lead to different message evaluations, and whether source credibility and similarity, and message authenticity, explain this process.
In comparison to any other source, messages disclosed to be co-created are evaluated more positively by care-consumers. This effect occurs through a parallel serial mediation carried over by perceptions of source credibility and source similarity (parallel, first serial-level mediators) and message authenticity (second serial-level mediator).
Practical implications
The findings offer guidelines for leveraging source effects in ICS communication strategies, signaling how collaborative message sources increase the favorableness of health message evaluations.
This research demonstrates the efficacy of drawing on marketing communication theory to build ICS communication capacity by showing how re-configuring the declared source of informational content can increase positive evaluations of health-related messages. In so doing, this research extends existing literature on message authenticity by demonstrating its key underlying role in affecting message evaluations.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2215-2231
Number of pages17
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Authenticity
  • User-generated content
  • Integrated care systems
  • Multicategorical parallel serial mediation
  • Source effects

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