Bolstering Online Reviews with Strategic Platform Design

2017-12-14

      SpeakerDr Kexian Chen

      SiteB127

      Time 1000-1130 Tuesday Dec.19 2017

Major revolutions have taken place in the consumer information environment over the last decade or so, concurrent with the explosion of online communities.  In particular, online product reviews have become a vital part of today’s information ecosystem that significantly impacts both consumer welfare and business performance.  From an academic standpoint, the availability of online or electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) data in the public space has created research opportunities previously unimaginable.    In this research, we argue that online forum designs (which can be easily manipulated by managers of these forums) play an importance role in determining e-WOM influence.  Drawing on Construal Level Theory, we identify different conditions that favor one forum design versus another.  Our research generates novel theoretical insights into the ubiquitous e-WOM behavior and offers practical guidance for harnessing the massive power of online reviews around the world.