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A holistic assessment of eWOM management effectiveness with agent-based modeling

Ye Zhang (Department of Marketing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)
Jie Gao (Department of Hospitality, Tourism and Event Management, Lucas College and Graduate School of Business, San José State University, San Jose, California, USA)
Anil Bilgihan (Department of Marketing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)
Melanie Lorenz (Department of Marketing, Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management

ISSN: 0959-6119

Article publication date: 3 October 2022

Issue publication date: 7 February 2023

706

Abstract

Purpose

Hospitality businesses have been challenged to pick fitting electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) management strategies, yet accurate return on investment assessments and contextual contingencies interpretation essential for leveraging eWOM power are largely absent. This study aims to fill these gaps and develop a tool aiming at more holistic and accurate eWOM management assessment.

Design/methodology/approach

An agent-based model is developed based on eWOM-related hospitality/business theories and empirical evidence on the NetLogo 6.0.2 platform, wherein a series of simulated experiments are conducted.

Findings

Simulation patterns suggest that conformity to the majority’s choice of eWOM usage can be beneficial for consumption satisfaction, yet conformity to a group’s eWOM posting choice can compromise satisfaction. Compared to the brief reputation-boosting benefit of exaggerated advertising, honesty in advertising is preferable given its compatibility with competing eWOM distribution and long-term reputation benefits.

Practical implications

A preliminary tool is developed for hospitality businesses that aids the clearer interpretation of and more accurate/cost-efficient assessment of effectiveness in managing eWOM distribution. Generic directions for improved eWOM management are also provided.

Originality/value

A prototype model is established that surpasses existing models in its ability to capture the complexity of eWOM management and more accurately assess management effectiveness. The authors also reveal emerging novel patterns concerning the interactive dynamics of eWOM behaviors and contextual influences. The research also adds to the scarce agent-based model applications in hospitality research/practices and recommends future potential applications.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, Y., Gao, J., Bilgihan, A. and Lorenz, M. (2023), "A holistic assessment of eWOM management effectiveness with agent-based modeling", International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, Vol. 35 No. 3, pp. 785-827. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCHM-01-2022-0106

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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