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How do consumers process online hotel reviews? The effects of eWOM consensus and sequence

Ellen EunKyoo Kyoo Kim (Department of Management, Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, California, USA)
Chung Hun Lee (Department of Hotel and Tourism Management, College of Hospitality and Tourism, Sejong University, Seoul, Korea)

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology

ISSN: 1757-9880

Article publication date: 17 August 2015




The purpose of this paper is to examine how consensus and sequence of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) presented on online hotel review Web sites affect consumers’ attitudes toward the company and intention to stay at a hotel.


This experiment used a 2 (consensus: high/low) × 3 (sequence: positive-negative, neutral, negative-positive) between-subjects design. A total of 165 usable data samples were gathered. Both consensus and sequence were manipulated.


The study revealed that the review consensus overrides the impact of the review sequence such that when review ratings are substantially consistent, consumers’ attitudes and intentions to stay at a hotel are not influenced by the sequence of reviews.

Research limitations/implications

Other variables such as prior experience with the hotel or biases toward the hotel can affect consumer reactions to such online reviews. Future studies need to reflect on such variables that can moderate or mediate the impact of eWOM consensus and sequence.

Practical implications

Our findings suggest that the online consumer review summary information should be used to control the customer message process and when consumer reviews conflict, managers should take note of the sequence in which consumers read the reviews.


This paper adds to the body of scholarly research related to consumer information processing and further demonstrates how individuals integrate opinions from several reviews, especially in the online context.



Kim, E.E.K. and Lee, C.H. (2015), "How do consumers process online hotel reviews? The effects of eWOM consensus and sequence", Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, Vol. 6 No. 2, pp. 113-126.



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