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The perceived credibility of human-like social robots: virtual influencers in a luxury and multicultural context

Elodie de Boissieu (EM Normandie Business School - Paris Campus, Clichy-la-Garenne, France)
Patricia Baudier (EM-Normandie - Métis Lab, Paris, France)

Journal of Organizational Change Management

ISSN: 0953-4814

Article publication date: 11 August 2023

Issue publication date: 11 December 2023




Social robots are invading our daily lives. Recently, thanks to artificial intelligence, humanoid social robots have been developed and influence individuals on social media. This paper aims to understand the perception of luxury consumers regarding human-like virtual influencers (VI) in a multicultural context.


Conducting a qualitative method, the authors interviewed 32 Chinese and French consumers of luxury products from the Gen-Z and millennial generation about their perception of human influencers and human-like VI after following them on social media specific platforms.


Using source credibility theory, this research unveils the different ways in which consumers perceive human-like VI according to their physical or content attractiveness, expertise, similarities and trustworthiness. The results suggest that the perception of human-like VI by millennials and Gen-Z is closely related to their cultural setting and their familiarity of the technology in a luxury context.


Considering Gen-Z and millennials' willing for para-social interactions and given the importance to the credibility of the source or the emotions displayed by VI, the intercultural empirical setting of this study introduces the ambivalence of the perception of social robots versus human-like influencers in a luxury digital context.



de Boissieu, E. and Baudier, P. (2023), "The perceived credibility of human-like social robots: virtual influencers in a luxury and multicultural context", Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 36 No. 7, pp. 1163-1179.



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