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An exploratory study of online review management in hospitality services

Run Hong Niu (Business Department, Webster University, St Louis, Missouri, USA)
Ying Fan (University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA)

Journal of Service Theory and Practice

ISSN: 2055-6225

Article publication date: 24 October 2017

Issue publication date: 23 January 2018




More and more customers refer to online reviews before making any purchasing decisions thanks to the increasing popularity of social media and online shopping. This phenomenon has caught the attention of business managers who are increasingly aware that online reviews provide great opportunities to connect with current and potential customers. However, both practices and research on online review management from the businesses’ perspective are fragmented. The purpose of this paper is to develop an integrative framework that includes the key dimensions of an online review management system.


Based on the Grounded Theory approach, the authors conducted a multiple case study by analyzing the interviews with 11 hospitality services.


The authors found that an online review management system should go beyond the current norm of response management to incorporate key dimensions of formality, centralization, specialization, response customization, integration and review analytics.

Practical implications

The study provides a systematic guideline for online review management practices. The framework can be used as a tool for a business to evaluate existing online review management practices and develop/refine its online review management system.


The study contributes to online review management literature by developing a comprehensive framework to understand the structure and processes of online review management. The key dimensions of an online review management system identified in this study provide an initial measurement model for the online review management construct. Furthermore, the study provides a springboard for future empirical validation and refinement of the key factors for effective online review management.



Niu, R.H. and Fan, Y. (2018), "An exploratory study of online review management in hospitality services", Journal of Service Theory and Practice, Vol. 28 No. 1, pp. 79-98.



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