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Book part
Publication date: 19 September 2019

Sergio Román, Isabel P. Riquelme and Dawn Iacobucci

In this chapter, we introduce a new construct we call “Perceived Deception in Online Consumer Reviews” (PDOCR). Online reviews of products are very important to companies…

Abstract

In this chapter, we introduce a new construct we call “Perceived Deception in Online Consumer Reviews” (PDOCR). Online reviews of products are very important to companies and customers, yet they are vulnerable to unethical representations. Even regardless of whether a deceptive review has been posted or not, we take the position that it is important to understand consumers’ perceptions of deception because it is a consumer’s perception that leads him or her to experience subsequent feelings and opinions and to consider follow-up actions. We draw on the literature and build on the Elaboration Likelihood Model and Cognitive Dissonance Theory to create an overarching framework of antecedents of PDOCR, consequences, and moderators. We also report findings from a sample of in-depth interviews with real consumers about their thoughts on these phenomena and related constructs. We use our framework and theories and the qualitative data to derive Research Questions that we hope will spur future research on these important issues.

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Article
Publication date: 19 February 2020

Umar Iqbal Siddiqi, Jin Sun and Naeem Akhtar

The study aims to examine the effects of ulterior motives in peer and expert supplementary online hotel reviews on consumers' perceived deception, dissatisfaction, and its…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to examine the effects of ulterior motives in peer and expert supplementary online hotel reviews on consumers' perceived deception, dissatisfaction, and its downstream effects on altruistic response and repurchase intentions. The research also examines the moderating role of hotel attribute performance on perceived deception and its consequents.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used convenient non-probability sampling and collected data from 448 inbound tourists in China. It used partial least square structural equation modeling technique and SmartPLS 3.0 for analyzing the main and moderating effects of the variables.

Findings

The ulterior motives in peer and expert supplementary reviews significantly affect perceived deception, further leading to consumers' dissatisfaction and engagement in altruistic response. Noticeably, consumers' dissatisfaction is positively associated with repeat purchase intentions. Hotel attribute performance significantly moderates the relationship between the ulterior motives in supplementary reviews and consumers' perceived deception.

Originality/value

The study examines the key issue in online hotel reviews using the expectancy disconfirmation theory and identifies consumers' altruistic behavior because of their dissatisfaction, contributing to ethics and consumer behavior literature. Moreover, the research offers prolific implications for hotel and travel websites and hoteliers in the study context.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 33 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 13 June 2016

Ling Peng, Geng Cui, Mengzhou Zhuang and Chunyu Li

To influence consumer perceptions, firms often manipulate online product reviews on their own websites or third-party forums by anonymously adding positive reviews

Abstract

Purpose

To influence consumer perceptions, firms often manipulate online product reviews on their own websites or third-party forums by anonymously adding positive reviews, deleting unfavorable reviews or offering rewards to encourage favorable reviews. This study aims to investigate consumer perceptions of online review deceptions and how these perceptions influence their subsequent purchase behavior. In particular, consumers’ awareness, suspicion and detection are studied and specific manipulation tactics are evaluated.

Design/methodology/approach

Both qualitative and quantitative studies are relied upon to understand consumer perceptions of online review deceptions. In-depth interviews with 16 experienced online shoppers were conducted to collect the illustrative accounts concerning consumer awareness of online review deceptions, their suspicion, detection and evaluation of different manipulation tactics. A survey of 199 consumers was then followed to validate and corroborate the findings from the qualitative study and generalize the interview results onto the general public.

Findings

The results from in-depth interviews suggest that consumers take a negative view toward online review deceptions, but the degree of negativity varies across different manipulation tactics. Moreover, different types of manipulations vary in terms of perceived deceptiveness, ease of detection and unethicality, as well as their effect on consumer purchase intention and perceived helpfulness of online product reviews. The findings from the survey further confirmed the qualitative findings.

Practical implications

The findings have a number of meaningful managerial implications for industry associations and policymakers on whether and how to regulate online review deceptions.

Originality/value

This study applies and extends information manipulation theory and deception detection literature to an online context to increase the richness of the relevant theories. It is among the first to empirically investigate online review deceptions from a consumer’s perspective, as opposed to a firm’s perspective as previous studies have done.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2015

Donald F. Kuratko, Travis J. Brown and Marcus Wadell

In e-commerce, consumers have begun to rely on the opinions of fellow consumers who posted through online consumer reviews to a reputation management system. An ethical…

Abstract

In e-commerce, consumers have begun to rely on the opinions of fellow consumers who posted through online consumer reviews to a reputation management system. An ethical concern has arisen in the use and abuse of these new systems. We examine the underlying ethical issues that entrepreneurs are confronting in this time of surging e-commerce. Using 32 vignettes, one for each cross-section of our research construct framework, followed by two Likert scales for respondents to indicate their agreement with the action described from both the perspective of ethicality and professional acceptability, we received responses for 1,252 vignettes, which generated a dataset of 2,504 data points. The results of our pilot study suggest that the ethical considerations for business professionals conducting business online are more nuanced and complex than conventional wisdom on the subject might suggest. While 60 research subjects are small, the use of paired vignettes in our survey allowed us to measure at least 1,000 paired responses for each research construct. The results have the potential of revealing how young professionals have been conditioned by the prevalence of web-based interactions and the anonymity they afford participants, as well as the degree to which they rationalize the misrepresentation of information by business professionals for the purpose of manipulating consumers’ purchasing decisions in order to drive sales. If consumers’ trust in reputation management systems erodes, the result could be a collapse of the entire system as a meaningful source of information. We also demonstrate the tolerance of what is deemed ethical versus professionally acceptable with online business practices.

Details

The Challenges of Ethics and Entrepreneurship in the Global Environment
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-950-9

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Article
Publication date: 11 April 2019

Melissa A. Baker and Kawon Kim

This paper aims to examine the underlying motivations, attitudes and behaviors of exaggerated review posters and readers by examining the effect of review valence…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the underlying motivations, attitudes and behaviors of exaggerated review posters and readers by examining the effect of review valence, emotional expression and language complexity on perceived poster, website and firm trustworthiness and subsequent behavioral intentions.

Design/methodology/approach

This research uses a mixed-method approach using the qualitative critical incident technique (CIT) and quantitative experimental design. Study 1 uses CIT to examine exaggerated online reviews from the poster perspective where Study 2 uses CIT to examine readers’ perceptions of exaggerated reviews. Study 3 conducts a between-subjects experimental design examining the impact of valence (positive vs negative) × emotion (low vs high) × language (vague vs detailed) on trustworthiness and behavior intention.

Findings

Results of the two qualitative studies (Study 1 and 2) find posters and readers use language complexity and emotions in exaggerated reviews. The results from the quantitative experimental design study (Study 3) find that language style and emotions influence customer perceptions of poster, website and firm trustworthiness, which also mediates the relationship between the qualitative aspects of review text on behavioral intentions.

Practical implications

The findings provide multiple practical implications on the prevalence of exaggerated online reviews and the importance of language and emotion in determining customer perceptions and behavioral intentions.

Originality/value

By focusing on both readers and posters in exaggerated eWOM, specific motivations, emotions and language, this research contributes to the literature of online reviews, customer misbehavior, trustworthiness, language use and value co-destruction in online environments.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2020

Xiangyou Shen, Bing Pan, Tao Hu, Kaijun Chen, Lin Qiao and Jinyue Zhu

Online review bias research has predominantly focused on self-selection biases on the user’s side. By collecting online reviews from multiple platforms and examining their…

Abstract

Purpose

Online review bias research has predominantly focused on self-selection biases on the user’s side. By collecting online reviews from multiple platforms and examining their biases in the unique digital environment of “Chinanet,” this paper aims to shed new light on the multiple sources of biases embedded in online reviews and potential interactions among users, technical platforms and the broader social–cultural norms.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first study, online restaurant reviews were collected from Dianping.com, one of China's largest review platforms. Their distribution and underlying biases were examined via comparisons with offline reviews collected from on-site surveys. In the second study, user and platform ratings were collected from three additional major online review platforms – Koubei, Meituan and Ele.me – and compared for possible indications of biases in platform's review aggregation.

Findings

The results revealed a distinct exponential-curved distribution of Chinese users’ online reviews, suggesting a deviation from previous findings based on Western user data. The lack of online “moaning” on Chinese review platforms points to the social–cultural complexity of Chinese consumer behavior and online environment that goes beyond self-selection at the individual user level. The results also documented a prevalent usage of customized aggregation methods by review service providers in China, implicating an additional layer of biases introduced by technical platforms.

Originality/value

Using an online–offline design and multi-platform data sets, this paper elucidates online review biases among Chinese users, the world's largest and understudied (in terms of review biases) online user group. The results provide insights into the unique social–cultural cyber norm in China's digital environment and bring to light the multilayered nature of online review biases at the intersection of users, platforms and culture.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9792

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Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Harry Kipkemoi Bett

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how predatory journals use spam emails to manipulate potential authors. This has been done based on McCornack’s information…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse how predatory journals use spam emails to manipulate potential authors. This has been done based on McCornack’s information manipulation theory (IMT). Generally, predatory publishing is on the increase globally but more pronounced in developing countries. Although it affects both young and seasoned scholars, inexperienced scholars and those ignorant on credible publishing are the most affected.

Design/methodology/approach

The current study through document analysis focuses on email invites from predatory journals sent to the author between June 2016 and December 2018 after publishing a peer-reviewed journal article. The resultant texts were analysed using a directed qualitative content analysis.

Findings

Findings indicate that the invites flouted all the four Gricean maxims (of quality, quantity, manner and relevance) as posited by IMT. This suggests that the spam mails sent to the author sought to manipulate potential authors to publish with predatory journals.

Research limitations/implications

This qualitative study focuses on email invites to the author which may not fully capture the manipulation by predatory journals.

Practical implications

It is important that scholars in developing contexts are aware of how predatory publishers seek to manipulate their victims. Universities and research institutions should be intentional in enlightening their academic staff on predatory journals and their characteristics. Similarly, universities should consider disincentivising their faculty members who publish in such platforms.

Originality/value

The originality in this study lies in its use of IMT to explain how predatory journals manipulate potentials authors.

Details

Global Knowledge, Memory and Communication, vol. 69 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9342

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Article
Publication date: 11 June 2018

Stephanie Q. Liu, Marie Ozanne and Anna S. Mattila

People express subjectivity and objectivity in everyday communication, yet little is known about how such linguistic content affects persuasion in electronic word-of-mouth…

Abstract

Purpose

People express subjectivity and objectivity in everyday communication, yet little is known about how such linguistic content affects persuasion in electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM). Drawing on the congruity theory and the selectivity model, the present study proposes that the effectiveness of subjectivity/objectivity expressions in an online review is contingent on whether the consumption experience is primarily hedonic or utilitarian, and whether the decision maker is a male or female. Furthermore, this study aims to examine the psychological mechanism that underlies the proposed effects.

Design/methodology/approach

This research used an experimental design to test the hypotheses. Four versions of online review stimuli were created. Participants were asked to read the online reviews and to complete a survey.

Findings

The findings indicate that expressing subjectivity (vs objectivity) in online reviews effectively boosts men’s purchase intention in the hedonic context and women’s purchase intention in the utilitarian context. Furthermore, the mediation analysis reveals that perceived relevance of the review is the psychological mechanism explaining the joint effects of linguistic style, consumption type and gender on purchase intention.

Originality/value

This research is the first to examine expressing subjectivity (vs objectivity) as a persuasion strategy in online reviews. Findings of this research add to the growing literature on linguistic effects in eWOM. Furthermore, this research deepens the understanding of conversational norms for hedonic vs utilitarian consumption in consumer-generated content and gender differences in processing online reviews.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 35 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2019

Yongrui Duan, Chen Chen and Jiazhen Huo

To encourage buyers to contribute product reviews, some online sellers offer monetary rewards. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of monetary rewards…

Abstract

Purpose

To encourage buyers to contribute product reviews, some online sellers offer monetary rewards. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of monetary rewards on buyers’ purchase decisions and review contributions, as well as the impact on the seller’s price decisions and profit.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors consider an online seller in a two-stage setting. Prior to Stage 1, the profit-maximizing seller sets the price and decides whether to offer a monetary reward secretly to motivate online reviews. Then, a continuum of buyers arrives and makes purchase decisions at the beginning of each stage. First-stage buyers may contribute reviews if they are satisfied, which will affect demand in the second stage. Using this analytical framework, the authors analyze the impact of monetary rewards.

Findings

If the monetary reward is small, it decreases the seller’s profit and fails to generate more reviews. It also increases price, leading to a decline in total demand. Thus, when the reward is lower than a certain threshold, all buyers are worse off. Only when the reward exceeds the threshold are buyers who contribute reviews better off. Profit and total demand both increase in review quality, while the price may either increase or decrease in it.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this paper is the first to analyze theoretically the impact of monetary rewards on buyers’ purchase decisions, review contributions and on online sellers’ decisions.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 27 August 2019

Xingbao (Simon) Hu, Yang Yang and Sangwon Park

Online ratings (review valence) have been found to exert a strong influence on hotel room prices. This study aims to systematically synthesize research estimating the…

Abstract

Purpose

Online ratings (review valence) have been found to exert a strong influence on hotel room prices. This study aims to systematically synthesize research estimating the impact of online ratings on room rates using a meta-analytical method.

Design/methodology/approach

From major academic databases, a total of 163 estimates of the effects of online ratings on room rates were coded from 22 studies across different countries through a systematic review of relevant literature. All estimates were converted into elasticity-type effect sizes, and a hierarchical linear meta-regression was used to investigate factors explaining variations in the effect sizes.

Findings

The median elasticity of online ratings on hotel room rates was estimated to be 0.851. Meta-regression results highlighted four categories of factors moderating the size of this elasticity: data characteristics, research settings, variable measures and publication outlet. Among sub-ratings, results revealed value rating and room rating to exert the largest impact on room rates, whereas staff and cleanliness ratings demonstrated non-significant impacts.

Practical implications

This study provides practical implications on the relative importance of different types of online ratings for online reputation and revenue management.

Originality/value

This study represents the first research effort to understand factors moderating the effects of online ratings on hotel room rates based on a quantitative review of the literature. Moreover, this study provides beneficial insights into the specification of empirical hedonic pricing models and data-collection strategies, such as the selection of price variables and choices of model functional forms.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 31 no. 12
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 1000