Title: A multinational study of espoused national cultural and review characteristics in the formation of trust in online product reviews

Authors: Christopher P. Furner; Pradeep Racherla; Zhen Zhu

Addresses: College of Business, East Carolina University, 345 Slay Hall, Greenville, NC 27858, USA ' Woxsen School of Business, Jubilee Road No. 36, Hyderabad, India ' Center for International Cooperation in E-Business, School of Economics and Management, China University of Geosciences, Wuhan 430074, China

Abstract: Recent changes in web technologies have given a voice to consumers in online discussions of products and services. While the web has long been a source of information about products and services, web content was controlled by those who could develop for the web. Web software that permits novice users to contribute to conversations about products has been embraced by online retailers, who facilitate and encourage online user reviews of products. Researchers are just starting to understand the relationship between online reviews and purchase intention. In this study, we report the results of a simulation-based web purchase experiment that included subjects in three countries. We find that information quality, a social component and espoused uncertainty avoidance influence trust in the review. We were not able to support an interaction effect between information quality and uncertainty avoidance, nor an interaction effect between the social component and collectivism.

Keywords: online product reviews; Web 2.0; trust; espoused national culture; e-commerce; word of mouth; WoM; electronic commerce; online reviews; purchase intention; simulation; web purchasing; information quality; uncertainty avoidance; social component; collectivism.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2014.063586

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2014 Vol.20 No.1/2/3, pp.14 - 30

Published online: 29 Jul 2014 *

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