Title: Message and source characteristics as drivers of mobile digital review persuasiveness: does cultural context play a role?

Authors: Iryna Pentina; Oksana Basmanova; Qin Sun

Addresses: Department of Marketing and International Business, College of Business and Innovation, MS 103, The University of Toledo, Toledo, OH 43606, USA ' Department of Business Administration, People's Ukrainian Academy, Kharkiv, Ukraine ' Department of Marketing, Logistics and Operation Management, Glenn Jones College of Business, Trident University International, 5757 Plaza Dr, Suite 100, Cypress CA 90630, USA

Abstract: This study examines the impacts of message valence (positive/negative/sided) and perceived source similarity on user attitudes towards mobile restaurant reviews and review persuasiveness in low- and high-context cultures. Two experiments were conducted in the USA and Ukraine. The results reveal significant differences in consumer paths to adopting mobile digital reviews in low-context vs. high-context cultures. They indicate that in low-context cultures positive reviews are perceived as more trustworthy, credible, and helpful than negative or two-sided reviews. The same relationships are observed in high-context cultures only under conditions of perceived source similarity. Review helpfulness and credibility, in turn, positively impact its persuasiveness in both high- and low-context communication traditions. Based on the findings, future research avenues and managerial implications are proposed.

Keywords: digital customer reviews; message characteristics; source characteristics; mobile platforms; Yelp; mobile digital reviews; online reviews; review persuasiveness; culture; cultural context; message valence; perceived source similarity; user attitudes; restaurant reviews; USA; United States; Ukraine.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIMA.2017.082988

International Journal of Internet Marketing and Advertising, 2017 Vol.11 No.1, pp.1 - 21

Received: 10 Jun 2016
Accepted: 12 Sep 2016

Published online: 17 Mar 2017 *

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