The Differential Effects of Online Peer Review and Expert Review on Service Evaluations

feedback-2352516_960_720Professor Hean Tat Keh of Monash University and Jin Sun of the University of International Business and Economics, Beijing recently published an article in the Journal of Service Research which is entitled “The Differential Effects of Online Peer Review and Expert Review on Service Evaluations: The Roles of Confidence and Information Convergence.” We are pleased to welcome them as contributors and excited to announce that the findings will be free to access on our site for a limited time. Below they reveal the inspiration behind the research, as well as additional information not included in the final publication.

JSR_20_2_Covers.inddWhat motivated you to pursue this research?

In the Internet age, it is commonplace to find online reviews by both ordinary consumers and experts (e.g., Consumer Reports). Nonetheless, the majority of prior research tends to focus on the effects of either source of information but not both. In particular, we were interested to conduct the research in the context of services, and not goods. This is because services are typically associated with greater uncertainty and variability compared to goods, leading consumers to approach goods purchases differently from services purchases.

Furthermore, there are different categories of services; for example, experience services can be confidently evaluated after purchase or consumption (e.g., hotel, hair salon, and restaurant), while credence experiences are difficult to evaluation even after consumption—they have to be taken on faith (e.g., dental service, insurance agency, and language institute). In this sense, credence services tend to carry greater uncertainty and risks compared to experience services.

Against this backdrop, several interesting and relevant questions arise:

  • What are the differential effects of peer review and expert review on consumers’ service evaluations?
  • What is the psychological mechanism underlying these effects?
  • Do these effects vary by experience vs. credence service?
  • What is potentially a boundary condition for these effects?

Were there any specific external events that influenced your decision to pursue this research?

While word-of-mouth communication was traditionally confined to oral, face-to-face, and other means of direct communication, the rapid growth of the Internet and associated technologies has amplified the impact of peer reviews online. Thus, consumers today have easy access to a wide range of online reviews by both their peers and experts (e.g., rottentomatoes.com, zagat.com, and tripadvisor.com).

Nonetheless, there was limited research examining the differential effects of peer and expert reviews on consumers’ service evaluations. Thus, we feel that findings from our research are timely and contribute to a better understanding of an interesting social and business phenomenon.

In what ways is your research innovative, and how do you think it will impact the field?

Across three studies, we show that consumers evaluate experience services more favorably when exposed to peer review, while they evaluate credence services more favorably when exposed to expert review). In addition, we show that these interaction effects can be explained by consumers’ confidence in their service evaluations.

More importantly, we identify the moderating role of information convergence on these effects. Specifically, convergent positive reviews (e.g. multiple positive reviews from peers and/or experts) confirm the aforementioned effects. However, when consumers see mixed information (i.e., positive and negative reviews) from either similar (i.e., multiple peer reviews or multiple expert reviews) or different sources (i.e., combination of peer and expert reviews), negative expert review has stronger influence than negative peer review in lowering consumer confidence and their service evaluations. This is a key result that is new to the literature.

Overall, these findings make important contributions to the literature on information processing in the services domain, and also have significant practical implications on managing consumer expectations of third-party information.

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Notes on the Origin of “The Normalization of Corruption”

[Wjmie’re pleased to welcome back J.S. Nelson, Senior Fellow at the Zicklin Center for Business Ethics Research at Wharton, and an Advisor in the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Nelson recently published an article in the Journal of Management Inquiry entitled “The Normalization of Corruption.” Notes from Nelson:]

My forthcoming article on “The Normalization of Corruption” in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of Management Inquiry started in a fairly unusual way. I am an attorney—a former prosecutor and commercial litigator—who has taught in business schools for nearly ten years. My work focuses on both entrepreneurship and business ethics.

But the differences between law and business still surprise me. At the 2016 Western Academy of Management meeting in Portland, a group of us were lingering over the end of breakfast at a conference table. As we described what we were working on, and I mentioned my articles about the incentives for wrongdoing within organizations leading to the 2007-08 financial crisis and scandals since, someone at the table stopped me mid-stream. “What are you doing sitting here? You need to be in the session happening now on corruption,” she told me. I protested that I didn’t work on corruption. For lawyers, corruption is the paying of bribes to government officials. But the management, finance, and organizational behavior people at the table envisioned corruption much more broadly—they saw corruption as the misuse of organizational resources by anyone who hijacks the proper purpose of the corporation. Yes, under this definition, the financial crisisthe VW emissions scandal, and today’s headlines about fraud at Wells Fargo are all corruption.

So I ran over to the room where the corruption symposium was mid-stride. And, lo and behold, a defense lawyer spoke to the crowd about white collar crime. Other people described the loss of positive “voice” that they had seen in corporate scandals. I was writing the Oxford University Press’s book on Business Ethics. These people were speaking my language. As the session drew to a close, I raised my hand to make a comment about the sorry state of the law and how middle management is often where the details of large scandals originate in order to protect top executives who don’t want to ask the questions that they should while on the job.

My comment and question drew Paul Hirsch’s attention. Paul is, as you know, the James L. Allen Professor of Strategy & Organizations in the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is also passionate about new ideas and what we can do about corruption in this country. We sat down for an impromptu talk perched at a small table outside the meeting room to compare notes about how decisions in the courts are helping to fuel the patterns of corruption that we both study. We talked about the work that I was doing on the prevalence of corruption industry-by-industry, and how behavioral ethics helped explain the tipping points beyond which corruption became a norm.

Paul looked at me hard. I could tell he was coming to a decision. “Okay, do it,” he said. “Write this up for me as a guest editor of the issue—let’s put this in the Journal of Management Inquiry’s special issue on Corruption.” I protested—I came from a different discipline, the deadline was two weeks away, I had other publishing commitments, it just wasn’t possible. But Paul had seen the links between my work and his field. We cared about the same things. He knew that the management community needed to hear from additional perspectives, and he knew that the synergies would be worth pursuing.

And he was exactly right. The “Normalization of Corruption” article wrote itself.  The management material told part of the story, and the additional keys were in law and behavioral ethics. There is a pronounced cycle: the fact that misconduct is perceived by individuals to be so widespread has led to a normalization of corruption within companies and industries. The contribution of the law—and this part is particularly vicious—is that the normalization of corruption, in turn, helps to defeat attempts to prosecute the misconduct and to prevent its spread. Normalizing corruption tells individuals not only that it is acceptable to cheat, but that cheating is the behavior now expected of them and for which they will be rewarded.

So read the paper. Let me know what you think. Lawyers don’t usually talk about cultures and norms, and business professors don’t usually talk about doctrine and cases. But it’s time to put the pieces together. These synergies are shaping the world we live in, and—unless we have the conversations that we need to change that world—they are reciprocally creating the normalization of corruption.

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Congratulations to Group and Organization Management’s Outstanding Reviewers!

GOM 39(6)_Covers.inddWe’re pleased to congratulate Andrew D. Brown, Devaki Rau, Chris Robert and Li-Yun Sun, winners of Group and Organization Managements Outstanding Reviewer Award for 2015! The winners kindly provided us with some information on their backgrounds:

Andrew Brown Photo 2012Andrew D. Brown is Professor of Organization Studies at the University of Bath. He has previously held faculty positions at the universities of Manchester, Nottingham, Cambridge and Warwick. His primary research interests centre on issues of identity, sensemaking, narrative, and power, and his work has been published in journals including Academy of Management Review, Organization Studies, Journal of Management Studies, and Human Relations. He currently serves on the editorial boards of Group and Organization Management, Human Relations, Journal of Management Studies, and Organization, and is a Senior Editor of Organization Studies.

WIN_20131024_215951 (2)Devaki Rau is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management at Northern Illinois University. Her research interests include strategic decision making, top management teams, and organizational learning. Her research has been published in journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Journal of Management, Journal of Applied Psychology, Small Group Research, and Group and Organizational Management. She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota.

Robert ChrisChris Robert received his PhD in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and is currently an Associate Professor of Management in the Trulaske College of Business at the University of Missouri-Columbia. His research has involved cross-cultural management issues, groups and teams, and conflict and negotiation, though his most recent research has examined the role of humor in the workplace. His research has appeared in journals such as Journal of Applied Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Management, Human Relations, Group and Organization Management, Journal of Business and Psychology, and Personnel Psychology.

SunLi-Yun Sun is a professor of Management at school of Business, Macau University of Science and Technology. He received his Ph.D. in management from Hong Kong Baptist University. His research work appears in such journals as Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Applied Psychology, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Leadership Quarterly, Journal of Vocational Behavior, Asia Pacific Journal of Management and others. He was one of winners of Outstanding Reviewer Award of Academy of Management meeting (2015, OB section). In recent years he reviewed for multiple journals including Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Human Relations, Human Resource Management, and Academy of Management Journal (special issue). He also reviews for annual Academy of Management meeting and bi-annual meeting of International Association for Chinese Management Research.

In honor of this award, you can read the October issue of Group and Organization Management free for the entire month of October! Click here to view the Table of Contents. Want to know about all the latest news and research from Group and Organization Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Congratulations to Family Business Review’s Outstanding Reviewer for 2015!

We’re pleased to congratulate Francesco Barbera, winner of Family Business Review‘s Outstanding Reviewer Award for 2015! Dr. Barbera graciously provided us with some information on his background:

Francesco (Frank) Barbera is an Assistant Professor in Family Enterprise and the Director of the Family Enterprise Center at Stetson University in Florida. While working with the Australian Centre for Family Business (ACFB), Dr. Barbera received his Ph.D. in Economics from Bond University in Queensland, Australia. His research covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of family business, small business, entrepreneurship, management, and business education. Frank’s work has been published in high-level journals which include the Family Business Review, Small FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddBusiness Economics, and the Academy of Management Learning and Education, and is regularly presented at international conferences, such as the Family Enterprise Research Conference (FERC) and the International Family Enterprise Research Academy (IFERA). Dr. Barbera’s research has been recognized with the 2014 the “Best Dissertation Award” by the Family Firm Institute (FFI) and the 2010 and 2014 Family Owned Business Institute (FOBI) Scholarships. He is also an active member in the family business community through his work as a member of the Family Business Review’s Editorial Board, a coach for the Family Enterprise Case Competition (FECC), and the Team Leader for Stetson University’s Successful Transgenerational Entrepreneurship Practices (STEP) Project.

In honor of this award, you can read the latest issue of Family Business Review for free through the end of September! Click here to view the Table of Contents. For more information on Family Business Review‘s Best Reviewer Awards, including this year’s Excellent Reviewers, click here. To have all the latest news and research from Family Business Review sent directly to your inbox, click here!

The Art of Referencing in Scholarly Articles

book-look-1382050-mThe reference section of an academic work is more complex than you might think. The references not only provide validity to one’s argument, but initiate meaningful discussion with the scholarly community. So how can authors ensure that their references are successful? Allison W. Pearson of Mississippi State University and Family Business Review Editor-in-Chief Pramodita Sharma discuss the process for perfecting citations in their editorial “Referencing in Scholarly Articles: What Is Just Right?”

From the editorial:

The scholarly reference (1) gives credit to the original source of materials used and (2) provides FBR_C1_revised authors color.inddevidence of the depth and breadth of scholarly work, via the materials reviewed, integrated, and synthesized to form the basis of the research. The reference list of a manuscript reflects the authors’ due diligence in exploring and understanding the research topic. To situate its contribution, a scientific text must establish a context and convey to readers the extent and nature of its relationship to the existing literature. References are the means to establish this context and the nature of contribution (Locke & Golden-Biddle, 1997).

References, then, serve as a critical component of the scholarly article, worthy of careful time and attention by authors, and careful review and evaluation by reviewers and readers. The goal of this editorial is to provide a thought-provoking discussion of references in the scholarly manuscript and identifying key points to be considered in selecting and presenting references for publication in family business and other areas in management and organizational research.

You can read “Referencing in Scholarly Articles: What Is Just Right?” from the September 2015 issue of Family Business Review. Like what you read? Click here to sign up for e-alerts and have all the latest news and research from Family Business Review sent directly to your inbox!

Introducing Public Personnel Management’s Incoming Editor!

Jared Llorens

Jared Llorens

We’re delighted to welcome the incoming editor of Public Personnel Management, Jared J. Llorens! Dr. Lorens recently took the time to provide us with with information on his background:

Jared J. Llorens is an Associate Professor and Associate Director of the Public Administration Institute at Louisiana State University. His research focuses primarily on public sector human resource management, with particular interests in pay comparability, civil service reform and automated recruitment. He sits on the editorial boards of the Review of Public Personnel Administration and Public Administration Review, and recently stepped down as American co-editor of Public ppm coverAdministration. He is the current Chair of the Section on Personnel Administration and Labor Relations of the American Society for Public Administration and is a past Chair of the Public Administration Section of the American Political Science Association. Dr. Llorens received his Ph.D. in Public Administration from the University of Georgia in 2007 and is a former Human Resources Specialist with the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Public Personnel Management is published specifically for human resource executives and managers in the public sector. Each quarterly edition contains in-depth articles on trends, case studies and the latest research by top human resource scholars and industry experts. In honor of Dr. Llorens new editorship, you can read the current issue of Public Personnel Management for free for the next two weeks by clicking here!

Special thanks to P. Edward French, the outgoing editor of Public Personnel Management, who will continue to process manuscripts under review to completion.

Want to keep up to date with all the latest news and research from Public Personnel Management? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!

Introducing Journal of Travel Research’s Incoming Editor!

CrouchWe’re pleased to welcome the incoming editor of Journal of Travel Research Geoffrey Crouch of La Trobe University! Dr. Crouch kindly provided us with some information on his background:

Geoffrey Crouch is Professor of Tourism Policy & Marketing in the La Trobe Business School, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. He is an elected Fellow in the International Academy for the Study of Tourism. He has received several research awards including the 2012 Charles R. Goeldner Article of Excellence Award for the Best Paper published in the Journal of Travel Research in 2011, the 2012 Faculty of Business, Economics and Law Executive Dean’s Research Award, the 1997 Dean’s Award for Outstanding Research JTR_72ppiRGB_powerpointAchievement at the University of Calgary, the 1994 Best Article Award for the Journal of Travel Research, and the 1993 Best Paper Designation at the 48th Annual Conference of the Council for Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (CHRIE). He was also an elected member of the Board of Directors of the Calgary Convention and Visitors Bureau. Professor Crouch has undertaken consulting assignments for organizations such as the Australian Tourist Commission, and the Hong Kong Tourist Association. In the area of space tourism, Professor Crouch organized a conference panel at the 2001 Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference on the future of space tourism that included Dr. Buzz Aldrin, Chairman of ShareSpace Foundation.

Geoffrey’s research interests span four main research themes, as follows: Tourism psychology and consumer behaviour; Destination competitiveness and management; Tourism marketing; and Tourism policy.

Journal of Travel Research, published bimonthly, is the premier, peer-reviewed research journal focusing on travel and tourism behavior, management and development. The first scholarly journal in North America focused exclusively on travel and tourism, Journal of Travel Research provides researchers, educators, and professionals with up-to-date, high quality, international and multidisciplinary research on behavioral trends and management theory for one of the most influential and dynamic industries. The journal is a 4 ranked journal by Association of Business Schools and A* ranked by Australian Business Deans Council. The July issue of Journal of Travel Research can be read for free for the next two weeks by clicking here.

The outgoing editor of Journal of Travel Research, Richard R. Perdue, will continue to process manuscripts under review to completion.

Want to keep up with all the latest news and research from Journal of Travel Research? Click here to sign up for e-alerts!