Online reviews: The effect of cosmopolitanism, incidental similarity, and dispersion on consumer attitudes toward ethnic restaurants

Lu Zhang, Lydia Hanks

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Abstract

The current study examines the joint effect of incidental similarity, dispersion, and individuals' cosmopolitanism on customers' attitude and purchase intention in the context of online reviews. A 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design is conducted with incidental similarity and dispersion being manipulated and cosmopolitanism being measured. The results indicate that customers high in cosmopolitanism tend to have a more positive attitude towards a restaurant after reading a set of positive reviews written by reviewers with different ethnic backgrounds (i.e., low similarity condition) compared to the reviews written by people with similar ethnic backgrounds. Customers low in cosmopolitanism show a similar attitude and purchase intention across conditions. Further, this pattern is only significant when dispersion is high (vs. low). The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages115-123
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
Volume68
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018

Profile

Consumer attitudes
Online reviews
Cosmopolitanism
Restaurants
effect
purchase
Purchase intention
experimental design
Customer attitude
Experimental design

Keywords

  • cosmopolitanism
  • dispersion
  • ethnic dining
  • incidental similarity
  • Online review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Strategy and Management

Cite this

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abstract = "The current study examines the joint effect of incidental similarity, dispersion, and individuals' cosmopolitanism on customers' attitude and purchase intention in the context of online reviews. A 2 × 2 × 2 experimental design is conducted with incidental similarity and dispersion being manipulated and cosmopolitanism being measured. The results indicate that customers high in cosmopolitanism tend to have a more positive attitude towards a restaurant after reading a set of positive reviews written by reviewers with different ethnic backgrounds (i.e., low similarity condition) compared to the reviews written by people with similar ethnic backgrounds. Customers low in cosmopolitanism show a similar attitude and purchase intention across conditions. Further, this pattern is only significant when dispersion is high (vs. low). The theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.",
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