Title

Measuring Social Influence From Online Traveler Reviews

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

11-18-2019

Publication Title

International Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Insights

Volume

3

Issue

1

First page number:

54

Last page number:

72

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to develop a scale to measure normative and informational influence in online traveler reviews. Design/methodology/approach – Through proper scale development techniques and a two-sample validation process, the resulting 2-factor, 11-item scale yields a valid and reliable measure of social influence. Findings – The resultant scale provides a tool for researchers to investigate the process whereby different characteristics of online reviews influence travel decisions. Originality/value – Customer reviews are prevalent and powerful sources of influence on travel decisions. However, it is unclear how social influence manifests in today’s online purchasing environment. For several decades, the domain of social influence has played an important role in the advancements of consumer behavior and hospitality/tourism research. In particular, normative and informational influences are applicable, since online reviews contain numerous informational and normative cues. These principles were formulated under much different conditions than today’s purchasing environment. This research provides a way to measure normative and informational influence in the online review environment, thus enhancing the understanding of how reviews influence purchase decisions.

Keywords

Reviews; Social influence; Scale development; Online purchasing; Travel decision

Disciplines

Business | Communication | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Social Influence and Political Communication | Tourism and Travel

Language

English

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