Award Date


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


William F. Harrah College of Hospitality

First Committee Member

Billy Bai

Second Committee Member

Carola Raab

Third Committee Member

Cass Shum

Fourth Committee Member

Anjala Krishen

Number of Pages



Consumers engage with online reviews when making purchase decisions, especially for experience goods such as hospitality services. Negative online reviews (NOR) harm business revenue and hospitality operators try to minimize the consequence by responding to NOR. However, management responses are hard to implement and could generate adverse effects. This study suggests that the impact of NOR on product choice can be eradicated by launching an appropriate sales promotion. Based on prospect theory, choice theory, social judgment theory, and cognitive dissonance theory, this study examines how different proportions of NOR influence consumer purchase intention for two hospitality sectors – restaurant and hotel. Two scenario experiments were utilized to test the joint effects of rating disadvantage (i.e., the focal product has a lower aggregated online review rating score than its competitors) and sales promotion on product choice intention. By comparing the results of a familiar brand and a new brand, this study investigates whether the effects differ by brand attitude. Furthermore, this paper explores the effect of prior attitudes on purchase intention and how the relationship varies by rating disadvantage. It also identifies the mechanism responsible for the proposed effects by testing perceived risk and attitude change as mediators.The results of this study demonstrate that a combination of monetary and non-monetary sales promotions alleviates the impact of NOR. However, this strategy is only effective when the rating disadvantage is small and when the product brand is familiar. A favorable prior attitude lowers consumers’ perceived risk for the brand and buffers the influence of NOR when the rating disadvantage is small. For a familiar product with a big rating disadvantage, NOR changes consumer attitude and consequently decreases purchase intention. For a new hospitality product, even a small rating disadvantage increases perceived risk and prevents consumers from buying. The current study differentiates itself from previous research in three aspects. First, it examines the impact of NOR in choice scenarios and studies service establishments whose online review rating scores are lower than competitors. In addition to purchase intention, product choice intention is examined. Second, this is the first study that examines the effectiveness of non-monetary sales promotions in buffering the impact of NOR on hospitality products. Some hospitality operators offer steep discounts to encourage purchases. However, such discounts come with unwanted long-term effects, including lowering reference prices, damaging brand image, and decreasing profitability. The current study suggests that a combination of price discount and premium may be a superior substitute for a steep discount. Third, this study identifies that rating disadvantage, brand attitudes, and sales promotions follow a descending order in influential power. The findings of this study provide practical suggestions for hospitality operators and contribute to the theoretical understanding of the trade-off among multiple factors that influence consumer decision-making.


brand attitude; hospitality product; negative online review; prospect theory; purchase intention; sales promotion


Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Marketing

File Format


File Size

7300 KB

Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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Available for download on Friday, August 15, 2025