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Journal of Global Marketing
Deadline: 30 April 2021
Electronic Word of Mouth and Online Customer Reviews:
A Cross-Cultural Perspective
In this digital-global era, consumers’ purchase decisions are increasingly influenced by electronic word of mouth (eWOM) in general and online customer reviews (OCRs) in particular (Chung et al., 2018). With the global accessibility of most online communities and social media, this influence clearly extends beyond cultural and national boundaries.
Despite the recent surge in research on eWOM and OCRs, there is a surprising lack of cross-cultural insights in the marketing literature. As Banerjee and Chai (2019, p. 2) conclude in a recent Journal of Global Marketing article, the field has “limited understanding of how differences in cultures lead to eWOM.” This conspicuous void—in light of the strong theoretical base for culture-specific communication styles (Holtgraves, 1997; Smith, 2011) and against the background of today’s ubiquitous global eWOM platforms—suggests a fruitful and impactful research direction.
To begin with, consumers from North America (vs. East Asia) are known to value freedom (vs. moderation) in self-expression (Kim & Sherman, 2007). These distinct cultural values may in all likelihood be reflected in eWOM texts. Numerical manifestations of eWOM (e.g., OCR ratings) are also susceptible to cultural influence, as Nakayama and Wan’s (2019) recent study reveals. On the receiving end, the classic individualism-versus-collectivism contrast (Kim & Markus, 1999) points to consumers in the respective cultures favoring eWOM that caters to the need for uniqueness versus conformity.
It is also interesting to observe that OCR platforms are managed in vastly different ways. For example, the leading Australian OCR platform, Productreview.com.au, urges reviews to “state accurate facts and be objective,” whereas its Indian counterpart, Mouthshut.com, encourages reviewers to “let the true you come alive in emotional, honest, funny anecdotes.” It seems worthwhile to explore if culture plays a role in these OCR platform management decisions.
To fill a significant knowledge gap, we invite original contributions on eWOM and OCRs from a cross-cultural perspective. We welcome both conceptual and empirical papers to this special issue that may address pertinent issues including (but not limited to) the following:
- Culture-specific eWOM behaviors
- Cultural influence on eWOM seeking and eWOM sharing tendencies
- Cultural comparisons on eWOM patterns and eCommerce activities
- Cross-cultural studies on eWOM styles
- Traditional WOM versus eWOM across cultures
- Biculturals’ eWOM behaviors on global platforms
- Managing global OCR platforms across cultures
- Cultural elements in the design of OCR platforms
- Managerial response strategies to OCRs in different cultures
- The impacts of culture on eWOM and OCR effectiveness in terms of attitude, behavior, and product sales
- Culture-and language-specific methodology for extracting and analyzing OCR data
- Cultural, legal, and ethical issues of eWOM and OCRs
Please submit your manuscript via the online submission system:
The first page must contain the title, author(s) and contact information of the corresponding author. For additional guidelines, please see Instructions for Authors on the website:
All papers submitted for publication consideration in the Special Issue will be double blind reviewed, following the review process guidelines of the Journal of Global Marketing.
The timeline of this special issue is as follows.
- Full paper submission deadline: October 31, 2020
- Accept/reject decisions: On a rolling basis during November 2020 to March 2021
- Possible publication in mid 2021
Looking to Publish your Research?
Banerjee, S., & Chai, L. (2019). Effect of Individualism on Online User Ratings: Theory and Evidence, Journal of Global Marketing, DOI: 10.1080/08911762.2018.1549690
Chung, C., Moriuchi, E., Limbu, Y. B., & Ganesan, P. (2018). Attitudes toward Star Ratings: Generational Differences among Indian Consumers. Journal of Global Marketing, 31(2), 128-141.
Holtgraves, T. (1997). Styles of language use: Individual and cultural variability in conversational indirectness. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 73(3), 624-637.
Kim, H. S., & Sherman, D. K. (2007). “Express Yourself”: Culture and the Effect of Self-Expression on Choice. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 1-11.
Kim, H., & Markus, H. R. (1999). Deviance or Uniqueness, Harmony or Conformity? A Cultural Analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 77(4), 785-800.
Nakayama, M., & Wan, Y. (2019). The cultural impact on social commerce: A sentiment analysis on Yelp ethnic restaurant reviews. Information & Management, 56(2), 271-279.