B2B eWOM on Alibaba

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dc.contributor.author Toth, Zsofia
dc.contributor.author Mrad, Mona
dc.contributor.author Itani, Omar S.
dc.contributor.author Luo, Jun
dc.contributor.author Liu, Martin J.
dc.date.accessioned 2022-10-24T08:47:24Z
dc.date.available 2022-10-24T08:47:24Z
dc.date.copyright 2022 en_US
dc.date.issued 2022-10-24
dc.identifier.issn 0019-8501 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10725/14116
dc.description.abstract This study investigates the contemporary role of electronic word-of-mouth (eWOM) in business exchanges through buyers' signaling of observable and unobservable supplier characteristics on the Alibaba e-commerce platform. Utilizing a qualitative pre-study of 20 interviews (five buyer–supplier dyads with two interviews per firm) and more than 8000 buyer reviews on Alibaba, we identify characteristic patterns of this type of B2B eWOM. Signaling Theory and Social Exchange Theory underpin the empirical investigation. To enable further conceptualization, the study distinguishes between online B2B reviews based on the extent to which they are controlled by organizational partners. Unlike some other forms of B2B reviews, reviews on Alibaba are uncontrolled and comprise a form of eWOM. Findings indicate that the relational patterns of B2B eWOM shared on Alibaba can be aggregated into three categories: human touch, responsiveness, and resilience. Besides these new categories, the importance of product/service quality has been confirmed. Through Alibaba reviews, buyers' signals are sent not only to suppliers as feedback, but also to other prospective buyers to influence their purchase decisions. Our study aims to contribute to the B2B literature on eWOM and signaling in business relationships. By showing that human touch occurs even in online-only buyer–supplier relationships, the study provides evidence that bonding, the development of mutuality, and relationship intimacy in buyer–supplier relationships does not always require in-person contact. Managerial implications are offered with a focus on the signaling of unobservable qualities, such as human touch, with the help of B2B eWOM. en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.title B2B eWOM on Alibaba en_US
dc.type Article en_US
dc.description.version Published en_US
dc.title.subtitle signaling through online reviews in platform-based social exchange en_US
dc.author.school SOB en_US
dc.author.idnumber 200501701 en_US
dc.author.department Hospitality Management And Marketing en_US
dc.relation.journal Industrial Marketing Management en_US
dc.journal.volume 104 en_US
dc.article.pages 226-240 en_US
dc.keywords WOM en_US
dc.keywords eWOM en_US
dc.keywords Signaling en_US
dc.keywords Online reviews en_US
dc.keywords Online B2B marketing en_US
dc.keywords Human touch en_US
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.1016/j.indmarman.2022.04.019 en_US
dc.identifier.ctation Tóth, Z., Mrad, M., Itani, O. S., Luo, J., & Liu, M. J. (2022). B2B eWOM on Alibaba: Signaling through online reviews in platform-based social exchange. Industrial Marketing Management, 104, 226-240. en_US
dc.author.email omar.itani@lau.edu.lb en_US
dc.identifier.tou http://libraries.lau.edu.lb/research/laur/terms-of-use/articles.php en_US
dc.identifier.url https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0019850122000931 en_US
dc.orcid.id https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2258-7837 en_US
dc.author.affiliation Lebanese American University en_US

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