Trust if it's just – the effects of customer ratings on relationships in platform markets

Starke, Sebastian ; Janda, Sergej von ; Kuester, Sabine

Document Type: Conference presentation
Year of publication: 2020
Conference title: EMAC 33rd Doctoral Colloquium
Location of the conference venue: Brussels, Belgium
Date of the conference: 03.-04.09.2020
Related URLs:
Publication language: English
Institution: Business School > ABWL, Marketing & Innovation (Kuester)
Subject: 330 Economics
Keywords (English): Platforms, Customer Ratings
Abstract: Despite the growing relevance of platforms, their management as digital business models remains challenging. To regulate encounters between customers and service providers, platforms frequently employ bidirectional rating systems used for both parties to evaluate each other. But how do customers react to receiving customer ratings? And how do these customer ratings affect the relationship between customers and the platform? We conduct an online scenario experiment in which customers receive customer ratings for their behavior in a service. Using balance theory as a conceptual underpinning, we show that customers’ reactions are affected by the perceived adequacy of the ratings and their trust in the platform. Our findings contribute to the emerging literature on platforms and improve our understanding of the effect of customer ratings on relationships in platforms. Further, this study urges platform managers to educate service providers about the importance of adequate customer ratings.

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