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Management Science and Engineering's Lecture

Topic:Online Review Volume, Customer Agility and Product Performance: An Empirical Big Data Study in the Mobile App Industry

Speaker:Weiguo Fan

Time: 12:00, June 21, 2017

Place: Roon 1008, Mingde Business Building



This study examines product development based on online customer reviews. We develop a tension perspective to reconcile contradictories in prior literature and investigate relationships among review volume, product performance, and customer agility, which describes the effectiveness of a developer’s response to customers’ demands. We argue that because demands embedded in large-volume reviews are valuable but difficult to respond, review volume has a curvilinear relationship with customer agility. This relationship is moderated by the developer’s number of sibling products and the variance of product ratings. Furthermore, because making effective responses to demands simultaneously raises customers’ willingness to purchase and product development costs, customer agility has a curvilinear relationship with product performance. We test our model using a large mobile app dataset consisted of three million online reviews and find support for our hypotheses. Our findings of the curvilinear relationships and moderators provide nuanced explanations on how online reviews facilitate product development.