Impact of Gamification on Perceptions of Word-of-Mouth Contributors and Actions of Word-of-Mouth Consumers

Wang, L., Gunasti K., Shankar, R., Pancras, J. Gopal, R., Impact of Gamification on Perceptions of Word-of-Mouth Contributors and Actions of Word-of-Mouth Consumers, MISQ (Management information systems quarterly), Forthcoming

31 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2020 Last revised: 12 May 2022

See all articles by Lei Wang

Lei Wang

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business

Kunter Gunasti

Washington State University

Ramesh Shankar

University of Connecticut - Department of Operations & Information Management

Joseph Pancras

University of Connecticut - Department of Marketing

Ram Gopal

University of Warwick

Date Written: September 27, 2018

Abstract

Gamification has been shown to encourage contributions of user-generated reviews (word-of-mouth, WOM) in various domains, including travel and leisure related platforms (Foursquare, TripAdvisor), e-commerce (Amazon), and auctions (eBay). WOM contributors write reviews about products/services provided by business venues and WOM consumers read reviews and use them to form attitudes and make purchase decisions. Gamification elements such as points and badges, awarded to WOM contributors for various reasons, and displayed to WOM consumers, have a dual role in WOM context. First, points awarded for user contributions help motivate WOM contributors to increase their participation. Second, badges awarded to users for visiting business venues signal prior experience or competence, and they help determine how WOM consumers perceive WOM contributors and form their judgments based on the reviews. While the first role of gamification (i.e., motivating users) has been widely studied, the impact of WOM presented along with gamification elements on the perceptions and behavior of the target audience, WOM consumers, has not been examined. This is important to businesses that are looking to attract customers. Drawing on social psychology literature, we show that gamification symbols signaling experience that accompanies WOM leads to perceptions of positive WOM contributors as more competent. This leads to important changes in behavioral outcomes such as willingness to visit/buy and willingness to recommend the reviewed outlets.

Keywords: gamification, word-of-mouth, badge, competence

Suggested Citation

Wang, Lei and Gunasti, Kunter and Shankar, Ramesh and Pancras, Joseph and Gopal, Ram, Impact of Gamification on Perceptions of Word-of-Mouth Contributors and Actions of Word-of-Mouth Consumers (September 27, 2018). Wang, L., Gunasti K., Shankar, R., Pancras, J. Gopal, R., Impact of Gamification on Perceptions of Word-of-Mouth Contributors and Actions of Word-of-Mouth Consumers, MISQ (Management information systems quarterly), Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3256050 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3256050

Lei Wang

Pennsylvania State University - Smeal College of Business ( email )

University Park
State College, PA 16802
United States

Kunter Gunasti (Contact Author)

Washington State University ( email )

386 Todd Addition
Carson School of Business
Pullman, WA Whitman 99164
United States
5093354833 (Phone)

Ramesh Shankar

University of Connecticut - Department of Operations & Information Management ( email )

368 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States
860-486-5217 (Phone)
860-486-4839 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.sramesh.com/

Joseph Pancras

University of Connecticut - Department of Marketing ( email )

Storrs, CT 06269
United States

Ram Gopal

University of Warwick ( email )

West Midlands, CV4 7AL
United Kingdom

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