Reputation systems are extensively used in e-commerce, particularly online auction markets, to foster cooperation and accountability between buyers and sellers, resulting in price premiums and improved trust between buyers and sellers. The diffusion of reputation systems through online auction markets is pervasive, as trust engendered through reputation is necessary for cooperative action. Information transparency influences cooperative and competitive behavior in online auction markets, and through information transparency this study explores the information effects within online auctions on seller reputation and buyer trusting beliefs and intentions. In addition, a seller's reputation is dependent on the salience of their market identity, and cannot be relegated to simple feedback scores. Therefore, we propose that perceived reputation of sellers' depends on seller identifiability through pseudonyms and levels of identity knowledge. Finally, a distinction is drawn between institutionalized reputation, e.g. feedback scores, and perceived reputation, e.g. the impression of potential buyers. In this research in progress, we present a theoretically grounded research model to study the effects of identity and information transparency in reputation systems and online auction markets. We outline the proposed experimental design using a proxy website to manipulate key information components to induce treatment effects, and conclude with a discussion of the implications of adopting different identity and transparency design for reputation systems in online auction markets.
Schilhavy, Richard and Iyer, Lakshmi, "EXPLORING THE INFORMATION EFFECTS OF IDENTITY AND INFORMATION TRANSPARENCY IN REPUTATION SYSTEMS" (2007). DIGIT 2007 Proceedings. 17.