It is widely accepted that online reviews represent a valuable resource for sellers, buyers, and e-commerce platforms in B2C environments. Studies from this field highlight the beneficial impact of self-disclosure of reviewer characteristics for the benefit of firms and review readers. Despite the rich body of literature on online reviews, little is known about the role of online reviews in B2B markets. In particular, it is unclear whether and to what extent self-disclosure of reviewer characteristics is sys-tematically related to a reviewer’s rating. Using a comprehensive dataset from a large B2B online review platform, we test a hypothesis derived from privacy risk calculus theory and relationship man-agement. Our preliminary results suggest that higher ratings are associated with an increased likeli-hood of reviewers to disclose personal and employer-related information, whereas low ratings are more often posted anonymously – albeit officially verified by the platform. As low ratings are usually more informative, our results highlight a trade-off between reviewer candor and self-disclosure. While future customers benefit from truthful/informative reviews and from reviewer self-disclosure, these factors seem to be traded off for one another on B2B online review platforms. These results carry sub-stantial managerial implications for B2B review platforms, sellers, and customers.
Gutt, Dominik and Neumann, Jürgen, (2019). "THE VIRTUES OF ANONYMITY – AN EMPIRICAL INVESTIGATION OF THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN B2B ONLINE RATINGS AND REVIEWER SELF-DISCLOSURE". In Proceedings of the 27th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), Stockholm & Uppsala, Sweden, June 8-14, 2019. ISBN 978-1-7336325-0-8 Research-in-Progress Papers.