Paper Number

2011

Paper Type

Completed

Description

Medium-type reward is a token that people receive as an immediate reward for their effort and can be traded for a desired outcome, and has been widely used in various promoting campaigns. However, our understanding of its impact remains limited. This research focuses on the effect of medium-type reward on individuals’ referral intention in online reward referral programs. Based on general evaluability theory, we propose the medium minimization effect, i.e., individuals have higher referral intention when the numerical value of medium-type reward is small (vs. large) and that the effect will be attenuated when the reward strategy does not care whether referral is successful or the actual reward is uncertain. Results of three experimental studies support our hypotheses. Findings put forward new insights into the medium effect, as well as its potential mechanism, and individuals’ referral behavior, and can help firms optimize the design of online reward referral program systems.

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Dec 11th, 12:00 AM

Medium Minimization Effect of Medium-type Reward in the Online Referral Reward Programs: A General Evaluability Perspective

Medium-type reward is a token that people receive as an immediate reward for their effort and can be traded for a desired outcome, and has been widely used in various promoting campaigns. However, our understanding of its impact remains limited. This research focuses on the effect of medium-type reward on individuals’ referral intention in online reward referral programs. Based on general evaluability theory, we propose the medium minimization effect, i.e., individuals have higher referral intention when the numerical value of medium-type reward is small (vs. large) and that the effect will be attenuated when the reward strategy does not care whether referral is successful or the actual reward is uncertain. Results of three experimental studies support our hypotheses. Findings put forward new insights into the medium effect, as well as its potential mechanism, and individuals’ referral behavior, and can help firms optimize the design of online reward referral program systems.

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