Many firms are struggling with how to tailor their responses to online reviews expressing negative emotions. While most studies on the managerial response (MR) tailoring point to the importance of MR content, how the content is conveyed, often referred to as language style, has been underexplored. Drawing on the verbal mimicry and communication tailoring literature, we propose that style matching may be at least as important as content matching and play a different role when responding to reviews embedded with negative emotions. Further, we consider the differences among the various negative emotions expressed in reviews and explore how to tailor MR for reviews embedded with discrete negative emotions (anger, sadness, anxiety, and disgust) expressed in reviews. The results show that style matching is more effective for anger-embedded reviews and sadness-embedded reviews while content matching performs better for disgust-embedded reviews. However, these two tailoring strategies are not effective for anxiety-embedded reviews.


Paper Number 1333; Track E-Business; Short Paper



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