Exploring the complexity of the individualistic culture through social exchange in online reviews

Yasmin Lamb, Wenjie Cai, Brad McKenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)
3 Downloads (Pure)


Online reviews have reshaped visitor economies. However, there is a lack of research regarding the motivations of visitors to write online reviews as most existing research disregards the cultural differences between individuals. This research investigates the motivations of museum visitors from individualistic cultures to write online reviews with the critique of Hofstede (1980) through the lens of Social Exchange Theory (SET). This study utilises the netnography methodology. One hundred and eleven detailed TripAdvisor reviews and ten email interviews were collected. Theoretically, we contribute to SET by developing a two-dimensional framework which indicates 1) that the complexity and heterogeneity of individualist culture were identified in the dimension of social exchange between the service provider and the visitors through online reviews; and 2) American and British visitors share similar individualist culture in the second dimension of social exchange between peers in online reviews. Practically, this research can benefit the online reputation management and expectation management for visitor attractions, with the goal of improving their visitor offerings and to minimise negative reviews.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102198
JournalInternational Journal of Information Management
Early online date8 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2020

Cite this