The Role of Power and Incentives in Inducing Fake Reviews in the Tourism Industry

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71 Scopus citations


As online reviews have become increasingly prevalent in recent years and their influence on consumers’ purchasing decisions has grown exponentially, some companies have begun to ask people to write fake reviews about their businesses or their competitors while offering compensation in return. This process has drawn the attention of regulators because it knowingly misleads consumers. This article reports on two studies that looked at the effect of two types of incentives (self-benefiting or charitable) on individuals’ intentions to write fake reviews and examined the moderating role of a person’s sense of power on his or her propensity to post a fake review. The study findings indicate that powerless individuals are more likely to post a fake review when presented with a monetary incentive rather than a charity incentive, while powerful individuals are not impacted by incentive type. Moreover, when asked to post negative fake reviews about competitors, such effects are mitigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)975-987
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Travel Research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Transportation
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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