The Impact of Process- Versus Outcome-Oriented Reviews on the Sales of Healthcare Services

69 Pages Posted: 18 Oct 2018 Last revised: 30 Jan 2024

See all articles by Hongfei Li

Hongfei Li

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Jing Peng

University of Connecticut - Department of Operations & Information Management

Gang Wang

University of Delaware

Xue Bai

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management

Date Written: January 29, 2024

Abstract

The consumption of services inherently requires a process to achieve the desired outcome. For non-experiential services (e.g., healthcare and education) that are primarily valued for their end outcomes, the consumption typically involves lengthy processes that are not designed for enjoyment (e.g., wound care and lecture attendance). Consequently, there exists a prominent tension between the processes (means) and the outcomes (ends) of these services, which is largely ignored in the prior literature on user-generated content (UGC) that predominantly focuses on the consumption of products or experiential services (e.g., dining and lodging). To bridge this gap, we investigate the distinct roles of the process- and outcome-oriented reviews in influencing consumers’ decisions to pursue healthcare services, leveraging a comprehensive data set collected from an online platform for cosmetic procedures. By separating process- and outcome-oriented reviews through visual content analysis, we show that the effect of outcome-oriented reviews in boosting the sales of healthcare services is almost twice stronger than that of process-oriented reviews on average. However, the relative effectiveness of these two types of reviews varies substantially across different types of healthcare services. Specifically, we find that process-oriented reviews are more influential in affecting consumers’ purchases of services with higher complexity, in contrast to outcome-oriented reviews that are more impactful for services with lower complexity. Moreover, the impact of process-oriented reviews is stronger for less popular services, whereas the impact of outcome-oriented reviews is stronger for more popular services. These nuanced findings show that consumers resort to different types of UGC while considering different types of healthcare services. Our work has important implications both theoretically and practically.

Keywords: Process, Outcome, Feasibility, Desirability, Healthcare, Visual Content

Suggested Citation

Li, Hongfei and Peng, Jing and Wang, Gang and Bai, Xue, The Impact of Process- Versus Outcome-Oriented Reviews on the Sales of Healthcare Services (January 29, 2024). Information Systems Research (Forthcoming), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3255097

Hongfei Li

Chinese University of Hong Kong

39439679 (Phone)
999077 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.bschool.cuhk.edu.hk/staff/li-hongfei/

Jing Peng (Contact Author)

University of Connecticut - Department of Operations & Information Management ( email )

368 Fairfield Road
Storrs, CT 06269-2041
United States

Gang Wang

University of Delaware ( email )

419 Purnell Hall
Newark, DE 19716
United States

Xue Bai

Temple University - Fox School of Business and Management ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19122
United States

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