Jeffrey G. Blodgett
This study examined the dual forces of national culture and rising consumerism on consumers’ propensity to express their service sentiments and how intensely they do so. We text-mined online customer restaurant reviews from China, a transformative nation with rising consumerism (brought on by improved socio-economic conditions), and compared these with online restaurant reviews from Japan and the United States. Although Chinese and Japanese consumers share a similar set of Far Eastern cultural values, we found substantial differences in their online reviews. Chinese customers expressed a more significant number of sentiments with greater intensity than those in the US and Japan. Our findings demonstrate that Far Eastern cultures are not homogeneous and that subtle differences in cultural values can substantially impact customer expectations. The results also reflect the impact of rising consumerism in China and heightened consumer expectations. Overall, this study indicates that prevailing views of Eastern vs. Western consumer behaviors might no longer be valid.