商学院博士论坛:Product Policy in Markets with Word-of-Mouth Communication

发布者:研究生教育管理中心     时间:2018-03-28

3月22日,商学院博士论坛在三教108教室举行,2017级管理科学与工程博士生彭慧洁同学,作了题为“Product Policy in Markets with Word-of-Mouth Communication”的报告。

 

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    彭慧洁在报告中指出,We investigate the equilibrium relationship between product quality and word-of-mouth (WOM) communication. Specifically, we ask whether firms should optimally produce “better” products when consumers are morelikely to exchange information. The critical moderating factor in our model is the nature of the communication andwhat its primary impact is. We first look at WOM that expands awareness of a product. We show that quality mayeither increase or decrease as WOM expands. The answer depends, in part, on the extent to which the expansionof WOM is one of scale alone or whether it also fundamentally changes the structure of communications. Next, weexamine a model in which the primary impact of WOM is to help people to evaluate the utility provided byproducts with which they are already familiar. Our model suggests that more WOM in this context should alwayslead to higher-quality products. We demonstrate that the underlying driver of this result is that the elasticity ofdemand with respect to quality is increasing in the proportion of consumers who are informed about the product’squality. Taken together, the two models therefore suggest that the firm’s optimal product-policy response to thegrowth in social interactions depends on both the content and the structure of the underlying conversations.Finally, we compare both WOM models to analogous models of advertising and demonstrate that the firm’soptimal response to a decrease in advertising costs is quite different from that to an increase in WOM. The reasonfor these differences can be traced back to a fundamental distinction between advertising and WOM: although theformer is optimized, the latter is far more random。

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