ITEC Research Seminar presents ‘Skewing users’ rational risk considerations in social commerce: An empirical examination of the role of social identification’
Speaker: Samira Farivar, assistant professor, Information Systems, Carlton University
Social commerce has emerged as a new platform that enables users to conduct shopping assisted by inputs from other members and to publicly comment on transactions or products. It therefore adds a social aspect to traditional online commerce environments. Nevertheless, the role of the social facet embedded in such transactions in influencing user behaviors is not fully understood. In this study, we rely on theories of risk deterrence in decision-making and the “risky/choice shift” logic to suggest that the social identification of users regarding their community members skews the way they consider risks in decision-making on these sites. Using data from 175 users of etsy.com, we show that perceived commerce risk reduces intentions to buy from the website and that perceived participation risk curtails intentions to post comments on social commerce forums. The findings further show that the influence of these risk assessments is reduced when the degree of social identification with the website community increases; these risk considerations become negligible in decision-making processes when social identification is one standard deviation above the mean. Hence, users’ social identification with the social commerce website community skews their rational decision-making.
Samira Farivar is an assistant professor of information systems at the Sprott School of Business. Before joining Sprott, Farivar earned her BSc and MSc both in industrial engineering before accepting a full scholarship to the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University (Hamilton, Ont.) for a PhD in business administration, information systems. Her research currently includes three main areas of research. The first area is online users’ behaviours, namely decision-making in the context of social media platforms and social commerce. She is examining the factors that influence and/or bias users’ behaviours, such as risk-taking propensity, the role of habit, as well as the influence of having a social identity on a social commerce website. Further to this, Farivar is developing work in “influencer marketing” – people (or “micro-celebrities”) who promote products via social media platforms and their impact on their followers. Her second area of research focuses on big data analytics and operations management. In the former, she is examining the factors that companies should consider when integrating big data analytics in their operations. The latter looks at the supplier development program and its effectiveness in enhancing supply chain processes. As her third area of research, she is investigating technology adoption among older adults to better understand factors that can encourage the use of technology among this specific age group. She is focusing mostly on technologies that can improve older adults’ physical conditions such as health tracking devices. Farivar’s research has been published in academic journals such as the International Journal of Production Economics,Information & Managementand Internet Research.