Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Document Type



Strategic use of systems beyond firm control (SBFC) is a critical challenge for firms that are voluntarily or involuntarily represented in these systems. Firms are forced to use SBFCs that are information systems neither designed nor controlled by them to stay competitive in the market. Online review systems are a class of SBFC in which companies can participate while playing by the systems’ rules through managerial responses. Through a mixed-methods investigation that combines an archival study and two experimental studies, we extend the understanding of the benefits that the firms who intervene in these systems can receive. In the first chapter, we demonstrate that different types of managerial responses, in terms of textual content, lead to different financial outcomes. More specifically, topic-congruent responses enhance firms’ financial performance beyond the effect of their mere presence. In the second chapter, we provide an underlying causal explanation by investigating the effect of such managerial responses on potential customers' purchase intention. The third chapter focuses on the effect of stance adaptations, another layer of strategy for managerial responses, on system users' perceived diagnosticity and purchase intentions. Our findings provide a deeper understanding of consumer behavior in response to the represented firms’ interventions. This research also contributes to a framework for evaluating managerial response strategies for firms willing to optimize their activities in SBFC.

Committee Chair

Piccoli, Gabriele



Available for download on Friday, March 14, 2025