Quotation Schlager, Tobias, Hildebrandt, Christian, Häubl, Gerald, Franke, Nikolaus, Herrmann, Andreas. 2018. Social Product-Customization Systems: Peer Input, Conformity, and Consumers’ Evaluation of Customized Products. Journal of Management Information Systems. 35 (1), 319-349.




Many product-customization systems enable consumers to obtain input from their peers during the customization process. The design characteristics of these customization systems vary significantly, and some systems provide consumers with the opportunity to receive peer input only privately (i.e., unobservable to fellow consumers) while others allow consumers to receive peer input publicly (i.e., observable to other consumers). Building on prior research on thinking styles and social impact theory, the current work examines the interplay between user, social network, and system design characteristics in social product-customization systems as drivers of whether consumers conform to input received from others on their customized products and of their evaluation of these products. Evidence from one field study and four experiments shows that consumers with more holistic (vs. analytic) thinking styles make more conforming product modifications when receiving public rather than private peer input, and this greater conformity to peer input boosts (vs. diminishes) consumers’ evaluation of customized products when they feel close (vs. distant) to input providers. These findings offer novel insights into how the design of social product-customization systems affects consumers’ evaluation of customized products.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Journal article
Journal Journal of Management Information Systems
Citation Index SSCI
WU Journalrating 2009 A
WU-Journal-Rating new FIN-A, INF-A, STRAT-A, WH-A
Language English
Title Social Product-Customization Systems: Peer Input, Conformity, and Consumers’ Evaluation of Customized Products
Volume 35
Number 1
Year 2018
Page from 319
Page to 349
Reviewed? Y
DOI https://doi.org/10.1080/07421222.2018.1440763
Open Access N


Franke, Nikolaus (Details)
Häubl, Gerald (University of Alberta, Canada)
Herrmann, Andreas (Universität St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Hildebrandt, Christian (Geneva School of Economics and Management, Switzerland)
Schlager, Tobias (St. Gallen, Switzerland)
Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation IN (Details)
Research Institute for Family Business FI (Details)
WU Entrepreneurship Center WE (Details)
Research Institute for Cryptoeconomics FI (Details)
Research areas (ÖSTAT Classification 'Statistik Austria')
5307 Business and management economics (Details)
5320 Marketing (Details)
5350 Innovation research (Details)
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