Liechtenstein Information Systems Seminar: Information compression in online ratings

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Prof. Dr. Richard (Rick) Thomas Watson


Monday, February 12th 2018, 11.30 - 13.00
University of Liechtenstein, S3


Prof. Dr. Richard (Rick) Thomas Watson
J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy
Department of MIS, University of Georgia's Terry College of Business, USA

Many people are touched by rating systems that are used to evaluate people, products, and services. Some observers have noted that for some cases, the average scores have over time converged to a high value with little variance. As a result, we have information compression, with the consequence that an entity's respective scores contain little information because with minimal variance there is little capability for discriminating among entities or explaining differences in performance.

Information compression has important consequences for society because market economies, rely on information to operate effectively. This is also a problem for marketing, which is designed to escape the price focus of markets by developing frames for distinguishing products and services and gain premiums by building a positive reputation. If marketing's efforts to differentiate a firm's offerings are not reflected in consumers' ratings, then its various marketing tactics are wasted because providers look like they offer identical products and services.

The presentation will discuss the causes of information compression in terms of social norms and judgment costs and present some systems design actions for reducing it.

Richard Watson is a Regents Professor and the J. Rex Fuqua Distinguished Chair for Internet Strategy in the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. He is the current Research Director for the Advanced Practices Council of the Society of Information Management and a former President of the Association for Information Systems. In 2011, he received the Association for Information Systems' LEO award, which is given for exceptional lifetime achievement in Information Systems. As a visiting researcher at RISE Viktoria in Gothenburg, he is engaged in establishing and applying Maritime Informatics to the European shipping industry. He is an Honorary Visiting Professor at Xi'an Jiaotong University. He is on the editorial board of Energy Informatics and the Information Systems department editor for Management & Business Review, both new journals.

Professor Watson has published over 180 journal articles and written books on electronic commerce, data management, and energy informatics. His work has been accepted by leading academic and practitioner journals and has been translated into several languages. He has made contributions on themes such as Group Support Systems, information service quality, web site quality, U-constructs, frugal IS, energy informatics, dominant logic, digital data streams, and episodic tight coupling. Dr. Watson has given invited presentations to practitioners and academics in more than 30 countries. He was educated at the University of Western Australia (BSc, Dip. Comp), Monash University (MBA), and the University of Minnesota (PhD).

The participation is free of charge.


Prof. Dr. Stefan Seidel


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