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EMAC 2022 Annual

The attitude – behaviour gap in eWOM: the paradoxical Generation Z

Published: May 24, 2022


David D'Acunto, University of Pisa; Raffaele Filieri, Audencia Business School


This paper exploits bigdata to explore to what extent Generation Z customers engage in discussing sustainability practices carried out by their service providers when posting a review online. The study identifies the attention Gen Z pays to the environmental and social domains of sustainability, including trend over time and their association with ratings (i.e. customer satisfaction). Text analytics with a specific dictionary developed for the study of sustainability are applied on a dataset of 500.000 hotel reviews, covering six European cities and 10 years. Results reveal how, despite Gen Z is portrayed as the most socially and environmentally conscious generation, often bringing sustainability into their consumption practices, the story is rather different with regards to their discourse online. Gen Z tend to discuss fewer on sustainable practices comparing to other generational cohorts, while the social and environmental dimensions are differently associated with their ratings.