Date of Award

Fall 11-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Marketing and Analysis

First Advisor

Barry J. Babin


The number of products and services available online is growing at a tremendous pace. Consumers increasingly desire the ability to filter through the noise and quickly discover the products that are most relevant to their needs. Many businesses are implementing product recommender systems to provide this ability to consumers, and the result is often increased sales and more satisfied customers.

However, recommender systems can also have negative consequences for consumers. For example, a recommender system can bias consumers to purchase more expensive products. Additionally, theories of consumer choice-making suggest that recommender systems can sometimes make purchase choices more difficult, resulting in outcomes that are contrary to the intended purposes of the system, such as customers expending greater shopping effort and feeling less satisfied as a result of receiving too many suggestions.

The purpose of this dissertation is to further explore when recommender systems can negatively affect consumers’ online shopping experiences. I investigate three research questions: 1) When do product recommendations increase, rather than decrease, shopping effort? 2) When do product recommendations decrease, rather than increase, shopping satisfaction? And 3) When do recommender systems decrease, rather than increase, consumers’ choice-making confidence? I propose to study these questions by conducting an experiment using a fictitious retail website and online survey.