Incentivized referrals are frequently used by firms to recruit new customers. Currently, most companies use two-sided incentive plans that reward both the referrer and the target. This is sensible and likely popular since both parties (the existing customer and target of the referral) are rewarded, potentially increasing the likelihood of successful referral conversion. That said, a small number of firms use one-sided incentives that reward only the referrer or only the target, which tend to be of lower cost. In the current paper, we examine how to effectively use one-sided incentives from a cross-cultural perspective. Specifically, we posit that reward-target incentives are more effective than reward-referrer plans among consumers who are high (instead of low) in interdependence because reward-target plans can appease social concerns, which are more important to those high (vs. low) in interdependence. Across a series of studies, we confirm these predictions and show that managerially relevant variables that influence social concerns (e.g., opaqueness of the referral information, product-liking risk) moderate our effect.
These same data inclusion criteria were applied across all studies that proxied self-construal via ethnicity (studies 2 and 5). Some earlier research juxtaposed Asian and non-Asian respondents (Aaker & Williams, 1998), and our results hold under this criterion.
The survey platform (https://www.wjx.cn/) requests that researchers collect age information in ranges rather than specific numbers. Therefore, age was measured with the following categories: below 18, 18–25, 26–30, 31–40, 41–50, 51–60, and above 60.
Hayes (2017) indicated that the Johnson–Neyman method cannot be used for the PROCESS Model 3 if the moderator is dichotomous (as in our case). Therefore, a spotlight analysis was conducted to provide insight into the identified interaction.