Can Market Knowledge from Intermediaries Increase Sellers’ Performance in On-Line Marketplaces?

Jooryang Lee, Jai-Yeol Son, and Kil-Soo Suh
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 14 Number 4, Summer 2010, pp. 69.

Abstract: The success of on-line marketplaces hinges on their ability to attract and retain sellers as well as buyers. The extant literature focuses on understanding the behavior of buyers, however, and few studies have tackled issues central to the performance of sellers. As a first step to fill this gap, this study systematically examines the effect of market knowledge from intermediaries on the performance of sellers in on-line marketplaces. Specifically, using a knowledge-based view of the firm as a theoretical lens, a research model is developed that highlights a causal link from the quality of market knowledge provided by an intermediary to sellers’ market knowledge utilization and performance in an on-line marketplace. Strong empirical support for the research model is provided by data from 235 actual sellers in an on-line marketplace. The quality of market knowledge (i.e., its relevance, complementarity, and currency) is found to exert a positive effect on sellers’ utilization of market knowledge, which in turn improves the sellers’ performance. These findings motivate sellers to enhance their performance by utilizing market knowledge from intermediaries and offer useful guidelines for intermediaries to provide access to high-quality market knowledge for sellers in their marketplaces.

Key Words and Phrases: Market knowledge quality, market knowledge utilization, on line marketplaces, questionnaire survey, sellers’ performance in on line marketplaces.