The impact of knowledge types on the consumer search process: An investigation in the context of credence services

Anna S. Mattila, Jochen Wirtz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


Previous research provides evidence for a conceptual distinction between self-assessed and objective knowledge, and relatively little is known about the relationship between knowledge and information search. The current research provides empirical evidence for differentiating the two knowledge types. Furthermore, it suggests that the relative effects of the two types of knowledge on pre-purchase information search depend on the type of information source. Consistent with prior research, this study shows that self-assessed knowledge is strongly linked to the consumer's use of personal sources of information, including internal memory searches and word-of-mouth communication. Conversely, objective knowledge seems to have a positive impact on the consumer's motivation to seek external information (e.g. newspaper articles, mass media sources) about the service provider. Managerial implications for professional service providers are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-230
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Service Industry Management
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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