Lei WangFollow

Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Location-based Services, Spatial Dependence, Agglomeration, Predictive Modeling, Gamification

Major Advisor

Ram Gopal

Associate Advisor

Ramesh Sankaranarayanan

Associate Advisor

Joseph Pancras

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


With the emergence of smart-phones and other mobile devices with internet connectivity, location-based services create a social network between businesses and consumers where customers get opportunities to explore the businesses around their geographic locations and to socialize with their friends; businesses can attract more traffic, establish better relationships with their customers and also learn their competitors’ marketing strategies. Therefore, location-based services provide us the opportunity to investigate the customer-customer relationship, customer-retailer relationship, and retailer-retailer relationship.

Location-based services have received a lot of media coverage but little attention from the academic world. This dissertation investigates how location-based services, such as Foursquare, influence customers’ shopping behavior and firms’ marketing strategy. More specifically, this thesis consists of three separate essays that are focused on: (1) factors that drive customer engagement on location-based services; (2) whether the information provided by location-based services can be used to predict retailers’ business performance; (3) the impact of its gamification features on the effectiveness of word-of-mouth for products and services. Our study contributes to the literature on the impact of mobile-enabled location-based services on business performance, spatial competition, and word-of-mouth. We provide managerial insights for both business practitioners and consumers in terms of the value of location-based services.