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Title: A transition process from information systems acceptance to infusion behaviour in online brand communities: A socialization process perspective
Authors: Lim, Jaehoon
Advisors: Lee, H
Balta, ME
Keywords: Social network;IS intention;IS implementation;IS user behaviour;New product development
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Brunel University Brunel Business School PhD Theses
Abstract: Social media such as Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and online communities plays an important role for knowledge production and diffusion as well as discussions among people. Among social media, online brand communities (OBCs) have recently received attention from both academics and practitioners due to the practical benefits of OBCs for consumers and companies. For consumers, knowledge sharing and its collective activities help them to make purchase decisions and to protect themselves against firms’ monopoly and oligopoly or collusion and anticompetitive actions. For companies, new ideas and feedback on brand products created by OBC members are useful input to develop new products and enhance existing product lines. Therefore, active content generation by community members is one of the critical success factors of OBCs. However, many scholars argue that only a few members who are more devoted to a community are tending to engage in OBC activities and many community members tend to remain in the periphery (sometimes called ‘lurkers') of the community by using OBCs merely for gathering information without any contributions. Therefore, it is important to make members in the periphery of the community transit to the core to increase members’ intentions and ‘devoted members’ to produce more valuable benefits for both consumers and firms. In spite of its importance, the literature is lacking in efforts to explain how and when community members in the periphery transit to the core of the community in a long-term perspective. This study aims to reveal how and why OBC members transit from the periphery to the core of the community and how to increase their intention to use OBC from a long-term perspective. OBC use behaviour is classified into, largely, two categories according to the purposes of an OBC: behaviour with a brand product consumption purpose; and behaviour with a social relationship building purpose. This study classifies OBC members as three clusters by social identity theory: tourists, minglers, and devoted members (devotees and insiders). The devoted members have valuable consumption knowledge of brand and strong social bonds in the OBC and the OBC members become a devoted member by accumulated brand knowledge and experiences through long-term OBC use. Therefore, from a socialisation aspect, this study adopts organisational socialisation theory as the theoretical lens to explain how and why the members evolve from novice members as tourist to devoted members in OBC contexts. Socialisation theories argue that there are usually three sequential stages for a member to gain full membership in a community: pre-entry, accommodation, and affiliation. In addition, this study adopts IS implementation theory to understand OBC user behaviours from an IS use behaviour perspective: acceptance in the pre-entry stage and routinisation in the accommodation stage and infusion in the affiliation stage. By reviewing socialisation theory and IS implementation theory, this study finds four significant motivations, those of information quality, trust, sense of belonging, and brand loyalty for intention of OBC use from the acceptance (pre-entry) to infusion (affiliation) stages. To integrate the socialisation perspective with the IS use perspective, this study adopts a technology acceptance model (TAM) as a theoretical framework to link to motivators in different OBC use behaviour from the acceptance to infusion stages. As a result, this study proposes a conceptual framework to explain the OBC members’ transition process from acceptance (pre-entry) to infusion (affiliation). The aim of this study is to predict and explain the transition of motivators for OBC use from pre-entry to affiliation and how to improve members’ intention of OBC use from a long-term perspective ultimately to foster ‘devoted members’. This study adopts an online survey targeting 518 participants who belong to 17 OBCs in South Korea and the conceptual framework is validated. The results show that all factors (i.e. information quality, trust, sense of belonging, brand loyalty) are significant determinants to increase intention to use OBCs and the factors have a causal relationship with each other to form a transition process from the acceptance (pre-entry) to infusion (affiliation) stages. This study also reveals that brand loyalty has a significant role to explain the transition process and directly influence user intention to use OBCs. The sense of belonging also directly affects members’ intention to use OBCs but has less impact than brand loyalty. In addition, the results indicate that TAM is an appropriate model to predict user behaviours in a long-term perspective to explain the change of OBC use behaviour from the acceptance to infusion stage and confirms that perceived usefulness and perceived ease of use have significant impact on the intention to use OBCs as in other IS studies. Understanding the transition process within OBCs has theoretical and practical implications. Theoretically, it will extend our understanding of how IS end users transit from acceptance behaviour to continued use and extended use of information systems in virtual community contexts. For managers, this study will provide them with insight on how to retain potential consumers in OBCs and facilitate their activities to gain consumer feedback on existing and new products.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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