Consumer engagement in online brand communities

Dessart, Laurence (2015) Consumer engagement in online brand communities. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis advances the concept of consumer engagement as a valid approach to the conceptualisation and measurement of Online Brand Community (OBC) participation. Against the background of rapid technological advances affecting the way consumers interact online, this thesis posits that past representations of OBC participation fail to adequately capture OBC participation. It further argues that consumer engagement offers a new analytical lens, which is more responsive to the interactive, social and multidimensional nature of OBCs.

The thesis conceptualises consumer engagement in OBC as an affective, cognitive and behavioural phenomenon whereby a consumer is engaged both with the other members of the OBC and with the focal brand. It then identifies antecedents and outcomes of consumer engagement in English-speaking OBC. The measurement and conceptual model are tested using data from OBC participants. In particular, two original scales of consumer engagement are developed.

The conceptual model is tested using structural equation modelling techniques, and the results largely support the research hypotheses. The results show that online interaction propensity, attitude toward OBC participation and product involvement positively relate to OBC engagement, and that online brand engagement is positively related to product involvement and OBC engagement. Online brand engagement shows positive correlations with brand trust, commitment and loyalty. Group invariance is largely achieved using data from French OBCs, which contribute to validating the English sample results.

Overall, the thesis conceptually and empirically contributes to the burgeoning literature on consumer engagement in OBC and enhances our understanding of OBC participation. The study provides an improved, more online-relevant conceptualisation and measurement of consumer engagement and identifies its key individual drivers and relational outcomes. These findings also provide strategic implications for the community of OBC practitioners.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: brand community, consumer engagement, social media, Facebook.
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Colleges/Schools: College of Social Sciences > Adam Smith Business School > Management
Supervisor's Name: Veloutsou, Dr. Cleopatra and Morgan-Thomas, Dr. Anna
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Doctor Laurence Dessart
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6638
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2015 12:53
Last Modified: 03 Sep 2018 13:02

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