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The rise of co-creative consumers : user experience sharing behaviour in online communities

Chen, Chien-Hung (2012) The rise of co-creative consumers : user experience sharing behaviour in online communities. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

This thesis examines consumer initiated value co-creation behaviour in the context of convergent mobile online services using a Service-Dominant logic (SD logic) theoretical framework. It focuses on non-reciprocal marketing phenomena such as open innovation and user generated content whereby new viable business models are derived and consumer roles and community become essential to the success of business. Attention to customers. roles and personalised experiences in value co-creation has been recognised in the literature (e.g., Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2000; Prahalad, 2004; Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). Similarly, in a subsequent iteration of their 2004 version of the foundations of SD logic, Vargo and Lusch (2006) replaced the concept of value co-production with value co-creation and suggested that a value co-creation mindset is essential to underpin the firm-customer value creation relationship. Much of this focus, however, has been limited to firm initiated value co-creation (e.g., B2B or B2C), while consumer initiated value creation, particularly consumer-to-consumer (C2C) has received little attention in the SD logic literature. While it is recognised that not every consumer wishes to make the effort to engage extensively in co-creation processes (MacDonald & Uncles, 2009), some consumers may not be satisfied with a standard product, instead they engage in the effort required for personalisation that potentially leads to greater value for themselves, and which may benefit not only the firm, but other consumers as well. Literature suggests that there are consumers who do, and as a result initiate such behaviour and expend effort to engage in co-creation activity (e.g., Gruen, Osmonbekov and Czaplewski, 2006; 2007 MacDonald & Uncles, 2009). In terms of consumers. engagement in value proposition (co-production) and value actualisation (co-creation), SD logic (Vargo & Lusch, 2004, 2008) provides a new lens that enables marketing scholars to transcend existing marketing theory and facilitates marketing practitioners to initiate service centric and value co-creation oriented marketing practices. Although the active role of the consumer is acknowledged in the SD logic oriented literature, we know little about how and why consumers participate in a value co-creation process (Payne, Storbacka, & Frow, 2008). Literature suggests that researchers should focus on areas such as C2C interaction (Gummesson 2007; Nicholls 2010) and consumer experience sharing and co-creation (Belk 2009; Prahalad & Ramaswamy 2004). In particular, this thesis seeks to better understand consumer initiated value co-creation, which is aligned with the notion that consumers can be resource integrators (Baron & Harris, 2008) and more. The reason for this focus is that consumers today are more empowered in both online and offline contexts (Füller, Mühlbacher, Matzler, & Jawecki, 2009; Sweeney, 2007). Active consumers take initiatives to engage and co-create solutions with other active actors in the market for their betterment of life (Ballantyne & Varey, 2006; Grönroos & Ravald, 2009). In terms of the organisation of the thesis, this thesis first takes a „zoom-out. (Vargo & Lusch, 2011) approach and develops the Experience Co-Creation (ECo) framework that is aligned with balanced centricity (Gummesson, 2008) and Actor-to-Actor worldview (Vargo & Lusch, 2011). This ECo framework is based on an extended „SD logic friendly lexicon. (Lusch & Vargo, 2006): value initiation and value initiator, value-in-experience, betterment centricity and betterment outcomes, and experience co-creation contexts derived from five gaps identified from the SD logic literature review. The framework is also designed to accommodate broader marketing phenomena (i.e., both reciprocal and non-reciprocal marketing phenomena). After zooming out and establishing the ECo framework, the thesis takes a zoom-in approach and places attention back on the value co-creation process. Owing to the scope of the current research, this thesis focuses specifically on non-reciprocal value co-creation phenomena initiated by consumers in online communities. Two emergent concepts: User Experience Sharing (UES) and Co-Creative Consumers are proposed grounded in the ECo framework. Together, these two theorised concepts shed light on the following two propositions: (1) User Experience Sharing derives value-in-experience as consumers make initiative efforts to participate in value co-creation, and (2) Co-Creative Consumers are value initiators who perform UES. Three research questions were identified underpinning the scope of this research: RQ1: What factors influence consumers to exhibit User Experience Sharing behaviour? RQ2: Why do Co-Creative Consumers participate in User Experience Sharing as part of value co-creation behaviour? RQ3: What are the characteristics of Co-Creative Consumers? To answer these research questions, two theoretical models were developed: the User Experience Sharing Behaviour Model (UESBM) grounded in the Theory of Planned Behaviour framework, and the Co-Creative Consumer Motivation Model (CCMM) grounded in the Motivation, Opportunity, Ability framework. The models use SD logic consistent constructs and draw upon multiple streams of literature including consumer education, consumer psychology and consumer behaviour, and organisational psychology and organisational behaviour. These constructs include User Experience Sharing with Other Consumers (UESC), User Experience Sharing with Firms (UESF), Enjoyment in Helping Others (EIHO), Consumer Empowerment (EMP), Consumer Competence (COMP), and Intention to Engage in User Experience Sharing (INT), Attitudes toward User Experience Sharing (ATT) and Subjective Norm (SN) in the UESBM, and User Experience Sharing (UES), Consumer Citizenship (CIT), Relating Needs of Self (RELS) and Relating Needs of Others (RELO), Newness (NEW), Mavenism (MAV), Use Innovativeness (UI), Personal Initiative (PIN) and Communality (COMU) in the CCMM. Many of these constructs are relatively new to marketing and require further empirical evidence for support. Two studies were conducted to underpin the corresponding research questions. Study One was conducted to calibrate and re-specify the proposed models. Study Two was a replica study to confirm the proposed models. In Study One, data were collected from a PC DIY online community. In Study Two, a majority of data were collected from Apple product online communities. The data were examined using structural equation modelling and cluster analysis. Considering the nature of the forums, the Study One data is considered to reflect some characteristics of Prosumers and the Study Two data is considered to reflect some characteristics of Innovators. The results drawn from two independent samples (N = 326 and N = 294) provide empirical support for the overall structure theorised in the research models. The results in both models show that Enjoyment in Helping Others and Consumer Competence in the UESBM, and Consumer Citizenship and Relating Needs in CCMM have significant impacts on UES. The consistent results appeared in both Study One and Study Two. The results also support the conceptualisation of Co-Creative Consumers and indicate Co-Creative Consumers are individuals who are able to relate the needs of themselves and others and feel a responsibility to share their valuable personal experiences. In general, the results shed light on "How and why consumers voluntarily participate in the value co-creation process?. The findings provide evidence to conceptualise User Experience Sharing behaviour as well as the Co-Creative Consumer using the lens of SD logic. This research is a pioneering study that incorporates and empirically tests SD logic consistent constructs to examine a particular area of the logic – that is consumer initiated value co-creation behaviour. This thesis also informs practitioners about how to facilitate and understand factors that engage with either firm or consumer initiated online communities.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 48252
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Drennan, Judy& Andrews, Lynda
Additional Information: Embargoed until 20th April 2012.
Keywords: consumer-to-consumer interaction, service-dominant logic, sharing, value co-creation, consumer engagement, online community, convergent mobile online services
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > QUT Business School
Current > Schools > School of Advertising, Marketing & Public Relations
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 25 Jan 2012 10:39
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2012 00:10

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