مشارکت اجتماعی نام تجاری (برند) در تایوان : بررسی نقش های فرد، گروه، و سوابق در سطح روابط
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|1965||2012||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Journal of Business Research, Volume 65, Issue 5, May 2012, Pages 676–684
This study extends brand community research by proposing and testing a model of user participation in brand communities. The authors conceptualize three levels of antecedents of brand community participation (individual, relationship, and group) based on qualitative results and an extensive literature review. The empirical analysis derives from data pertaining to car brand communities in Taiwan and supports most of the hypotheses. However, some differences emerge between Taiwanese and Western car brand users with regard to relationship-level factors. In addition, perceived critical mass accounts for some social mechanisms that underlie members' decisions to participate in the brand community. Finally, a quantile regression analysis extends prior literature by showing that different rules of exchange motivate brand users, depending on their participation levels. The paper discusses the managerial implications of these findings as well as several important research issues and avenues.
Even in unresponsive marketing environments, Muñiz and O'Guinn (2001, p. 412) define a brand community as “a specialized, nongeographically bound community, based on a structured set of social relationships among users of a brand” which offers a fresh, effective, and vital means to forge deep, enduring, affective bonds between consumers and brands (Thompson and Sinha, 2008). This consumer-centric, co-creative, and relational approach increasingly is heralded as a pillar of brand differentiation and sustainable competitive advantage (Thompson et al., 2006). Marketing scholars dedicate considerable effort to understanding the process of brand community cultivation (e.g., Bagozzi and Dholakia, 2006, McAlexander et al., 2002 and Muñiz and O'Guinn, 2001) with the growing recognition that a brand community creates value in the exchange process. A key feature of this process is brand community participation, defined as the extent to which a member actively engages in community activities and interacts with other brand community members. Community participation motivates members to integrate into the community by encouraging them to participate in shared rituals and traditions, thereby perpetuating the community's history, culture, and consciousness. Participation ensures a community's long-term growth by attracting new members and strengthening the foundation of older members. Brand managers also can benefit from community participation that offers valuable insights into potential product design improvements and new product development opportunities (Algesheimer et al., 2005). Previous research on brand communities suggests various outcomes of brand community cultivation. For example, McAlexander et al. (2002) posit that community participation encourages multifaceted relationships (i.e., between owners and the community, as well as between customers and the brand) that exert direct, positive, and long-term influences on brand loyalty. Thompson and Sinha (2008) also find that higher levels of participation increase consumers' likelihood of adopting a new product from the preferred brand while decreasing their likelihood of adopting new products offered by competitive brands. However, Muñiz and O'Guinn (2001, p. 427) caution managers that brand communities could “pose enormous rumor control problems,” and Algesheimer et al. (2005) find that normative pressure results in reactance, which can have negative effects on consumers' behavioral intentions. Such studies tend to focus on the outcome variables of community participation and contrastingly this paper attempts to understand the factors that influence users to engage in brand communities. Community participation involves complex, interpersonal exchange processes, so this study focuses on individual- and relationship-level determinants, as well as traditional group-level factors. Wasko and Faraj (2005) investigate individual, relational, and group-level factors influencing voluntary knowledge contributions but cannot confirm whether empirical findings in computer-mediated knowledge exchange networks extend to offline brand communities in a study of contribution behavior in electronic networks of practice. Therefore, this study aims to enhance understanding of the antecedents of brand community participation and extend prior research by simultaneously investigating three levels of participation factors. Moreover, no prior research examines member brand community participation outside Western societies, though factors of group participation that are effective in one national culture may lead to different outcomes or even be inappropriate in another. For example, considerable evidence suggests that Asian cultures are more group oriented than the United States (Hofstede, 1980 and Schwartz and Bardi, 2001). Several relationship management studies (e.g., Atuahene-Gima and Li, 2002 and Redding, 1993) suggest that, compared with Western societies, Chinese societies exhibit a lack of trust of people outside the family. Steenkamp and Baumgartner (1998) also stress the need to validate models developed in one country (often the United States) in other countries. As Atuahene-Gima and Li (2002) observe, many Western businesses fail in Chinese societies because their managers do not understand individualized behavior and instead assume everyone responds similarly to marketing programs. Accordingly, the present study offers a cross-validation of the link between multidimensional drivers and brand community participation in an Asian-Pacific national culture, Taiwan.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
A brand community's long-term viability depends critically on participation by members (Algesheimer et al., 2005 and McAlexander et al., 2002). Although existing marketing literature notes the importance of brand community participation for cultivating brand communities, the antecedents of community participation receive little attention. The results from this study show that, with the exception of brand relationship satisfaction, three levels of antecedents (i.e., individual-, relationship-, and group-level factors) significantly influence brand community participation. Differences emerge between Chinese and Western car brand users with regard to the effect of brand relationships on brand community participation. Muñiz and O'Guinn (2001) cite brand relationship satisfaction as a key determinant of community participation, in line with recent brand community research (e.g., Algesheimer et al., 2005) that indicates a consumer's relationship with a car brand is an influential antecedent of psychological bonds with the brand community that encourage further community participation. However, the findings from a Chinese context contrast with this viewpoint and suggest the link may be culturally specific. These findings provide useful insights into current practices, especially in Taiwan. When soliciting members for brand communities, many firms target existing, long-tenured customers who already have a positive, satisfactory relationship with the brand. For example, both Ford and dealerships in Taiwan invested heavily to support community activities for Ford car fans, with the goal of making these consumers engaged, active community members. However, this approach might not work if the ultimate goal is to trigger community engagement and create a vibrant, self-sustaining brand community. The insignificant link between brand relationship satisfaction and community participation instead suggests that customer community marketing programs should target a broader set of customers (e.g., those who recently purchased) than just fans or satisfied car owners. Moreover, trust positively influences community participation in this Chinese sample. Organizational scholars (e.g., Redding, 1993) suggest that compared with Western societies, Chinese societies exhibit low levels of trust, though trust has great importance for group participation processes. The findings from the present study help confirm the qualitative results of McAlexander et al. (2002), who consider trust an important community participation factor, and generalize this finding to cultures outside the United States. The current replication represents an international context in which the prevailing shared social norms differ notably from those that McAlexander and colleagues investigate. The current findings provide empirical support for Wasko et al. (2004) proposition that relational trust between individuals and a group leads to greater contributions to the group. The results from the quantile regression analysis indicate that trust is the most influential antecedent of active participation by members with low levels of involvement (see Figs. 2e and 3b) in addition to clarifying the cultural features of relationship-level factors. Relationships characterized by trust create such significant value that parties want to commit to trusting relationships (Morgan and Hunt, 1994 and Wasko et al., 2004). Such relationship investment behavior is rational for members who exhibit lower participation levels because activity engagement implies commitment that entails vulnerability, and thus, members seek only trustworthy partners. Trust reduces perceptions of risk associated with opportunistic behaviors by other members and helps encourage strong, lasting bonds with the associated communities. This study also advances understanding of social influence variables in brand community contexts. In addition to the conventional, identification-based mechanism, perceived critical mass accounts for some social mechanisms that underlie members' decisions to participate. Several studies examine the effects of network externality on technology adoption (Goldenberg et al., 2002) and note that the value of technology to a user increases with the number of adopters. This study similarly finds that members attach greater utility to community participation when they perceive that the number of participants in the community surpasses some threshold. According to the qualitative findings, members treat perceived critical mass as an important indicator of participation benefits (e.g., information, fun, vicarious experiences) that simplifies the participation decision-making process. This significant, direct effect of perceived critical mass may reflect the Chinese cultural belief that people “gain face” by participating in a group with ren-chi (i.e., popularity). The concept of face is not unique to Chinese societies but Chinese culture makes caring about face a predominant focus (Bailey et al., 1997). Moreover, many Chinese people believe that they gain good fortune from participating in a group with ren-chi, as expressed by the Chinese proverb: “Double people, triple fortunes.” Thus, perceived critical mass greatly determines how consumers make community participation decisions. The results of the quantile regression analysis also demonstrate the powerful role of community identification on community participation for members in various quantiles, in support of Bagozzi and Dholakia's (2006) argument. A member strongly identified with his community expressed his vested interest in its success in the preliminary qualitative research. His ongoing participation in the brand community offered a simple way to achieve that success. From a practical standpoint, this finding places brand community marketing programs on equal footing with other established marketing approaches (e.g., image advertising) that seek to strengthen consumer identification with the community to encourage participation. Finally, individual-level factors (i.e., extraversion, need for affiliation) affect community participation. Few studies examine personality attributes together with relationship-focused or social influence variables in brand community settings. The results of the present study reveal that extraverted consumers proactively participate in a brand community, which indicates an association between extraversion and excitement-seeking behavior, as well as a willingness to share information (Lucas et al., 2000). In addition, the need for affiliation relates positively to member interaction, such that a brand user with a high need for affiliation proactively seeks interpersonal contacts and cultivates possible relationships. However, the relationship between the need for affiliation and activity involvement is insignificant. The results of the quantile regression (Fig. 2b) reveal that the need for affiliation influences activity involvement in the 0.65–0.85 quantiles, but the effects are marginally significant (p ≈ 0.1). These findings provide new insights into existing research that shows people with a high need for affiliation participate in group activities more frequently, spend more time with the community, communicate more with other group members, and accept other members more readily (e.g., Baumeister and Leary, 1995). The current study instead shows that the need for affiliation predicts only member interaction, not activity involvement (Fig. 2b). Certain brand community events, such as off-road trail driving, may enable consumers to experience demonstrations of car use, even if those members place less emphasis on direct interactions with other members. One car owner, after participating in an off-road event, noted, “I get a lot of communications from Ford Escape, which I've been so impressed with.” A further question thus arises: Which components of brand community participation lead to various outcomes? Community activity involvement strengthened her connection to the brand rather than to the community for this car owner. Efforts by car companies or dealers related to community activity support, rather than social events (e.g., boat trips, parties, concerts), may provide the most effective means of engendering brand loyalty. This important issue marks a research challenge that merits further investigation.