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Title: Consumer engagement in firm-hosted online brand communities : exploring personality traits as antecedents of consumer engagement and value, with the moderating role of personal values
Author: Marbach, Julia
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 4771
Awarding Body: University of Reading
Current Institution: University of Reading
Date of Award: 2017
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As consumers increasingly adopt online rather than offline as their preferred communication channel, understanding the nature of online consumer engagement has become a priority for many firms (Kim, Juin-Sun, & Kim, 2008b). However, despite increasing recognition of the importance of consumer engagement with new technologies, there remains a gap in terms of antecedents and consequences of online consumer engagement. This thesis addresses this gap by exploring the relationship between personality traits (Big Five and four additional traits namely need for activity, need for learning, need for arousal and altruism) and online consumer engagement, as well as the relationship between online consumer engagement and six consumer-perceived value types (social value, play, excellence, efficiency, aesthetic value and altruistic value). A conceptual framework of online consumer engagement is developed, anchored in the extant literature and twenty-eight semi-structured interviews with members of firm-hosted online brand communities. The framework is tested in a study involving 559 users of two distinct firm-hosted online brand communities (FHOBCs) namely the FHOBC of a leading German telecommunications provider and the firm-hosted social media brand community Facebook. The findings suggest that certain personality traits, including extraversion, openness to experiences, and altruism are linked to online consumer engagement. Additionally, online consumer engagement has an impact on social value and aesthetic value. Finally, the personal value conservation and the personal value self-enhancement are seen to moderate the relationship between all three personality traits and online consumer engagement. This study’s contribution to the consumer engagement literature is threefold. Firstly, the study brings new insights regarding personality traits as antecedents of online consumer engagement. Secondly, the conservation and self-enhancement of personal values moderate the relationship. And thirdly, the study brings new insights in terms of specific consumerperceived value types that emerge as a consequence of online consumer engagement. Understanding what personality traits drive consumers to engage online and what value consumers believe they gain in this digital age can help managers to better segment and evaluate their online consumers. In consequence of these insights, FHOBCs can be improved and augmented accordingly.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available