Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Building brand commitment in virtual brand communities : a comparison between posters and lurkers
Author: Mousavi, Sahar
ISNI:       0000 0004 8500 9273
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2014
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Virtual brand communities (VBCs) act as platforms, facilitating interaction with and among customers and brands, and so offering considerable potential for affecting customer-brand relationships, particularly brand commitment. This research addresses two gaps in the literature: the theory based research on how brand commitment is achieved in VBCs and how members' different participation types in VBCs affect members' consequent brand-related attitudes and behaviours. Drawing on social identity theory, customer-brand relationship and virtual community literature, this research proposes and empirically evaluates a comprehensive model of building brand commitment in VBCs. The hypothesized model represents the positive impact of perceived brand support (i.e., recognition for contributions, encouraging interaction, and content enhancement) on development of member social identity and brand trust, the effect of social identity on brand relational constructs (i.e., brand identification, brand trust and brand commitment), and the impact of brand commitment and trust on member outcome behaviours (i.e., positive word of mouth, resistance to negative information, and purchase intention). Further, the study considers and empirically investigates how type of participation, whether lurkers (those who visit but do not post comments) and posters (who do post comments), modifies the influence of a VBC on its members. To examine the research model, 734 residents of the USA (self-identified as current members of existing firm-hosted VBCs) provide data through an online survey. First, structural equation modeling (SEM) is utilised to test the relationships among variables in the hypothesised model. Second, multi-group SEM analyses are used to empirically examine potential differences in the structural model between posters and lurkers. The results indicate that social identity, brand commitment, and brand trust do play important roles in the research model for both posters and lurkers; however, the impact of brand commitment on behavioural consequences is accentuated for posters, and brand trust has a higher influence on lurkers as a driver of their positive behavioural consequences. This study contributes to the growing research on virtual brand communities and branding literature by articulating the key determinants and consequences of members' brand commitment based on their different participation types in VBCs. The research lets managers better understand how to build on both posters' and lurkers' participation in a brand's virtual community and thus utilize that community as a channel to develop and maintain a strong brand relationship with their customers.
Supervisor: Keeling, Kathy ; Roper, Stuart Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Social Identity Theory ; Brand Commitment ; Virtual Brand Communities