Cultivating Trust and Harvesting Value in Virtual Communities
Although previous scholars have examined the value of virtual communities to customers, in this study we investigate the role of a firm's efforts in cultivating trust and harvesting value for themselves via the virtual communities that they sponsor. We hypothesize that the perceptions of a firm's efforts to provide quality content, to foster member embeddedness, and to encourage interaction foster favorable customer beliefs about and trust in a virtual community sponsor. Further, we hypothesize that trust motivates customers to behave relationally toward the sponsoring firm by sharing information with, coproducing new products with, and granting loyalty to, the sponsoring firm. Data from 663 customers are analyzed using structural equation modeling techniques. We find that efforts to provide quality content and foster member embeddedness have positive effects on customer beliefs about the sponsor. In fact, fostering member embeddedness has a stronger explanatory effect on customer beliefs than does providing quality content. However, despite the fact that previous studies show that customers value interaction in virtual communities, our findings suggest that firms must do more than encourage interaction among their community members if they hope to create value from their virtual communities.
Volume (Year): 54 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 7240 Parkway Drive, Suite 300, Hanover, MD 21076 USA|
Web page: http://www.informs.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Sridhar Balasubramanian & Prabhudev Konana & Nirup M. Menon, 2003. "Customer Satisfaction in Virtual Environments: A Study of Online Investing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(7), pages 871-889, July.
- Won-Seok Yoo & Kil-Soo Suh & Moon-Bong Lee, 2002. "Exploring the Factors Enhancing Member Participation in Virtual Communities," Journal of Global Information Management (JGIM), IGI Global, vol. 10(3), pages 55-71, July.
- Albert M. Muiz Jr. & Hope Jensen Schau, 2005. "Religiosity in the Abandoned Apple Newton Brand Community," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 737-747, 03.
- Andrea C. Morales, 2005. "Giving Firms an "E" for Effort: Consumer Responses to High-Effort Firms," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(4), pages 806-812, 03.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:54:y:2008:i:1:p:113-128. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mirko Janc)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.