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Title:Understanding how consumers navigate relationships within communities: Two essays
Author(s):Arias, Robert Alfonso
Director of Research:Otnes, Cele C
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Otnes, Cele C
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Viswanathan, Madhubalan; Rindfleisch, Aric; Torelli, Carlos; Wooten, David
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree:Ph.D.
Genre:Dissertation
Subject(s):consumer behavior
community
brand community
brand communities
brand community conflict
belonging
Abstract:In this dissertation, I explore the spectrum of positive and negative consumer experiences within brand communities. Specifically, I study how consumers proactively pursue positive experiences, and how they reactively manage negative experiences in this social marketspace. In Essay 1, I offer an integrative perspective with which to study belonging in consumption. Specifically, I utilize qualitative data from written narratives and an 11-month ethnography to illustrate a belonging process within an established brand community. I investigate how individuals navigate this process, and how people deliberately control what and how they consume to belong. In so doing, I specifically demarcate belonging-laden constructs, and describe their interrelationships. In my second essay, I draw from theory regarding the management of organizational conflict to illuminate tensions between focal consumers and the firm. Importantly, I illustrate how the firm’s relationship with other brand community members (i.e., other consumers, marketing agents, service providers) influence the focal consumer’s experience. I advance scholars’ conceptualization of the brand community, and I argue that in addition to examining positive consumer experiences within this social context, academics should also investigate the negative experiences that occur in such a community. Specifically, I contend that conflict is a pervasive force in this marketplace context which requires rigorous study. Utilizing interviews, observation, and archival data, I contribute to extant theory by delineating how conflict emerges within a brand community. I explain consumers’ emotional and cognitive reactions to such conflict, and I illuminate how consumers choose to navigate it. I conclude explicating theoretical and practical implications.
Issue Date:2019-07-12
Type:Text
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/2142/105671
Rights Information:Copyright 2019 Robert Arias
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-11-26
Date Deposited:2019-08


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