Diagnostic and prescriptive benefits of consumer participation in virtual communities of personal challenge

Ben Lowe, Devon Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to show how active participants within personal challenge virtual communities (e.g. virtual health communities, online legal forums, etc.) derive learning benefits from their involvement within the community. In doing so, the research conceptualises and tests a model of engagement within such virtual communities. Design/methodology/approach: This research was conducted through the design of a survey administered to an online panel of active participants from several virtual health communities. Structural equation modelling was used to test the conceptual model. Findings: Along with well-researched concepts such as social identification, this research identifies diagnostic and prescriptive benefits as key learning benefits associated with active participation within personal challenge communities. These benefits drive social support which individuals attain from these virtual communities, which, in turn, drives engagement within the community. It is also found that anticipated negative emotions from leaving the community mediate social support and engagement. Originality/value: This is one of the first studies to develop a model of consumer engagement with personal challenge virtual communities. The findings make a contribution to the field of online communities by showing how learning benefits (diagnostic and prescriptive) transpire within these communities and how these benefits lead to greater community engagement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1817-1835
Number of pages19
JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
Volume51
Issue number11-12
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

Fingerprint

Participation
Virtual community
Diagnostics
Community health
Online communities
Social support
Community engagement
Structural equation modeling
Conceptual model
Negative emotions
Design methodology
Social identification

Keywords

  • Active participation
  • Consumer engagement
  • Diagnostic and prescriptive benefits
  • Health services
  • Internet marketing
  • Learning
  • Virtual community

Cite this

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Diagnostic and prescriptive benefits of consumer participation in virtual communities of personal challenge. / Lowe, Ben; Johnson, Devon.

In: European Journal of Marketing, Vol. 51, No. 11-12, 01.01.2017, p. 1817-1835.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

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