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Three Essays On Social Networks

Habibi, Mohammad Reza (2015) Three essays on social media-based brand communities. PhD thesis, Concordia University.


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Habibi_PhD_F2015.pdf - Accepted Version



The purpose of this thesis is to investigate the notion of brand communities that are established on social media platforms. Social media has changed marketing practices from information acquisition to post purchase behavior; therefore, it is necessary for marketing scholars and practitioners to update our marketing knowledge according to this new changes. This thesis suggests the brand community lens as a proper and legitimate perspective to study marketing and branding activities on social media platforms because the essence of social media is associated with collective and community building. The first paper of this manuscript not only supports the existential possibilities of brand communities on social media but also more importantly it explores the unique aspects of social media that could interact with brand community practices and argue why we should examine brand community in this new context of social media.
The first paper conducts an in-depth qualitative study in two rich brand-generated communities on social media and analyzes their brand community elements and practices. The study shows the qualities of brand community elements, structural relationships (McAlexander, Schouten, & Koenig 2002) and value creation practices (Schau, Muniz, & Arnould 2009) within these communities and extract some unique characteristics of the social media based brand communities that differ from their traditional counterparts. The study concludes five unique dimensions that make social media based brand communities (SMBBCs) distinguished from other offline/online counterparts and argues that this is why brand community researchers should treat brand communities on social media differently and study this phenomena separately. We need to update our understanding of brand community to suit the unique aspects of social media.
The second and third papers employ a quantitative approach to show how these communities can influence important marketing variables such as brand trust, brand relationship quality, and brand loyalty. These are marketing fundamental goals that are considered as a way to measure social media success in terms of increasing return on investment. These papers depict how different elements and building blocks of these communities on social media interact and influence trust and loyalty. The second paper shows the role of community engagement as a moderator while the third paper provides a big picture of consumer behavior in the context of brand communities that are established on social media. Several important measures such as value creation practices are developed in this paper.

Divisions:Concordia University > John Molson School of Business > Marketing
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Habibi, Mohammad Reza
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Business Administration (Marketing specialization)
Date:29 June 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Laroche, Michel
Keywords:Social media, brand community, marketing, consumer behavior, loyalty, trust, value creation practices, community engagement
ID Code:980161
Deposited On:27 Oct 2015 19:31
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:50

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Technology continues to evolve quickly and is dramatically changing the behaviors of online users. Social networking sites, while offering users interactive online spaces to socialize with their friends and family, are also a breeding ground for various undesirable online behaviors, such as cyberbullying. Cyberbullying on social networking sites (SNS bullying) has emerged as a societal challenge in recent years. The prevalence and adverse consequences of SNS bullying have been extensively reported in the mass media and drawn increasing attention from government agencies, parents, and the academic community. The research on SNS bullying is broad, and little effort has been devoted to consolidating its findings. Furthermore, scant attention has been paid to understanding the role technological factors play in the development of SNS bullying.. Accordingly, this dissertation proposes two main research objectives to advance the scientific understanding of SNS bullying. It seeks to (1) summarize the research status of SNS bullying and (2) examine the role of technological factors in SNS bullying among perpetrators and aggressive bystanders. Three essays are included. In Essay 1, I summarize the current knowledge on SNS bullying through a literature review and analysis. Drawing on the general aggression model, I propose a classification framework to classify the factors affecting SNS bullying. The literature review and analysis outline the patterns of research on SNS bullying and identify future research directions. In Essay 2, I examine the effects of technological factors on SNS bullying perpetration. Drawing on crime opportunity theory and affordance theory, I propose a research model to examine the drivers of SNS bullying perpetration and test how SNS affordances influence the evaluation of SNS environments for perpetration using an online survey. The results suggest that SNS affordances are salient enablers that afford SNS bullying perpetration. In Essay 3, I examine the effects of technological factors on bystanders' aggressive responses to SNS bullying. Drawing on moral disengagement theory, I develop a research model to investigate the effects of beliefs about SNS use and moral disengagement mechanisms on bystanders' aggressive responses to SNS bullying using a focus group discussion and a scenario-based survey. The results suggest that moral disengagement mechanisms are significant social cognitive processes bystanders use to rationalize their aggressive responses toward victims.. This dissertation offers important implications for research and practice. Theoretically, it contributes to the information systems (IS) literature by examining an emerging societal challenge associated with the undesirable use of information technology. It also adds to the growing body of research on SNS bullying by integrating knowledge from multiple disciplines, and demonstrates that technological factors play a substantial role in affecting the development of SNS bullying. Practically, this dissertation offers practitioners a rich and fine-grained understanding of the cause and development of SNS bullying. It also provides valuable information about the effects of the technological factors that lead to SNS bullying perpetration and bystanders' aggressive responses. Overall, this dissertation derives important insights into the prevention and intervention of SNS bullying.

Recommended Citation

Chan, Kam Ho, "Three essays on cyberbullying on social networking sites :understanding the effects of technological factors" (2017). Open Access Theses and Dissertations. 406.

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