The purpose of this paper is to discuss the Internet's paradoxical nature from the perspective of consumers.
First, it is discussed that negotiations between companies and consumers about their respective shares of power lead to different models of consumer power. Second, the paradoxical effects of technology on social relations and an individual's sense of identity and responsibility are discussed. These changes have altered not only consumer behaviour but also the relationship between producers and customers, in the sense that power shifts to consumers. The case of the international music industry is used as an example. This case embodies many of the studied aspects of the paradox concept and proves useful in the development of implications for companies and their strategies.
The paper finds that while negotiations between companies and consumers about their share of power lead to different models of consumer power, the effects of technology on social relations and individuals' sense of identity and responsibility lead to changes in consumption behaviour.
The paper identifies how business practices have changed in response to the changes in intellectual property matters and the power constellations between companies and consumers. The theoretical models presented in this paper represent different positions that companies and consumers can take and are helpful in explaining the current power struggles, such as file sharing activities, which on a more individual level also correspond to paradoxical effects of the Internet (social relations, deindividuation effects).
This paper takes a fresh look at the Internet's paradoxical nature from a consumer point of view. It is argued that some of the Internet's paradoxical effects stem from socio‐political and socio‐cultural changes, for example, a power shift from companies to consumers, and normative and anti‐normative behaviours.
Penz, E. (2007), "Paradoxical effects of the Internet from a consumer perspective", critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 3 No. 4, pp. 364-380. https://doi.org/10.1108/17422040710832595Download as .RIS
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