This study aims to deal with actor engagement practices and identifies different roles in actor engagement (AE), using the service-dominant logic (S-D logic) literature and the pivotal concept of value co-creation within the frame of engagement platforms.
The context of this research is an online health community, provided by a pharmaceutical firm, which moderates the interaction between its members. The authors use a grounded theory approach with the methodology of netnography. These research are based on the approaches of ethnography and is a suitable qualitative method for analyzing human behavior in certain situations.
The results indicate that customers and/or actors operate as resource integrators in the perspective of S-D logic. Independent social and economic actors adopt both the roles of service providers and service beneficiaries in a reciprocal manner. Value co-creation in online communities based on practices, which actually define the respective role. Three main engagement practices are identified: information-, advising- and empathy-practices.
The findings point to the importance of the dynamic and interactive concept of actor engagement and present a clearer understanding of customer, who act both in provider- and beneficiary-roles. However, it becomes evident that a customer orientation should address the actor playing a beneficiary-role, who uses (or selects) the value proposition, and not actors who play the role of financial resources provider.
In recent years, the construct of AE, and, in particular, customer engagement have been established both in theory and in practice. However, there are few empirical research publications so far, that try to explain engagement practices in online communities, especially in the healthcare sector.
Stadtelmann, M., Woratschek, H. and Diederich, C. (2019), "Actor engagement in online health communities: A netnographic analysis of engagement practices and roles", International Journal of Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Marketing, Vol. 13 No. 4, pp. 500-515. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJPHM-06-2018-0033Download as .RIS
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