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Entrepreneurs as influencers: the impact of parasocial interactions on communication outcomes

Christian Rudeloff (Faculty of Culture, Media, Psychology, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany)
Julius Damms (Faculty of Culture, Media, Psychology, Macromedia University of Applied Sciences, Hamburg, Germany)

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship

ISSN: 1471-5201

Article publication date: 8 December 2022

79

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing on the example of car manufacturer Tesla and its early investor Elon Musk, the purpose of this paper is to explore the connection between the personal communication activities of influential entrepreneurs on social media, the emergence of parasocial interactions (PSIs) and the related communication outcomes for the company.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper conducted an online survey, recruiting 207 participants via purposive sampling. Partial least square path modeling and an independent t-test were conducted to test hypotheses.

Findings

The results of this paper show that following entrepreneurs’ personal social media activities amplifies PSIs, which in turn positively impact the company's communication outcomes. Organization–public relationships and purchase intentions are improved by PSI.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies that connects the personal and the organizational level in exploring entrepreneurial marketing. The results show that Elon Musk acts as an influential entrepreneur to effectively promote communication outcomes for Tesla. This paper illuminates the potential of entrepreneurs’ personal social media activities to support the success of their ventures.

Keywords

Citation

Rudeloff, C. and Damms, J. (2022), "Entrepreneurs as influencers: the impact of parasocial interactions on communication outcomes", Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JRME-04-2022-0052

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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