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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Jennie A. Abrahamson and Victoria L. Rubin

In this paper the authors seek to compare lay (consumer) and professional (physician) discourse structures in answers to diabetes‐related questions in a public consumer

Abstract

Purpose

In this paper the authors seek to compare lay (consumer) and professional (physician) discourse structures in answers to diabetes‐related questions in a public consumer health information website.

Design/methodology/approach

Ten consumer and ten physician question threads were aligned. They generated 26 consumer and ten physician answers, constituting a total dataset of 717 discourse units (in sentences or sentence fragments). The authors depart from previous LIS health information behaviour research by utilizing a computational linguistics‐based theoretical framework of rhetorical structure theory, which enables research at the pragmatics level of linguistics in terms of the goals and effects of human communication.

Findings

The authors reveal differences in discourse organization by identifying prevalent rhetorical relations in each type of discourse. Consumer answers included predominately (66 per cent) presentational rhetorical structure relations, those intended to motivate or otherwise help a user do something (e.g. motivation, concession, and enablement). Physician answers included mainly subject matter relations (64 per cent), intended to inform, or simply transfer information to a user (e.g. elaboration, condition, and interpretation).

Research limitations/implications

The findings suggest different communicative goals expressed in lay and professional health information sharing. Consumers appear to be more motivating, or activating, and more polite (linguistically) than physicians in how they share information with consumers online in similar topics in diabetes management. The authors consider whether one source of information encourages adherence to healthy behaviour more effectively than another.

Originality/value

Analysing discourse structure – using rhetorical structure theory – is a novel and promising approach in information behaviour research, and one that traverses the lexico‐semantic level of linguistic analysis towards pragmatics of language use.

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Article
Publication date: 29 March 2013

Stuart Roper, Robert Caruana, Dominic Medway and Phil Murphy

The aim of this paper is to offer a discursive perspective on luxury brand consumption.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to offer a discursive perspective on luxury brand consumption.

Design/methodology/approach

Discourse analysis is used to examine how consumers construct their luxury brand consumption amidst countervailing cultural discourses in the market (Thompson and Haytko). Consumer discourse is generated through in‐depth, semi‐structured interviews.

Findings

In the context of countervailing discourses that challenge the notion of luxury (e.g. “masstige”, “chav” and “bling”), respondents construct an ostensibly distinct and stable version of luxury expressing its subjective, experiential, moral and artistic constructs. Analysis demonstrates how these four themes operate at a linguistic‐textual level to delineate important cultural categories and boundaries around luxury. Luxury brand discourse operates strategic juxtapositions between normatively positive (ideal) and normatively negative (problematic) categories, which are paradoxically interdependent.

Research limitations/implications

A qualitative study of high‐income residents from an affluent UK region is reported upon. The study is exploratory, focussing on interrelations between discourse, content and context. This invites future studies to consider contextual elements of luxury branding.

Originality/value

The paper proposes a new way of thinking about luxury brands as a socially constructed concept. The paper concludes by arguing that luxury brand management necessitates a deeper appreciation of the mechanics of consumers' luxury discourses.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 47 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Lionel Sitz

This paper contends that the central question in understanding consumers' experiences is not what is said (lexical analysis) or why (ideological analysis), but how…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper contends that the central question in understanding consumers' experiences is not what is said (lexical analysis) or why (ideological analysis), but how consumers relate these experiences. The purpose is to present a method called discourse analysis (DA) to examine consumers' narratives. This interdisciplinary perspective advantageously complements the lexical, content analytic or semiotic approaches traditionally used in marketing.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to show the potential of DA as a method to analyze qualitative data, the paper reports on a research concerning consumers' shopping experiences. Data used stemmed from in‐depth interviews that are analyzed through a critical DA informed by discursive psychology and foucauldian approaches.

Findings

DA allows marketers grasping the experiential value of shopping activities by depicting these experiences as ongoing constructions which meaning is constantly reinterpreted. DA also gives access to the various ways informants' manage their identity through narration. Hence, it challenges the simplistic dichotomy between consumers and producers and allows marketers to look at consumers as co‐producers of their lived experience. Given the scope of the study, the obtained results are situated and further researches should be conducted to critically analyze various types of discourses, produced by different actors. This paper shows the potential of DA in analyzing qualitative material. DA could be usefully employed to grasp the thoughts and feelings of the consumers. Rather than solely conducting lexical and/or semiotic analyses, marketers could use DA as a complementary investigation tool.

Originality/value

Through DA, this paper suggests new ways for seeking knowledge about the consumers and the market. To this end, it presents DA principles and shows that it is too often neglected by marketers trying to analyze consumers' narratives.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 30 October 2007

Suresh Cuganesan, Christina Boedker and James Guthrie

The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical account of the discourse‐practice nexus relating to an accounting for intellectual capital (IC) at an Australian…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an empirical account of the discourse‐practice nexus relating to an accounting for intellectual capital (IC) at an Australian public sector organisation (LandsNSW).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is a case study. Data collection techniques comprised semi‐structured interviews, in situ observation of meetings and internal presentations, and reviews of documents such as internal memos, strategic plans, IC statements and business performance and annual reports.

Findings

Although ambiguity in discourse may reduce its ability to prescribe particular practices, the paper argues that such qualities allow discourse producers greater flexibility in attempting to shape action. At LandsNSW, IC discourse was given shape by those mobilising it. Specifically, constructing IC as a potential solution to practical concerns made IC more attractive to discourse consumers. By interesting and enrolling users in this manner, IC discourse was taken up where it had previously been discarded.

Research limitations/implications

External factors that comprised IC discourse outside the organisation have only been given limited attention. It is also acknowledged that discourse consumers extend beyond practice manager level to also include employees in lower level operational positions and that these have not been explored in this study.

Purpose

The paper provides useful information on enrolling discourse consumers to affect material intellectual capital practice.

Details

Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, vol. 20 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3574

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Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Marcello Mariani and Matteo Borghi

Based on more than 2.7 million online reviews (ORs) collected with big data analytical techniques from Booking.com and TripAdvisor.com, this paper aims to explore if and…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on more than 2.7 million online reviews (ORs) collected with big data analytical techniques from Booking.com and TripAdvisor.com, this paper aims to explore if and to what extent environmental discourse embedded in ORs has an impact on electronic word-of-mouth (e-WOM) helpfulness across eight major destination cities in North America and Europe.

Design/methodology/approach

This study gathered, by means of Big Data techniques, 2.7 million ORs hosted on Booking.com and TripAdvisor, and covering hospitality services in eight different destinations cities in North America (New York City, Miami, Orlando and Las Vegas) and Europe (Barcelona, London, Paris and Rome) over the period 2017–2018. The ORs were analysed by means of ad hoc content analytic dictionaries to identify the presence and depth of the environmental discourse included in each OR. A negative binomial regression analysis was used to measure the impact of the presence/depth of online environmental discourse in ORs on e-WOM helpfulness.

Findings

The findings indicate that the environmental discourse presence and depth influence positively e-WOM helpfulness. More specifically those travelers who write explicitly about environmental topics in their ORs are more likely to produce ORs that are voted as helpful by other consumers.

Research limitations/implications

Implications highlight that both hotel managers and platform developers/managers should become increasingly aware of the importance that customer attach to environmental practices and initiatives and therefore engage more assiduously in environmental initiatives, if their objective is to improve online review helpfulness for other customers reading the focal reviews. Future studies might include more destinations and other operationalizations of environmental discourse.

Originality/value

This study constitutes the first attempt to capture how the presence and depth of hospitality services consumers’ environmental discourse influence e-WOM helpfulness on multiple digital platforms, by means of a big data analysis on a large sample of online reviews across multiple countries and destinations. As such it makes a relevant contribution to the area at the intersection between big data analytics, e-WOM and sustainable tourism research.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2016

Yasmin Ibrahim

Terminologies such as “integrated marketing” and “market segmentation” may be common parlance in contemporary marketing literature, but, in post-war America, they had…

Abstract

Purpose

Terminologies such as “integrated marketing” and “market segmentation” may be common parlance in contemporary marketing literature, but, in post-war America, they had distinct racial orientations mediated by a history of segregation. This paper aims to examine the resonant discourses in the construction of the Negro market in post-war America and observes that the field of marketing provides a historiography, where Negro marketing was constructed as dilemmatic and through a duality of the black market impacting the well-established white market. A survey of marketing literature from the 1950s to the 1970s reflects a discursive turn from scepticism and caution in approaching the Negro market to evoking the ethical discourse and advocating equal rights for the black consumer.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of articles on the topic reveals that research occurred in other academic fields beyond the remit of marketing, and these different disciplines approached the issue of the Negro market from different research orientations and fields of enquiry. This paper focuses on academic literature that was published in marketing and business journals which were concerned with marketing to the black community. The journals reviewed in this paper include Journal of Marketing Research, Marketing/Communications, The Journal of Business, The Journal of Marketing and Journal of Advertising Research published from the 1950s to the 1960s. In reviewing the marketing literature from these journals, it highlights the recurrent and resonant themes and shifts in discourse in the period mentioned.

Findings

Despite the scepticism, there was a recognition among market researchers that they were in a unique position to influence significantly the future relationships between blacks and whites in America (Gould et al., 1970, p. 26; Kassarjian, 1971; Hair et al., 1977; Solomon et al., 1976). The marketing discourses also showed reluctance in supporting black media, as advertising agencies did not have a preference for it. Black advertising organizations, while providing access to the Negro market, were seen as having high preparation costs and high costs per thousand in terms of reaching the population. There was also dissatisfaction expressed with the results of the copy (Alexis, 1959).

Originality/value

The moral turn in advertising is evident in the late 1960s and early 1970s, where marketers spoke of intervention beyond market strategies. Cohen (1970, p. 3) argued fervently that there exists an opportunity for advertising to improve its social image by giving more attention to the black community. The moral discourse of social responsibility as marketers and advertisers sought to go beyond advocating consumer rights to recognising that structural changes and attitudinal shifts was required to reform the industry through recruitment and training of black staff in creative and consultative roles. Wall (1970, p. 48), in commenting on integrated advertising, observed that beyond producing advertisements which create a sense of equality in life style and values, black employment is vitally important in creative levels in the advertising industry to improve credibility and acceptance.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Isleide Arruda Fontenelle

The purpose of the paper is to question the possible reach of anti‐brand movements and, by extension, those movements that criticize capitalism via consumption, in order…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the paper is to question the possible reach of anti‐brand movements and, by extension, those movements that criticize capitalism via consumption, in order to reflect on the impasse in critique, given the new formats that capitalism has assumed.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper takes as the object of its analysis the book No Logo and it is supported by qualitative research into the production of the discourse about the responsible consumer in the business media, as well as in books and articles published about the assimilation of resistance, and especially about anti‐consumption and anti‐brand movements.

Findings

The relationship between the empirical findings of the research − the production of the responsible consumption discourse, in the period before, and after the anti‐brand movements – and theoretical articles about empowerment and consumer accountability in the modern day shows how the assimilation of resistance occurred, via the responsible consumption discourse and also draws attention to its limits. Although the qualitative research used in the article was not initially planned for use in it, its findings were incorporated because they are widely applicable to what was being proposed.

Originality/value

The papers originality lies in the fact that it shows the point that a criticism movement has reached after ten years. Although this was already clear to the author in 1999 when No Logo was written, a decade later it is possible to state that the movement has been assimilated by the market, especially since the appearance of the discourse of “responsible consumption”. What is completely novel in this article is this co‐relation. At the end, the article also points to the social risks of attributing a large degree of accountability to individuals for consumption.

Details

Critical perspectives on international business, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1742-2043

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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2018

Laura Niemi and Jenni Kantola

This paper aims to address the general lack of detailed attention to the value co-creation process which happens in the consumers’ social environment. The purpose of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to address the general lack of detailed attention to the value co-creation process which happens in the consumers’ social environment. The purpose of the paper is to extend prior understanding on new ways of creating value within an uncertain and complex small business environment where consumers are increasingly collaborating and constructing value within their own social environment that is not always visible to entrepreneurs.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors collected in-depth data from craft beer consumers who detail consumers’ perspectives on value co-creation within their social context. Discourse analysis is used to examine the ways in which consumers create value within their social environment. Discourses are generated through in-depth, semi-structured interviews.

Findings

The findings reveal that a significant part of value creation happens outside the entrepreneurs’ control. Consumers seek to have social experiences which they want to experience individually but not alone. Accordingly, the legitimacy of a certain type of consumption creates a basis for consumers’ self-presentations and situational selves, on which value can be built.

Originality/value

This study offers new insights into how contemporary consumers work together to co-create value. In addition, this study answers the call for scholarly attention to consumer-to-consumer value linkages to gain new understandings of socially constructed value and contemporary consumption behaviour and reveals how entrepreneurs can benefit from this.

Details

Journal of Research in Marketing and Entrepreneurship, vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-5201

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Book part
Publication date: 1 January 2008

Jill A. Fisher and Lorna M. Ronald

Purpose – This chapter explores the pharmaceutical industry's strategic utilization of empowerment discourse in two realms: direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) and…

Abstract

Purpose – This chapter explores the pharmaceutical industry's strategic utilization of empowerment discourse in two realms: direct-to-consumer advertising (DTCA) and clinical drug development.

Methodology – It draws upon two research projects that examine the role of the pharmaceutical industry in the political economy of healthcare in the United States: Ronald's policy analysis and participant observation of DTCA policy hearings and Fisher's participant observation and interviewing of the clinical trials industry.

Findings – Empowerment rhetoric is mobilized by the pharmaceutical industry to create specific expectations about patient-consumer behavior, particularly the responsibilities associated with the consumption of drugs.

Research implications – The social and economic implications of DTCA and drug trials must be understood within their broader historical and contemporary contexts of health advocacy, consumerism, and medical neoliberalism.

Practical implications – The chapter offers alternative constructions of healthcare subjects and pharmaceutical practices that can mitigate the power of the pharmaceutical industry and bring about better pharmaceutical governance.

Originality/value of chapter – By analyzing findings from two empirical projects, this chapter is able to shed light on trends in the pharmaceutical industry's discourse about empowerment and consumption from the clinical testing to marketing of new drugs.

Details

Patients, Consumers and Civil Society
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-215-9

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Article
Publication date: 21 July 2020

George Rossolatos

This paper aims to contribute to the augmenting literature on consumer brand engagement (CBE) in social media brand communities (SMBCs) by offering the model of the depth…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to contribute to the augmenting literature on consumer brand engagement (CBE) in social media brand communities (SMBCs) by offering the model of the depth of brand engagement funnel (DOBEF). The model is intended to complement the multi-dimensional conceptualization of CBE in the extant consumer behaviour literature and to critically address some of its foundational tenets.

Design/methodology/approach

A computer-mediated discourse analytic (CMDA) approach is adopted while using a mixed methods research design whereby qualitative data are quantified with a view to enhancing the robustness of the interpretive procedure. The data comprise 170 UGC posts stemming from three fast-moving consumer goods brands’ SMBC threads. Additionally, a netnographic approach is adopted in data collection, while data analysis/synthesis proceeds with the application of the laddering technique with the aid of the computer-aided qualitative discourse analytic CAQDAS software atlas.ti.

Findings

The bulk of user-generated content (UGC) in the scrutinized brand initiated thematic threads were found to be relevant, albeit negatively valenced or lacking in relevance altogether. This behavioural response pattern to brand initiated themes poses significant constraints to the level and quality of CBE. Multi-dimensional engagement across the DOBEF’s strata was found to be scarce, while engagement diminishes gravely as the upper layers of the model are reached.

Research limitations/implications

By conducting analyses on coded data alongside DOBEF’s strata, rather than treating consumer comments as raw data, the narrowing down of the semantic focus of posted comments in a thread-specific fashion is enabled, thus meeting the narrow contextualization criterion that is lacking from various studies in the extant literature.

Practical implications

By shifting focus in identifying CBE levels in SMBCs from attitudinal/behavioural antecedents/outcomes towards the content of the interaction, a nuanced perspective is offered as regards the depth of interaction, while addressing posted comments not only in terms of valencing, but even more importantly of valorization.

Social implications

By attending closely to incidents of negative brand engagement, and by dimensionalizing engagement along the funnel’s strata, a more nuanced understanding of territories where brand communities contribute to the dilution, rather than the enhancement of brand equity was obtained.

Originality/value

This is the first paper that discusses engagement on the grounds of deeply-laden consumer axiologies and the degree to which these are congruent with specific brand initiated thematic threads in SMBCs. It is anticipated that the discourse analytic (DA) approach that is adopted here will instigate further research that attends to UGC in a small-data, highly context-specific, rather than a big-data vein.

Details

Qualitative Market Research: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-2752

Keywords

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