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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2019

Nuan Luo, Yu Wang, Chunhua Jin, Yuan Ni and Mingli Zhang

Travel companies are increasingly hosting online communities to extend their initiatives of customer relationship management and gain additional insight into their…

Abstract

Purpose

Travel companies are increasingly hosting online communities to extend their initiatives of customer relationship management and gain additional insight into their business. While the benefits to companies from hosting online communities are clear, another closely related issue has not been given comparative attention: Why do customers engage voluntarily in online travel communities? The purpose of this paper is to answer the question by developing and testing a conceptual model that exploring the influence of socialization interactions on customer engagement with the community.

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses were tested by applying structural equation modeling based on survey data collected from an online travel community (n=665).

Findings

The results supported the research hypotheses and demonstrated that socialization interactions (i.e. information and social exchange) in the online travel community are important catalysts for customer engagement.

Originality/value

The contribution of this study is twofold. First, from a theoretical perspective, it offers new insights into the conceptualization of customer engagement and its antecedents in the context of the online travel community. Second, from a pragmatic perspective, the conceptual model derived from this research aids practitioners in stimulating customer engagement from the perspective of socialization interactions.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Lingyun Guo, Mingli Zhang, Kai Kang and Mu Hu

Drawing upon the social cognitive and customer engagement theories, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how individuals’ simple follow, purely aiming for…

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the social cognitive and customer engagement theories, the purpose of this paper is to investigate how individuals’ simple follow, purely aiming for information but with little contribution, could affect fans behavior and make them engage in company social network (CSN). The study identifies the impact of personal motivators (follower participation motivation), environmental antecedents (perception of information quality) and individual behavior (fan engagement behavior and stickiness) on CSNs and examines the interaction relationship between the follower participation motivation and perception of information quality.

Design/methodology/approach

Data collected from 392 valid questionnaires from WeChat Official Account users were analyzed by structural equation modeling.

Findings

Personal factor such as follower participation motivation (intrinsic and extrinsic motivator) was found to be significant predictor of fan engagement behavior. Environmental factor (perception of information quality: perceived usefulness as well as perceived entertainment) was a significant factor in determining followers’ proclivity to engage in CNSs. One significant interaction effect was found: the effect of perceived entertainment on fan engagement behavior was manifested to a greater extent when followers’ participation aimed for intrinsic motivator. The second interaction effect, between the extrinsic motivator and perceived usefulness, was also found to be statistically significant.

Originality/value

This study enriches and extends the studies on the theories of customer engagement and social cognitive theory. It applies the above theories to CSNs and advances CSNs research by taking into consideration both personal and environmental factors (follower participation motivation and perception of information quality), and the interaction effects of the two on individual behavior.

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Mingli Zhang, Mu Hu, Lingyun Guo and Wenhua Liu

Thriving brand communities are inseparable from engaged members and their word-of-mouth behavior. The purpose of this paper is to investigate which customer experience…

Abstract

Purpose

Thriving brand communities are inseparable from engaged members and their word-of-mouth behavior. The purpose of this paper is to investigate which customer experience elevates customer engagement and consequent word-of-mouth intention in online brand communities, and how.

Design/methodology/approach

From the perspective of service ecosystem theory, a framework with several hypotheses was proposed. The model was verified with structural equation modeling based on questionnaire data collected from smartphone communities in China.

Findings

Empirical results indicate that customer experience promotes community engagement, and further enhances word-of-mouth intention. Furthermore, the mediating effect of community engagement in the relation between customer experience (social support and flow) and word-of-mouth intention has been verified.

Practical implications

This paper informs practitioners about the importance of experience co-creation with community members in brand and community promotion, and provides several implications to encourage more engaged customers with fostering pleasant customer experiences.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the theory of service ecosystem by empirical examination of its several propositions in a brand community context. The paper extends the present theory with the discussion of the mediation effect of community engagement in the continuing value co-creation process.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2016

Mingli Zhang and Nuan Luo

Brand communities have been labeled as a social aggregation of brand fans and businesses. Yet, limited research has examined customers’ perceived relationship benefits in…

Abstract

Purpose

Brand communities have been labeled as a social aggregation of brand fans and businesses. Yet, limited research has examined customers’ perceived relationship benefits in brand community on social media. Drawing from social capital theory and relationship benefits research, the purpose of this paper is to discover how online harmonious brand community influence customers’ perceived relationship benefits (i.e. confidence, special treatment, social and honor).

Design/methodology/approach

Hypotheses are tested by applying a structural equation modeling and the data are collected from a survey of smartphone community members (n=543) based on Sina Weibo.

Findings

The results suggest that harmonious brand communities strengthen customers’ perceived relationship benefits on social media, which are the important factors to form community satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth of community. And community engagement amplifies the influence of harmonious brand communities and has a moderating effect on the role of harmonious community relationships in confidence benefits.

Originality/value

The present study extends prior research on relationship benefits from the perspective of brand community based on social media and reveals the role of harmonious community relationships in developing community satisfaction and positive word-of-mouth.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 26 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 2 March 2015

Biao Xie, Liyuan Wang, Hao Yang, Yanhua Wang and Mingli Zhang

In response to food scares related to high levels of agro-chemical residues sometimes found on foods, consumers in China increasingly demand for organic foods. As little…

Abstract

Purpose

In response to food scares related to high levels of agro-chemical residues sometimes found on foods, consumers in China increasingly demand for organic foods. As little is known on consumer perceptions and attitudes toward organic food products, the purpose of this paper is to gain insight into the purchase of organic food products by consumers and to explore the main factors driving this process.

Design/methodology/approach

Mixed (quantitative and qualitative) market survey approaches were used to provide a potentially deeper insight into consumer’s perspective and could help get a better picture of the complex factors involved.

Findings

The main trigger for purchasing organic food products is that consumers expect them to be healthier and safer. The respondents who have bought organic food products tend to have a higher education level and disposable incomes, be families with children and be older than those who have not bought them. The main barriers to increasing the market share of organic food products are the consumers’ lack of knowledge, the relatively high price premium and the lack of availability of organic food products. Informing consumers about unique characteristics of organic production methods, the decline in the prices of and increasing the availability of organic food products to its customers might be a promising strategy to develop the market for organic food products.

Originality/value

This paper provides a unique insight into buying behavior and attitudes of organic consumers in China. The results of the research could provide information for the organic food industry to expand its market and improve its profitability and reliability.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 117 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 41 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2019

Guangkai Sun, Yang Hu, Mingli Dong, Yanlin He, Mingxin Yu and Lianqing Zhu

Soft robotics is a burgeoning field owing to its high adaptability and safety in human–machine interaction and unstructured environments. However, the feedback control of…

Abstract

Purpose

Soft robotics is a burgeoning field owing to its high adaptability and safety in human–machine interaction and unstructured environments. However, the feedback control of soft actuators with flexible sensors is still a challenge.

Design/methodology/approach

To address this issue, this study proposes an optical fibre-based sensing membrane for the posture measurement of soft pneumatic bending actuators. The major contribution is the development of a flexible sensing membrane with a high sensitivity and repeatability for the feedback control of soft actuators. The characteristics of sensing membrane were analysed. The relationship between wavelength shift and bending curvature was derived. The curvatures of soft actuator were measured at four bending status, and the postures were reconstructed.

Findings

The results indicate that the measurement error is less than 2.1% of the actual bending curvature. The sensitivity is up to 212.8 pm/m−1, and the signal fluctuation in repeated measurements is negligible. This approach has broad application prospects in soft robotics, because it makes the optical fibre achieve more strength and compatible with soft actuators, thus improving the sensing accuracy, sensitivity and reliability of fibre sensors.

Originality/value

Different from previous approaches, an optical fibre with FBGs is embedded into a multilayered polyimide film to form a flexible sensing membrane, and the membrane is embedded into a soft pneumatic bending actuator as the smart strain limited layer which is able to measure the posture in real time. This approach makes the optical fibre stronger and compatible with the soft pneumatic bending actuator, and the sensing accuracy, sensitivity and reliability are improved. The proposed sensing configuration is effective for the feedback control of the soft pneumatic bending actuators.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Book part
Publication date: 30 November 2018

Mingli Mei, Ru Zhao and Miaochen Zhu

This study investigated four different economic level areas of China (Shanghai, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Guizhou) to analyze the eastern and western urban and rural media…

Abstract

This study investigated four different economic level areas of China (Shanghai, Shandong, Shaanxi, and Guizhou) to analyze the eastern and western urban and rural media service status at different development stages. This set of data comes from the comparison of regional urban and rural areas and indicates the various aspects of differences in the survey area, including the media use habits, media resources, media consumer demand, evaluation of media services, the role of media in public life, public knowledge level, and so on. On analyzing data comprehensively, one thing can be found that there is a positive correlation between the public media contact degree and the public knowledge level. The media plays an extremely important role in public life and regional public knowledge gap between urban and rural areas exists. Furthermore, this gap is positively correlated to the media resources and media exposure. The trend of media using on mobile phone and computer in urban areas increases significantly greater than in rural areas. Then, how to narrow the urban–rural and regional public knowledge gap and reduce the negative impact of the digital divide will be an important urgent task.

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Book part
Publication date: 2 September 2009

C. Cindy Fan

The assumption that the family migrates as a unit downplays migrants’ circularity. This chapter focuses on China's rural–urban labor migrants that travel back and forth…

Abstract

The assumption that the family migrates as a unit downplays migrants’ circularity. This chapter focuses on China's rural–urban labor migrants that travel back and forth between the sites of work and home community and between places of work. I argue that migrants and their households pursue work flexibility in order to obtain the best of the urban and rural worlds, by gaining earnings from urban work and at the same time maintaining social and economic security in the countryside. Work flexibility demands flexibility in household organization, in the form of division of labor and collaboration between genders, generations, and households. Based on a study in Sichuan, I examine household biographies and narratives to identify migrants’ work and household strategies.

Migrants change jobs frequently, switch from one type of work to another and one location to another readily, and often return to the home village for months or even years before pursuing migrant work again. Not only are migrants ready to split the household between the city and the countryside, but also they frequently change from one form of division of labor to another. The inside–outside model, where the wife stays in the village and the husband does migrant work, used to be the dominant arrangement. Over time, the outside–outside model, where both the husband and wife migrate to work and leave behind other family members, is increasingly popular. This is facilitated by intergenerational and interhousehold division of labor in the form of assistance by the extended family. Intergenerational division of labor takes place when the second generation is replacing the parents in migrant work. This research's findings support the notion that rural–urban migrants are fast becoming a hybrid segment of Chinese society, playing dual roles of farmers and urban workers and straddling the peasant and urban worlds.

Details

Work and Organizationsin China Afterthirty Years of Transition
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-730-7

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2012

Yong Tao, Feifei Shen and Mingli Hu

Since the present university leading cadre capability evaluations are mainly static, there is a lack of evaluation methods to address dynamic and multi‐scale‐based…

Abstract

Purpose

Since the present university leading cadre capability evaluations are mainly static, there is a lack of evaluation methods to address dynamic and multi‐scale‐based situations. Some important factors to address people's performances, such as the developing trends and potentialities are considered. The purpose of this paper is to attempt to propose a dynamic evaluation model based on multivariate delay connection number.

Design/methodology/approach

First, evaluation results of previous periods are taken into the current period and values of uncertain numbers are revised. Next, a dynamic evaluation model is built for university leading cadre. Last, a numerical example is used to prove its feasibility and effectiveness.

Findings

This paper promotes a corrected equal portion value method of uncertain numbers i1(τ), … ,in(τ) from the adjacent two periods to multi periods, and builds a dynamic evaluation model, which proved simple‐structured and easy to apply.

Practical implications

The new model is applied in the evaluation of university leading cadre, and could give a more comprehensive, dynamic, scientific analysis for evaluation by model application.

Originality/value

The paper develops a novel evaluation model based on a multivariate delay connection number, which expands traditional methods from a static situation to a dynamic and multi‐scale‐based situation.

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