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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2017

Shampy Kamboj and Zillur Rahman

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a scale to measure customer social participation in brand communities, specifically e-travel companies’ communities.

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1251

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to develop and validate a scale to measure customer social participation in brand communities, specifically e-travel companies’ communities.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative research has been undertaken to generate a pool of items. Based on Churchill’s (1979) scale development process, numerous reliability and validity tests have been conducted to confirm the scale structure. Data were collected through online and field surveys from the students and hotel guests who have either subscribed, liked or joined any e-travel service companies’ community brand page using any social networking site or have ever posted or considered reviews and ratings of any e-travel service companies via their official site or via a mobile app while planning their travel.

Findings

The findings depict nine items on a three-dimensional scale for measuring customer participation in travel brand communities created on social networking sites.

Research limitations/implications

The findings provide important implications for hotel and travel managers and are likely to encourage future studies in the field of social media and travel brand communities.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the literature by providing refinement to the distinct operationalization and conceptualization of customer online participation, specifically in social media-based travel brand communities. This paper is the first to develop a multidimensional scale of customer social participation in e-travel companies’ communities. This is a new addition to existing literature, as the majority of empirical studies in this field are from participation other than customer social participation and contexts different from e-travel companies.

Details

Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Technology, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-9880

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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…

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1025

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

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Carla Ruiz-Mafe, Jose Tronch and Silvia Sanz-Blas

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of emotions and social influences on loyalty formation towards online travel communities.

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3481

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the role of emotions and social influences on loyalty formation towards online travel communities.

Design/methodology/approach

The individual (perceived risk) and social (subjective norm and social presence) antecedents of emotions as well as the impact of emotions on attitude and loyalty towards online travel communities are tested through structural equation modelling techniques. The sample consists of 385 active users of online travel communities in Spain.

Findings

Data analysis shows that perceived privacy and security risk elicit negative emotions such as stress, frustration and fear towards the online travel community. Normative influences (subjective norm) and feeling the presence of other community members (social presence) boost positive emotions towards the online travel community. Interpersonal influences have a positive effect on subjective norm but not external influences. Positive and negative emotions affect preferences towards the online travel community (attitudes) as proposed by social impact theory. Subjective norm and attitude have a direct influence on loyalty towards an online travel community, confirming previous research grounded on theory of reasoned action models.

Originality/value

Despite the crucial impact of consumers’ affective states on loyalty formation, research on social media is mainly focused on the technological nature of consumer information exchanges, neglecting other drivers of consumer behaviour beyond the technology employed. This paper develops a model that integrates the relationships between consumer emotions and their individual (perceived risk) and social (social presence and subjective norm) antecedents and outcome variables (attitude and loyalty). The role of social influences is analysed, assessing the conjoint impact of one-way communication (interpersonal influences and mass media) and Web 2.0 communications (social presence) on positive emotions and loyalty formation towards the online travel community.

Details

Journal of Service Theory and Practice, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2055-6225

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2018

Shampy Kamboj and Bijoylaxmi Sarmah

The purpose of this paper is to construct and validate customer social participation (CSP) scale in the context of brand communities on social media.

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1106

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to construct and validate customer social participation (CSP) scale in the context of brand communities on social media.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, various tests for reliability and validity have been performed to confirm scale structure. Data were collected using survey method from the student and non-student sample.

Findings

The results confirm a multi-dimensional scale with nine items for measuring customer participation in social media brand communities.

Research limitations/implications

The results of this study present several implications for online brand communities managers and are likely to support future research in the context of social media brand communities.

Originality/value

This paper is the first to develop a multi-dimensional scale of customer participation in social media brand communities. This is a new addition to existing literature, as the majority of empirical studies in this field are from participation other than CSP, and contexts different from social media brand communities.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Xueyan Yang, Xiaoni Zhang, Samuel Goh and Chad Anderson

The purpose of this paper is to understand e-loyalty in the travel industry. Specifically, this paper aims to examine the curvilinear relationship between predictors and e-loyalty.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand e-loyalty in the travel industry. Specifically, this paper aims to examine the curvilinear relationship between predictors and e-loyalty.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was conducted using an online survey with one of the largest travel companies in China. Structural equation modeling was used to test the models, and pair-wise nested F-tests were used to compare the models.

Findings

Results show that the curvilinear model has greater explanatory power of loyalty than traditional linear models. The results of pair-wise nested F-tests show that the loyalty model exhibits statistically significant R2 improvement compared to the linear model. However, the R2 improvement in the integrated model is not statistically different from that in the linear model. Confirmation and satisfaction are found to be salient factors influencing loyalty.

Research limitations/implications

This study makes important contributions to the online community literature by understanding the drivers of loyalty in the travel industry. However, there are limitations. First, this study addressed member loyalty of an online travel community with data collected from one company. Thus, generalizability is limited. Online communities and firms may have different characteristics, resulting in different factors influencing consumer loyalty. The authors plan in the future to collect data from other online travel companies and examine their model with different samples so as to check the generalizability of the current findings. Second, the authors collected a snapshot view on loyalty. Both researchers and managers note that small changes in loyalty and retention can yield disproportionately large changes in profitability (Reichheld et al., 2000). Consumer loyalty may change over time, so to maintain and increase profits, it is important to monitor such change. In the future, the authors plan to conduct a longitudinal study of community members to evaluate their loyalty over time.

Practical implications

As China seeks to gain additional market share in the global tourism market, travel companies should make use of websites as a marketing tool to attract and retain customers. These actions enable a travel company to enhance its competitiveness. More and more people use the internet for tour deals, bookings and finding tour-related information. Effective use of websites can affect the competitiveness of ecommerce companies. E-vendors could assess and adopt the dimensions recommended in this paper to help better understand areas for improvement. It is common today for consumers to buy travel products online instead of going through a travel agent. Considering the importance of reciprocity in formulating consumer satisfaction and loyalty in the virtual environment, companies should monitor reciprocal behavior on the virtual community. With advancement in technologies, consumer behaviors have changed and more consumers prefer social interactions in the virtual world. Companies can analyze posts in the virtual environment to assess reciprocity and may design a mechanism to foster reciprocal behaviors. By leveraging reciprocity, firms can better connect satisfaction with loyalty. More than 70 per cent of executives surveyed by McKinsey (2012) said that they regularly generate value through their Web communities. In addition, to pay attention to consumer to consumer reciprocity in the virtual world, companies should listen to what customers say in their online community, as this attention is an indication of reciprocity between consumers and companies. The ideas and opinions expressed in the online community tell the company customers’ perception of the value of its products and customers’ needs. Such attention to the voices in the online community will help companies to better tailor products/services to meet customers’ needs. Furthermore, the voices expressed in the virtual community are also effective in developing and maintaining new internet marketing opportunities such as email marketing, giveaways, search engine optimization, pay per click and shopping comparison marketing. Companies interested in retaining and attracting customers should leverage their established virtual communities and pay close attention to online posts and evaluate members’ satisfaction. Such effort will provide tangible benefits. As shown in Ye et al.’s study, traveler reviews produce a significant impact on online sales (Ye et al., 2011), with a 10 per cent increase in traveler review ratings, boosting online bookings by more than 5 per cent. This finding suggests that businesses should link online user-generated reviews to business performance in tourism. Finding incentives for users to share might be one way to improve interactivity and further create stickiness on the part of the website.

Originality/value

This paper is one of the first studies to address the need to move beyond linear models of e-loyalty and to additionally examine potential curvilinear and interactive effects. This study also identifies key variables such as reciprocity and satisfaction as determinants of e-loyalty in the Chinese online travel and tourism industry.

Details

Nankai Business Review International, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8749

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2018

Daniel Belanche, Luis V. Casaló, Carlos Flavián and Miguel Guinalíu

With social exchange theory as a basis, the purpose of this paper is to seek a better understanding of advice processes in online travel communities, which offer crucial…

Abstract

Purpose

With social exchange theory as a basis, the purpose of this paper is to seek a better understanding of advice processes in online travel communities, which offer crucial advice for travelers’ decisions. It also predicts that relational capital variables (commitment, reciprocity perceptions) moderate the main relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Data from a web survey of 456 users of online travel communities affirm the scale’s validity and provide the input for structural equation modeling and multisample analyses of the hypotheses.

Findings

Higher levels of commitment reinforce the effect of following past advice on passive and active participation intentions. Users’ perceptions of reciprocity in the community strengthen the influence of following past advice on active participation. However, a high level of reciprocity causes users following past advice to reduce their intentions to continue following that advice.

Practical implications

Management tactics should specify active and passive participation in online travel communities. Specifically, to encourage the creation of high-quality new content, community managers should create interactive environments marked by high levels of reciprocity and commitment.

Originality/value

This research elucidates the role of relational capital variables in advice processes and advances understanding of online travel communities.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 119 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2005

Jyh‐Jeng Wu and Yong‐Sheng Chang

This study targeted members of online travel communities to explore the factors that affect the experience of flow and how flow affects the transaction intentions of these members.

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6349

Abstract

Purpose

This study targeted members of online travel communities to explore the factors that affect the experience of flow and how flow affects the transaction intentions of these members.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to test this model, data were collected via an online questionnaire, with a total of 286 survey instruments available. The data were analyzed using structural equations modeling with AMOS.

Findings

The empirical findings showed that, first, as far as the online travel communities members are concerned, both interactivity and trust do affect each other. Second, interactivity is the key factor for the members to have flow experience in online travel communities. Third, the experience of flow can enhance the transaction intentions of members while they are in the online travel communities.

Practical implications

Web site administrators should improve the interactivity with the members, so that they can have flow experience, and further strengthen their transaction intentions.

Originality/value

This paper provides a model to understand online travel communities members who place their trust in the online travel agencies and, interacting with the web sites in ways that result in a flow experience, ultimately intensify their transaction intentions.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 105 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2008

Wei Zhang and Stephanie Watts

The purpose of this paper is to investigate to which extent the concept of communities of practice (CoPs) can be applied to online communities and to explore how

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5347

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate to which extent the concept of communities of practice (CoPs) can be applied to online communities and to explore how organizations can better utilize online social structures for their knowledge management practice.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study was used to examine an online community with the practice‐and‐identity framework that characterizes conventional CoPs. Qualitative data analysis was conducted primarily on 7,853 messages downloaded from the online community during a six week period.

Findings

The results showed how an online community could manifest the practice and identity characteristics of conventional CoPs as community members actively engaged in their shared practice and identity development while pursuing a joint enterprise. Research limitations/implicationsThe study was conducted in a single Chinese online community on traveling, which may limit the generalizability of the findings.

Practical implications

This study suggested how organizations can nurture online CoPs. In addition, a hierarchical model was proposed to help organizations identify the appropriate online social structure for their knowledge management purposes. Originality/valueThis study empirically verified that CoPs can emerge from online communities and demonstrated that the concept of CoPs can be used to guide knowledge sharing and knowledge creation in online environments.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Kwang-Ho Lee and Sunghyup Sean Hyun

In the context of online travel communities (OTCs), this paper aims to identify the relationships between value-creating practices, trusting beliefs, solution acceptance…

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1117

Abstract

Purpose

In the context of online travel communities (OTCs), this paper aims to identify the relationships between value-creating practices, trusting beliefs, solution acceptance and stickiness and the moderating effects of risk aversion on the relationship between trusting beliefs and solution acceptance and on that between trusting beliefs and stickiness.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 408 survey responses obtained from Amazon website panels were used to test the proposed hypotheses through a structural equation modeling analysis.

Findings

The results show that three dimensions of value-creating practices, namely, social networking, community engagement and brand use, had positive effects on trusting beliefs; trusting beliefs had positive effects on solution acceptance and stickiness; and solution acceptance had a positive effect on stickiness. Risk aversion moderated the trusting beliefs-stickiness relationship.

Research limitations/implications

A key limitation of this study is related to the sample collected from Amazon website panels, which may limit the generalizability of results to other OTC members. The results have important theoretical and practical implications in OTC settings. For example, OTCs should be used by members as key platforms for acquiring trust information prior to their behaviors.

Originality/value

This study extends the OTC literature by integrating different research realms into the proposed research model for a better understanding of the relationships between value-creating practices, trusting beliefs and OTC behaviors.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 28 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Book part
Publication date: 9 July 2013

Maria Lexhagen, Mia Larson and Christine Lundberg

This chapter focuses on the importance of social media for pop culture fans. A web survey for fans of the Twilight Saga is implemented, using the concepts of cognitive…

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the importance of social media for pop culture fans. A web survey for fans of the Twilight Saga is implemented, using the concepts of cognitive, affective, and evaluative social identity and personal, product, and situational involvement. The purpose is to examine to what degree social identity and involvement can explain pop culture fans’ future intention to travel, make recommendations to others, and use social media. Findings show that pop culture fans use social media to a large extent and that these means are important for making decisions about traveling and event participation. Moreover, the chapter shows that involvement dimensions are more important than social identity dimensions to explain future intention to travel, to recommend to others, and to use social media.

Details

Tourism Social Media: Transformations in Identity, Community and Culture
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-213-4

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