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Article
Publication date: 7 December 2021

Zhimin Zhou, Rixiang Wang and Ge Zhan

This study aims to investigate the role of multidimensional social capital and consumer subjective well-being in online brand communities (OBCs). The aim was to provide…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the role of multidimensional social capital and consumer subjective well-being in online brand communities (OBCs). The aim was to provide practical guidance to global brand marketers for cultivating and strengthening OBC operations, optimizing consumer-brand-community relationships and creating value in the digital age.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 576 valid questionnaires were collected through an online survey, and the model was tested using partial least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

In OBCs, the cognitive dimension of social capital (i.e. shared language and shared vision) strongly affects the relational dimension of social capital (i.e. social trust and reciprocity). Both these dimensions also positively influence consumer community subjective well-being, which, in turn, enhances consumer brand subjective well-being. Thus, community subjective well-being has a mediating role in the aforementioned relationship, and brand community is an antecedent to brand subjective well-being.

Research limitations/implications

Future studies should investigate other dimensions of social capital and well-being, as well as moderator variables, social environments and types of culture.

Originality/value

This study constructed a conceptual framework that focused on the effect of multidimensional social capital in OBCs to elucidate antecedents of brand subjective well-being from the perspectives of social networks and relationships. Moreover, it examined how brands strategically expand their clientele base with regard to target customers.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 21 November 2018

Jingbo Yuan, Zhimin Zhou, Nan Zhou and Ge Zhan

This paper aims to examine the effect of product market competition on firms’ unethical behavior (FUB) in the Chinese insurance industry and to further explore the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the effect of product market competition on firms’ unethical behavior (FUB) in the Chinese insurance industry and to further explore the boundary conditions of the main effects. On the basis of China’s commercial foundation, the study constructs a conceptual framework of FUB by drawing from the perspective of horizontal competition.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 52 property insurance firms at the branch level observed over the six-year period, 2011-2016. Within this framework, market power and market concentration were used to describe product market competition at firm and industry levels, respectively. The moderating effect of market munificence was analyzed to reveal the theoretical boundaries of the main effect. By drawing upon cost–benefit analysis and social network theory, the study used negative binomial model and Poisson model to quantitatively examine the relationship.

Findings

The relationship between product market competition and FUB is curvilinear. Especially at the firm level, market power exhibits a U-shape relationship with FUB; at the industry level, market concentration exhibits a U-shape relationship with FUB. In addition, market munificence positively moderates the impact of firm’s market power on FUB, whereas, market munificence negatively moderates the impact of industrial market concentration on FUB.

Research limitations/implications

This paper explored a new type of unethical behavior that concerns consumers or the third party by emphasizing horizontal competitive contexts; it also provides a better understanding of the FUB–financial performance relationship from the perspective of competition. The moderating effects suggest that when the cause of FUB is different (market power vs market concentration), firms may make opposite ethical choice. However, the sample is from a single industry; it will be fruitful to further verify these findings in other industries such as the manufacturing sector. Moreover, the definition of FUB is confined to explicit forms such as participation or collusion but there is no way to measure the implicit forms of FUB.

Practical implications

First, the governance of FUB should not only focus on the firms themselves, but also take into account the industrial market structure. Second, proper use of governance measures for FUB can increase firms’ benefits from “compliance with the law”, enticing firms to decrease FUB. The third, firms with weak market positions, facing fierce competition, should not be involved in FUB for short-term benefit; indeed, a low-cost strategy can be adopted as the dominant competitive strategy. While, in cases of highly concentrated market structure, firms should strive to avoid involvement in FUB through collusion with other rivals.

Social implications

As it is a very common phenomenon that firms in competitive relationships may adopt FUB toward third parties or consumers, this trend has become a hot topic in the economic and social development in China. The study’s conclusions reveal that a more proactive and ambitious ethical decision is desirable for all kinds of firms; moreover, firms should make a rational choice between “short-term interest” and “long-term survival”. When firms identify the compliance of business ethics as an opportunity to differentiate themselves and perceive the benefits of decreasing FUB as outweighing the costs, the level of FUB will be inhibited, and social welfare will increase.

Originality/value

The primary contribution of this research resides in identifying product market competition as a previously unexplored predictor of FUB, thus revealing the dark side of product market competition. In addition, nonlinear relationships between product market competition and FUB indicate that situations of competition exert an important influence on FUB both at the firm and industry level. This paper’s conclusion provides a more meticulous theoretical explanation for FUB. This research demonstrates that the traditional ethical framework is not sufficient to explain FUB in a horizontal competitive context. Indeed, resource constraints and competitive pressures should also be considered.

Details

Chinese Management Studies, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-614X

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2018

Ge Zhan and Zhimin Zhou

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of mobile internet (MI) use and risk factors on MI happiness.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the influence of mobile internet (MI) use and risk factors on MI happiness.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey with 521 MI users was conducted to test the direct and moderating effects of risk factors on MI happiness.

Findings

The results provide evidence that there is a non-linear relationship between variety of use and MI happiness, and consumers become happier with increased frequency of use. The results also indicate that the privacy risk and task risk reduce MI happiness, and both types of risks moderate the inverted U-shaped relationship between variety of use and MI happiness.

Research limitations/implications

This study reconciles two opposing theories, stimulation vs displacement, on the impact of internet use on consumer well-being. The findings suggest that the stimulation effect of MI use is associated with an intermediate level of usage variety, while social displacement is more likely connected with higher- or lower-variety of use. Risk plays an important role in exploring the boundary conditions of both theories. The findings also have important implications to the debate over the role of privacy in consumer adoption of internet services or applications.

Originality/value

This study reconciles two opposing theories, stimulation vs displacement, on consumer happiness by elaborating the role of risk associated with MI use.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 5 April 2019

Yufan Jian, Zhimin Zhou and Nan Zhou

This paper aims to improve knowledge regarding the complicated relationship among brand cultural symbolism, consumer cultural involvement, brand authenticity and consumer…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to improve knowledge regarding the complicated relationship among brand cultural symbolism, consumer cultural involvement, brand authenticity and consumer well-being. Although some literature has mentioned the relationship between the above concepts, these relationships have not been confirmed by empirical studies.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the self-determination theory and the authenticity theory, a causal model of brand cultural symbolism, consumers’ enduring cultural involvement, brand authenticity and consumer well-being is developed. The structural equation model and multiple regressions are used to test the hypothesis. The primary data are based on an online survey conducted in China (N = 533). A total of six brands from the USA, France and China were selected as study samples.

Findings

The data reveal that brand cultural symbolism has a positive relationship with brand authenticity and consumer well-being; brand authenticity partially mediates the relationship between brand cultural symbolism and consumer well-being; and find a weakening effect of consumers’ enduring cultural involvement on the relationship between brand cultural symbolism and brand authenticity.

Research limitations/implications

The weakening effect of consumers’ enduring cultural involvement on the relationship between brand cultural symbols and brand authenticity should be further verified through experiments and the model should be tested in different cultural backgrounds from a cross-cultural perspective.

Practical implications

The present study offers novel insights for brand managers by highlighting brand authenticity as the fundamental principle that explains the effect of cultural symbolism of brands, consumers’ enduring cultural involvement, as well as eudaimonic and hedonic well-being.

Originality/value

The findings suggest that cultural significance of a brand is closely related to brand authenticity and consumer well-being; however, on consumers with a highly enduring cultural involvement, the effect of brand culture symbolism and brand authenticity is weakened. This is an interesting finding because in this case, consumers may measure brand authenticity more based on the brand actual behavior (e.g. brand non-commercial tendency and brand social responsibility) rather than the symbolic image.

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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2019

Zhimin Zhou, Ge Zhan and Nan Zhou

Consumers share negative brand experience in many occasions to vent their emotion and seek support. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of negative…

Abstract

Purpose

Consumers share negative brand experience in many occasions to vent their emotion and seek support. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of negative sharing on members’ happiness in online brand communities by drawing from two opposing constructs: social support and social exclusion.

Design/methodology/approach

Both survey and experiment methods were employed to test the conceptual model. Online survey data were collected from 1,015 mobile internet users.

Findings

The findings reveal that negative sharing may enhance a sharer’s happiness through online social support particularly for novice community members. The findings also indicate greater online social exclusion for experienced members than for novice members. These findings cast doubt on the widely held assumption that increased engagement in a community will always produces positive outcomes. The moderating effect of membership duration is confirmed with an experiment of MI’s brand community members.

Research limitations/implications

The study of happiness in online brand community sheds new light on consumer–brand and user–community relationships.

Originality/value

While most previous studies on negative sharing only explored the negative side of consequences, the authors contribute to this line of research by introducing both positive (social support) and negative (social exclusion) outcomes of negative reviews. The model also explains the conditions under which negative reviews enhance social support and social exclusion.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 18 November 2020

Jialing (Catherine) Lin, Zhimin Zhou and Civilai Leckie

This study aims to empirically investigate how green transparency and green competence enhancement can promote consumer behavioral outcomes (i.e. green brand loyalty and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to empirically investigate how green transparency and green competence enhancement can promote consumer behavioral outcomes (i.e. green brand loyalty and resistance to negative information regarding green brands) through green brand attachment (i.e., self–green brand connection and green brand prominence). It further explores these hypothesized relationships across brands of physical products and services.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using an online survey from 826 Chinese consumers. Structural equation modeling is used to test the proposed conceptual model.

Findings

Our results demonstrate that green transparency and green competence enhancement positively affect consumer green brand attachment (i.e. self–green brand connection and green brand prominence) which subsequently influence consumers’ loyalty toward green brands and their resistance to negative information. Finally, the development of green brand attachment across brands of products and services is found to be different.

Research limitations/implications

Extending the conceptual model to other cultural contexts is suggested. Using the experimental design to examine other boundary conditions is recommended.

Practical implications

This study provides recommendations for marketers, especially brand managers, to facilitate green brand communications to strengthen consumer–brand relationships.

Originality/value

This study extends past research by examining two types of green brand attachment via a cognitive schema lens. Also, it shows the internal cognitive process by which green brand communications potentially promote consumer behavioral outcomes through green brand attachment. Lastly, it highlights differences in the development of green brand loyalty and consumer resistance to negative information across brands of products and services.

Details

Journal of Product & Brand Management, vol. 30 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1061-0421

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Article
Publication date: 31 December 2020

Jialing Lin and Zhimin Zhou

The purpose of this study is to investigate how green brand positioning facilitated by utilitarian environmental benefits and nature connectedness may influence green…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how green brand positioning facilitated by utilitarian environmental benefits and nature connectedness may influence green brand image, as mediated by green perceived value (GPV) and brand innovativeness and how brand type moderates these relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected using an online survey method, and structural equation modeling was employed to test the research hypotheses with a sample of 826 Chinese respondents.

Findings

The results demonstrate that utilitarian environmental benefits directly enhance green brand image. Both utilitarian environmental benefits and nature connectedness indirectly influence green brand image through GPV and brand innovativeness. Subsequently, green brand innovativeness positively affects GPV. The moderating effects of brand type on the relationships in the model are also established.

Practical implications

Organisations should enhance green value and brand innovativeness when adopting green brand positioning tools to strengthen green brand image and implement diverse green branding strategies between brands of physical goods and services.

Originality/value

Although previous studies have investigated how perceived benefits affect the development of brand image, the issue has not been examined based on the human associative memory framework from a green branding perspective. No empirical study has simultaneously included both green brand innovativeness and GPV in this formation process. Additionally, the moderating role of brand type in the model has not been explored previously.

Details

International Journal of Emerging Markets, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-8809

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2019

Heping He, Yanni Liu and Zhimin Zhou

With the rapid development of social media in the past few years, some dark aspects of usage have appeared, e.g., Weibo addiction. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid development of social media in the past few years, some dark aspects of usage have appeared, e.g., Weibo addiction. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to address the question of how Weibo keeps users hooked.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes the netnography method to explore the symptoms of Weibo addiction and how it is formed.

Findings

First, some Weibo users have typical symptoms of addictive behavior, such as withdrawal, loss of control and general living problems; second, narcissism plays an important role in the process of Weibo addiction and has a stronger effect on content generation than content consumption; third, some users use Weibo as a means to alleviate anxiety, but they can then become more anxious owing to addiction; and fourth, the effect of comments has two sides – on the one hand, comments are one kind of feedback to posts, satisfying posters’ social needs, while on the other hand, a storytelling system consists of one post and its comments, upon which some Weibo users become more dependent.

Research limitations/implications

This research is only a preliminary, exploratory study. Therefore, care should be taken when interpreting these findings.

Practical implications

This study should help social media service providers and users to pay attention to the risk of social media addiction. Social media service providers should take social responsibility, design more user-oriented guidelines for marketing ethics and launch more responsible marketing activities. Users should enhance self-control and better balance social media use and offline real life.

Originality/value

Netnography has not been widely used as an addictive behavior research technique. This study is further bolstered because it has also noticed the difference of addiction mechanisms between addictive micro-bloggers and their followers.

Details

Journal of Contemporary Marketing Science, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-7480

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2017

Yang Gu, Qian Song, Ming Ma, Yanghuan Li and Zhimin Zhou

Aiding information is frequently adopted to calibrate the errors from inertia-generated trajectories in pedestrian positioning. However, existing calibration methods lack…

Abstract

Purpose

Aiding information is frequently adopted to calibrate the errors from inertia-generated trajectories in pedestrian positioning. However, existing calibration methods lack interior connections and unanimity, making it difficult to incorporate multiple sources of aiding information. This paper aims to propose a unanimous anchor-based trajectory calibration framework, which is expandable to encompass different types of anchor information.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept of anchors is introduced to represent different types of aiding information, which are, in essence, different constraint conditions on inertia-derived raw trajectories. The foundation of the framework is a particle filter which is implemented based on various particle weight updating strategies using diverse types of anchor information. Herein, three representative anchors are chosen to elaborate and validate the proposed framework, namely, ultra-wide-band (UWB) ranging anchors, iBeacons and the building structure-based virtual anchors.

Findings

In the simulations, with the particle reweighting strategies of the proposed framework, the positioning errors can be compensated. In the experimental test in an office building in which three anchors, including one UWB anchor, one iBeacon and one building structure-based virtual anchor are deployed; the final positioning error is decreased from 1.9 to 1.2 m; and the heading error is reduced from about 21° to 7°, respectively.

Originality/value

Herein, an anchor-based unanimous trajectory calibration framework for inertial pedestrian positioning is proposed. This framework is applicable to the schemes with different configurations of the anchors and can be expanded to adopt as much anchor information as possible.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2016

Zhimin Fan, Wanfeng Zhou, Ruixue Wang and Na Wang

The purpose of this paper is to derive a new lubrication model of double involute gears drive and study the effect of the tooth waist order parameters of double involute…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to derive a new lubrication model of double involute gears drive and study the effect of the tooth waist order parameters of double involute gears on lubrication performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The new lubrication model of double involute gears drive was established according to the meshing characteristics of double involute gears drive and the finite length line contact elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory. Numerical calculation of the lubrication model of gear drive was conducted using the multigrid method.

Findings

The results show that the oil film necking phenomenon and the oil film pressure peak emerged at the tooth waist order area and the tooth profile ends, and when compared with involute gear, the lubrication performance at the tooth waist order area is better than that at the tooth profile ends. The effect of tooth waist order parameters on lubrication performance at the tooth waist order area was greater than that at other areas.

Originality/value

This research will promote the application of the double involute gear as soon as possible, and it has the reference value for other types of gears.

Details

Industrial Lubrication and Tribology, vol. 68 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0036-8792

Keywords

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