Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Corporate impression formation in online communities : a qualitative study
Authors: Hallier Willi, Christine
Nguyen, Bang
Melewar, T.C.
Dennis, Charles
DOI: 10.1108/QMR-07-2013-0049
Published in: Qualitative Market Research
Volume(Issue): 17
Issue: 4
Pages: 410
Pages to: 440
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher / Ed. Institution: Emerald
ISSN: 1352-2752
Language: English
Subjects: Social networks; Online communities; Corporate communication; Corporate image; Computer-mediated communication; Virtual communities
Subject (DDC): 658.4: Executive Management
Abstract: Purpose: This study aims to evaluate elements of corporate communication in online communities (OCs) and their influence on corporate impression formation. Interactive online platforms such as OCs are growing. Companies are discovering their importance and increasingly include OCs in their communication activities. The present study identifies the underlying components relevant to successful corporate communication in OCs, and further explore if and how online community members (OCMs) expect companies to communicate with them, explaining how corporate impressions are formed. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative research method was chosen, consisting of two stages. In stage one, 17 expert interviews with academics and practitioners were conducted, and in stage two, 12 OCMs were interviewed to clarify the concepts and gain new insights. Findings: The study gains new knowledge relating to corporate communication in OCs and image formation. Specifically, the authors identify and confirm important key constructs in corporate impression formation in OCs, namely, relevance of messages, communication style, social context cues, affiliation, perceived similarity, source credibility and interpersonal communication. Furthermore, a conceptual model is proposed on the relationship between communication elements relevant in online communities and their influence on corporate impression. Practical implications: The study helps to refine existing concepts of corporate impression formation in OCs. It is suggested that understanding how corporate impression is formed in OCs helps companies to participate in virtual networks, improving their corporate impression.
URI: https://digitalcollection.zhaw.ch/handle/11475/9054
Fulltext version: Published version
License (according to publishing contract): Licence according to publishing contract
Departement: School of Management and Law
Appears in Collections:Publikationen School of Management and Law

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