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Information Resources Management Association
Advancing the Concepts & Practices of Information Resources Management in Modern Organizations

Improving the quality of Online consumer communities

Improving the quality of Online consumer communities
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Author(s): Irene Pollach (Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration, Australia)
Copyright: 2007
Pages: 4
Source title: Managing Worldwide Operations and Communications with Information Technology
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-929-8.ch207
ISBN13: 9781599049298
EISBN13: 9781466665378


Consumer-opinion websites enable consumers to voice their opinions on products, services and companies, read those others or and interact with other consumers on a website other than that of a manufacturer, retailer or auction. To consumers, these websites are sources of pre-purchase or post-purchase product information (Hennig-Thurau & Walsh, 2003). Consumers voicing their opinions on the Web are valuable sources of knowledge not only to other consumers but also to companies. They may learn about customer preferences and product defects (Nah et al., 2002), which they can translate into opportunities for product modification and development (Cho et al., 2002; Pitta & Fowler, 2005). Previous research on consumer-to-consumer interactions on the Web has primarily focused on C2C auctions (e.g. Standifird, 2001; Dellarocas, 2003; Mollenberg, 2004), while communicative aspects of consumer interactions have not been paid much attention to. Relevant studies conducted in this area have looked at the persuasiveness of consumer-to-consumer communication on the Web (Xue & Phelps, 2004), the effect of positive and negative messages on consumers’ brand evaluation (Chiou & Cheng, 2003), the use of online communities for marketing (Evans et al., 2001; Maclaran & Catterall, 2002), consumers’ reasons for visiting C2C websites (Hennig-Thurau & Walsh, 2003), and their motivation to voice their opinion on C2C sites (Hennig-Thurau et al., 2004). These papers are anchored in the fields of marketing, information systems, but have not viewed consumer-to-consumer interactions as communicative exchanges. This paper is grounded in media richness theory, focusing on the interactional structures and tools available to participants in communicative exchanges on consumer-opinion websites. The goal of this paper is to identify mechanisms that render the information disseminated on consumer-opinion websites more valuable to both consumers and companies.

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