Title: The positive outcomes of a sense of virtual community

 

Author: Hanna-Kaisa Ellonen; Miia Kosonen; Anssi Tarkiainen; Lisbeth Tonteri

 

Addresses:
Lappeenranta University of Technology, School of Business, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland
Lappeenranta University of Technology, School of Business, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland
Lappeenranta University of Technology, School of Business, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland
Lappeenranta University of Technology, School of Business, P.O. Box 20, 53851 Lappeenranta, Finland

 

Journal: Int. J. of Web Based Communities, 2013 Vol.9, No.4, pp.465 - 482

 

Abstract: This study examines how an experienced sense of virtual community affects relationship-marketing-related outcomes. Based on social identity and relationship marketing theories, a research model is developed and structural equation modelling is used to test the relationships between a sense of virtual community, brand-loyalty intentions, brand-community intentions, and word-of-mouth intentions on a sample of 342 active members of a Finnish business-newspaper brand community. The findings suggest that a sense of virtual community strengthens brand-community, brand-loyalty and brand-related word-of-mouth intentions. Hence, the results imply that a sense of virtual community reflects positively on the brand hosting the online community and results in positive business-related outcomes.

 

Keywords: web based communities; virtual communities; online communities; brand community; sense of community; word-of-mouth; WOM; behavioural intention; social identity; relationship marketing; structural equation modelling; SEM; brand loyalty; Finland; business newspapers.

 

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJWBC.2013.057216

 

Available online 18 Oct 2013

 

 

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