Examining consumers’ motivations to engage in firm-hosted virtual communities

Ethel Claffey, Mairead Brady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)


Consumer engagement is a complex phenomenon and understanding the underlying dynamics that facilitate its development, particularly in the virtual environment, is an important contemporary research priority due to its ability to influence value creation for customers and organizations, and because it introduces ongoing and multifaceted challenges for marketers. This research empirically tests hypotheses regarding the motivational drivers of consumer engagement with 308 members of two firm-hosted virtual communities. The results suggest that marketers need a multidimensional lens to identify, understand, and manage consumers’ distinctive cognitive and affective states within this environment. Findings support the need for these firm-hosted virtual communities to be carefully designed to facilitate knowledge sharing, provide social support, deliver an enjoyable and useful experience, and enable consumers to cocreate value through emotional empathy. This research provides critical managerial input into how best to monitor, understand, support, and ultimately leverage firm-hosted virtual communities aligned to the emotional valence of the consumers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-375
Number of pages20
JournalPsychology and Marketing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 01 Apr 2017


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