Unité de Recherche et d'Applications en Marketing

Exploring consumer empowerment in consumption communities based in social media: What behavioral outcomes towards firms?


In spite of the keen interest in empowerment, few authors have applied the concept to the characteristics of the Internet. This paper approaches it within consumption communities based in social media and explores its effects on consumers’ behaviors towards firms. Taking a deep qualitative approach, the paper gives evidence for the existence of consumer empowerment and highlights that it is a complex multidimensional construct which may be both formative and reflective. Results delineate indeed four dimensions. Informational, technological and social dimensions may shape the construct. The fourth dimension, which is psychological, may be a manifestation of it. Results also identify three main behaviors of empowered consumers towards firms: they assess them and call to reward some and to boycott others (1); negotiate to get better offerings (2) and demand cooperation (3).

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