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Title: Corporate impression formation in online communities - determinants and consequences of online community corporate impressions
Authors: Hallier Willi, Christine
Advisors: Melewar, TC
Gupta, S
Dennis, C
Harris, L
Keywords: Corporate image;Online communities;Corporate communication;Computer-mediated communication;Impression formation
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: Brunel University Brunel Business School PhD Theses
Abstract: The purpose of this study is to gain in-depth knowledge of how the members of online communities form impressions of organisations that use online communities in their communication activities. Online impression formation has its peculiarities and in order to succeed companies need to better understand this phenomenon. In order to appreciate and evaluate an interaction, those involved in it must know their own identity. Hence, individuals as well as companies engage in identity production by trying to project a favourable impression. The process of identity production can take place in both the offline and the online world. This study focuses on the online world, more specifically on online communities, by investigating how online community members form impressions of companies that produce their identities in online communities. Technology has changed customer behaviours dramatically. People have embraced the Internet to meet and interact with one another. This behaviour is in line with the postmodern assumption that there is a movement towards re-socialisation. Online communication platforms connect people globally and give them the possibility to interact and form online social networks. These platforms are interactive, and thus change the traditional way of communication. Companies therefore have to embrace those interactive ways of communication. In the online world consumers are quick to react to communication weaknesses. Inappropriate corporate communication activities can affect the image they have formed of the company in question.
Description: This thesis was submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy and awarded by Brunel University.
Appears in Collections:Business and Management
Brunel Business School Theses

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