A grounded theory of football fan community identity and co-production: Consumer roles in brand culture, meaning, and value co-creation in virtual communities
Healy, Jason C. (2012) A grounded theory of football fan community identity and co-production: Consumer roles in brand culture, meaning, and value co-creation in virtual communities. PhD thesis, Dublin City University.
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This study theorizes why and how consumers consume. Using a combined methodology, drawing upon Netnography and Grounded Theory, to study an online fan forum called RedAndWhiteKop, this thesis considers brand culture/meaning and value co-creation. The research site is a VC containing football fans who are views as stakeholders of the organisation Liverpool Football Club. Following emergent fit with woven in literature streams found in managerial marketing as Service-Dominant Logic and the consumer research field known as Consumer Culture Theory (CCT), analysis is conducted on fan consumer behaviours leading to submission of a Typology of Seven Consumer Community Cultural Co-creative Roles. The author reflects on existing theoretical consumer responses to market offerings of exit, voice, loyalty, and twist, found in literature; adopting these as four co-creative roles. This study contributes three new consumer co-creative roles of entry, re-entry, and non-entry. This study's findings are intended to follow an interpretive cultural anthropological axiology, attempting to provide context and time bounded interpretations of this setting rather than immutable laws or truths. Managerial implications of the typology are discussed. A key challenge for managers and marketers is awareness of these roles. This is potentially achievable through listening to online VCs, seeking ways to enhance brand value and service provision. This study finds that fans are continuously co-creating/co-producing Liverpool FC brand community culture together on places like the VC RedAndWhiteKop (RAWK). This appears to be occurring largely in separation from the brand company itself and is referred to in this study as 'Coincidental Co-creation'. However, this study finds agreement with much CCT and SDL which encourages greater interaction and dialogical relations between suppliers and consumers. This is possible through better online engagement or virtual engagement, with stakeholders such as consumers, pursuing the management-role of 'Collaborative Co-creation.'
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