A qualitative study on lurkers and their fear motivations

Reem Albuhameed, Jason Sit*, Juliet Memery, Elvira Bolat

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

Purpose: This study departs from the visible participation and social learning perspectives and explores lurkers’ motivations via a negative emotional (i.e., fear) perspective.

Methodology: A qualitative study that involved in-depth semi-structured interviews with 19 consumers from different backgrounds, regular facial-care users, and visited facial-care content online. The interviews were conducted online to facilitate access to target participants. The interview data were audio-recorded, manually transcribed and then subject to thematic analysis.

Findings: Lurkers lurk not because of inertia or laziness but because of fear. This study identifies multiple forms of fear that potentially deter lurkers from posting or sharing content online. They are the fears of being unknowledgeable, facing confrontation, the unknown and being administered. Despite their fears of posting or sharing content online, lurkers are not unproductive. They are, in fact, productive intellectually by engaging in a series of cognitive activities (e.g., reading, filtering, digesting and comprehending).

Originality and Value: This study takes the first step to depart from the visible participation and social learning perspectives and, instead, chooses a negative emotional (i.e., fear) perspective to profile lurkers’ motivations. The chosen perspective yields promising results by identifying the various forms of fear that promote lurkers’ lurking and demote their posting/sharing online. This study illustrates the need to consider alternative perspectives to develop a richer and more balanced profile of lurkers and their lurking motivations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 2023 Academy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress
PublisherKent Business School
Publication statusAccepted for publication - 19 Jan 2023
EventAcademy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress - Kent Business School, Canterbury, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Jul 202314 Jul 2023
https://cdn.ymaws.com/member.ams-web.org/resource/resmgr/2023_wmc/81079_ams_2023_world_marketi.pdf

Conference

ConferenceAcademy of Marketing Science World Marketing Congress
Abbreviated titleAMS GWC
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityCanterbury
Period11/07/2314/07/23
Internet address

Keywords

  • Lurking
  • Motivation
  • Online participation
  • Social learning
  • Fear
  • An exploratory study on online lurkers

    Albuhameed, R., Sit, J. & Memery, J., 21 Jun 2023, 8th Colloquium on European Research in Retailing: CERR. Nieto Garcia, M., Acuti, D., Sit, J. & Brusset, X. (eds.). Portsmouth, Vol. 8. p. 2-6 5 p.

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    Open Access

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