Consumer engagement in online brand communities: the moderating role of personal values

Julia Marbach, Christiana Lages, Dan Nunan, Yuksel Ekinci

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    Purpose - Despite growing recognition of the importance of consumer engagement with new technologies, a gap remains in terms of understanding the antecedents, consequences and moderators of online consumer engagement (OCE). This paper aims to address this gap by exploring the relationship between personality traits, OCE, perceived value and the moderating role of personal values.

    Design/Methodology/Approach - A theoretical framework anchored in the extant OCE literature is tested through a study of 559 users of two distinct firm-hosted online brand communities (FHOBCs).

    Findings - Findings suggest that three personality traits – extraversion, openness to experiences and altruism – are positively correlated with OCE. OCE is related to two types of perceived value, namely social value and aesthetic value. The personal values of conservation and self-enhancement moderate the relationships between the three identified personality traits and OCE.

    Research limitations/implications - Future research into OCE should consider the application of this study’s conceptual framework across different cultures to account for the fast changing nature of online communities.

    Practical implications
    - Understanding how personality traits drive OCE and what value consumers receive from engagement in online communities can help managers to better segment and evaluate consumers. Engagement and levels of activity within these online communities can be improved accordingly.

    Originality/Value - This study’s contribution to the OCE literature is threefold. Firstly, the study provides new insights regarding personality traits as antecedents of consumer engagement with FHOBCs. Secondly, the study reveals the first insights into the role of personal values in the relationship between personality traits and OCE. Specifically, conservation and self-enhancement emerged as moderators of the relationship between three personality traits (extraversion, openness to experiences, altruism) and OCE. Thirdly, the study yields support for perceived value types (social value and aesthetic value) that emerge as consequences of consumer engagement in FHOBCs.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number0
    Pages (from-to)1671-1700
    Number of pages30
    JournalEuropean Journal of Marketing
    Issue number9
    Early online date19 Jun 2019
    Publication statusPublished - 9 Sept 2019


    • Online consumer engagement
    • personality traits
    • personal values
    • perceived value
    • firm-hosted online brand communities


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