Contagious Climate Effects in Online Brand Communities: Conceptualization, Scale Development, and Validation(2/2)

Project Details


With the aid of social media technology, consumers have increasingly participated in social interactions in online brand communities (OBCs), and these interactions have become more managerially visible. These OBCs, supported by the development of information technology, may function as effective vehicles for firms to establish long-term relationships with consumers, and facilitate interaction with and among them, leading to enhanced brand experiences. Customer perceived contagious climate, indeed, has emerged recently to capture the total set of customer behavioral activities toward brands in OBC settings. Despite the importance of OBCs in brand communication literature, limited research has been conducted to explore how OBCs affect online customer experience and behavior. To gain greater insight into this potential, it is essential to understand how customer pre-engagement and post-engagement variables in OBCs influence consumer perceptions and behaviors. Specifically, the OBC-engagement process includes three significant stages: (1) development of motivations that prompt customers to engage in OBCs, (2) activation when customers become involved in performing OBC-engagement activities, and (3) evaluation of contagious climate as a critical mechanism in processing and generating contribution behaviors. Therefore, the purpose of this project is to decipher the relationship between OBC-engagement and customer brand experiences, using three subprojects with different points of penetration. The objective of the first subproject is to illustrate the relationships between customer engagement, customer–community identification, and customer–brand identification, and also assesses two categories of moderators, interaction-based and similarity-based factors. The second subproject will identify three distinct motives (hedonic, social, and utilitarian) of customer engagement, and determine whether these motivations cause members to engage in OBCs. As well, the relationships among customer engagement, relationship quality, electronic word of mouth, and actual consumption are determined by conducting a longitudinal study. To account for the potential advantages of contagious surrounding environments in OBCs, the third subproject will conceptualize, construct, refine, and test a multiple-item scale that examines key factors influencing the “contagious climate” based on psychometric scale development approaches. Moreover, this study plans to examine the effects of contagious climates on consumer behavior through the social influence process (i.e., internalization and compliance), which in turn influences purchase behavior. The related findings are expected to not only advance the theoretical understanding of OBC engagement and online customer brand experience, but also provide insights into the implications for firms in managing their OBCs.
Effective start/end date1/01/2031/12/20

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals


  • Contagious climate
  • Online brand community
  • Online customer engagement
  • Online brand experience
  • Uses and gratifications theory
  • Social influence theory


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