Conference Proceedings

Virtual Communities as Reference Groups on Consumer Decision Processes

Daiane Scaraboto

Association for Consumer Research | Published : 2006


This research aims at investigating online communities to verify their role as reference groups at different stages of the decision processes. It also aims at verifying possible differences concerning the extent of the group influence on novice and expert consumers (Tinson and Ensor 2001) and on higher involvement products/services (De Valck et al, 2003). This research follows a four-stage sequence: (1) determining the virtual community to be investigated through lurking; (2) Entrée–comprehending the presentation of the research to community members, obtaining consent for using posts, and the incorporation of the researcher in the group, (3) data collection using participant observation and..

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