Why and When Consumers Prefer Products of User-Driven Firms: A Social Identification Account

Dahl, Darren W. and Fuchs, Christoph and Schreier, Martin (2015) Why and When Consumers Prefer Products of User-Driven Firms: A Social Identification Account. Management Science, 61 (8). pp. 1978-1988. ISSN 1526-5501

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Companies are increasingly drawing on their user communities to generate promising ideas for new products, which are then marketed as "user-designed" products to the broader consumer market. We demonstrate that nonparticipating, observing consumers prefer to buy from user-rather than designer-driven firms because of an enhanced identification with the firm that has adopted this user-driven philosophy. Three experimental studies validate a newly proposed social identification account underlying this effect. Because consumers are also users, their social identities connect to the user-designers, and they feel empowerment by vicariously being involved in the design process. This formed connection leads to preference for the firm's products. Importantly, this social identification account also effectively predicts when the effect does not materialize. First, we find that if consumers feel dissimilar to participating users, the effects are attenuated. We demonstrate that this happens when the community differs from consumers along important demographics (i.e., gender) or when consumers are nonexperts in the focal domain (i.e., they feel that they do not belong to the social group of participating users). Second, the effects are attenuated if the user-driven firm is only selectively rather than fully open to participation from all users (observing consumers do not feel socially included). These findings advance the emerging theory on user involvement and offer practical implications for firms interested in pursuing a user-driven philosophy. Data, as supplemental material, are available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1999. (authors' abstract)

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. You are free to download this work and share with others, but cannot change in any way or use commercially without permission, and you must attribute this work as "Management Science. Copyright 2014 INFORMS. http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.2014.1999, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/".
Keywords: user innovation / user design / user-generated products / crowdsourcing / social identity / corporate associations / consumer preferences / open source software
Divisions: Departments > Marketing > Marketing-Management
Version of the Document: Published
Variance from Published Version: None
Depositing User: ePub Administrator
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2015 12:19
Last Modified: 12 May 2016 14:20
Related URLs:
FIDES Link: https://bach.wu.ac.at/d/research/results/68280/
URI: https://epub.wu.ac.at/id/eprint/4462


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