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Newbies, Followers and Veterans: Narratives about the becoming of knowledgeable consumer community members
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2012 (English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Research on communities of end-users of consumer products has yielded insights into the character of knowledge sharing and innovating community members, but little attention has been paid to explore how consumers become such knowledgeable members of consumer communities. For this reason the article reports on findings from a study of a firm-hosted consumer community within the video game industry, from which narrative accounts – „war stories‟ – about participation in community practices were obtained by posting a thread in one of its forums. The communities of practice literature is employed as an explanatory lens to the „war stories‟, thus adopting a view of membership as closely related to learning in practice, to provide a perspective on how consumers become knowledgeable members of consumer communities. The genesis of knowledgeable members of the consumer community studied is portrayed as a transformation in three membership stages – newbies, followers and veterans – that represent a „knowledge journey‟ involving learning about the community per se, and learning to participate in community practices. The article is concluded with a discussion on avenues for future research, where multilateral collaborations between community members is argued to be one such avenue, and how business managers should aim to participate in community practices in order to turn the consumer community into a resource for innovation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. 1-19 p.
Keyword [en]
Consumer community, communities of practice, innovation, narratives, video game industry
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-198093OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-198093DiVA: diva2:615171
Available from: 2013-04-09 Created: 2013-04-09 Last updated: 2013-04-18

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