Date of Award

8-2011

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Major

Communication and Information

Major Professor

Sally J. McMillan

Committee Members

Dwight L. Teeter, Jr., Margaret A. Morrison, Harry F. Dahms

Abstract

This study explores automobile online brand communities in the different cultural contexts between South Korea and the United States. The core assumption is that members of automobile online brand communities in different cultures have different motivation orientations to visit their online communities and have different community experiences. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions were utilized as embedded cultural circumstances in examining relationships between different motivation orientations and community experiences. Two steps of qualitative and quantitative research methods were adopted to determine the relationships among community members’ motivation orientations, community experiences, and satisfaction.

The study found that Korean automobile online brand community (KAOBC) members have stronger social, business, and communication motivations than American automobile online brand community (AAOBC) members. These community members’ motivations also influenced their community experiences. Both social network motivations and communication motivations are crucial predictors for four community experiences: Community loyalty, trust, membership identity, and word of mouth (WOM). Community members who have a stronger social networking and/or communication motivation are more likely to have a higher level of community loyalty, trust, membership identity, and WOM. Finally, community experiences were the most important indicators of the satisfaction of online community members among nationality, demographic factors, and motivation orientations.

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